Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs)

Initial treatment for epilepsy depends on the severity, frequency, and type of seizures and whether a cause for your condition has been identified. Medicine is the first and most common approach. Antiepileptic medicines do not cure epilepsy. But they help prevent seizures in well over half of the people who take them. Medicines that may be used first to treat epileptic seizures include:

  • Carbamazepine (such as Carbatrol)
  • Ethosuximide (Zarontin), for absence seizures only
  • Topiramate (Topamax)
  • Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal)
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek) or fosphenytoin (Cerebyx)
  • Valproate (Depakene, Depakote)
  • Phenobarbital (Luminal)
  • Phenobarbital is a first-line medicine for newborns
  • Primidone (Mysoline)
  • The body converts primidone into phenobarbital.