• Medicine is the primary way in which seizures are controlled and is almost always the first therapy.
  • Different medicines help with different kinds of epilepsy and seizures.
  • Medicine controls seizures for about 7 out of 10 people living with epilepsy.
  • Never stop or change your medication without talking to your doctor, as this could cause a severe seizure. 


There are many different medicines that can prevent or stop seizures. These are sometimes called anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) or anti-seizure drugs. Medicine is the most common way of treating epilepsy and is almost always the first treatment tried. They will successfully control seizures for about 7 out of 10 people with epilepsy.

Some medicines tend to work better for certain kinds of seizures than for others. If one medicine fails, another may work better. The medications don’t fix the problem that causes seizures. Instead they work to stop seizures from occurring.

This section provides in-depth information on epilepsy medications and how to use them.  It’s important to talk with your doctor about the pros and cons of the different seizure medicines available to treat your kind of epilepsy.


Authored by: Steven C. Schachter, MD | Patricia O. Shafer, RN, MN | Joseph I. Sirven, MD on 7/2013
Reviewed by: Joseph I. Sirven, MD | Patricia O. Shafer, RN, MN on 3/2014
Patients Assistance Programs

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