Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs)
Antiepileptic medication is normally the first choice of treatment for epilepsy. AEDs are available in a range of doses and forms, such as tablets, liquids and syrups, nasal sprays, injections, and suppositories. These are all prescribed free of charge.
Drug treatments are tailored to suit each individual, achieving maximum seizure control with minimum side effects on the lowest possible dose of a single drug.
The majority of people with epilepsy will achieve seizure control with one AED (called monotherapy), but some will require treatment with two or more drugs (known as polytherapy).
In addition, there are specific AEDs that are used to treat serial seizures and status epilepticus, which is a condition in which seizures persist for 30 minutes or more. It can occur with all types of seizures, but with tonic-clonic seizures it represents a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment if it lasts for more than 5 minutes.
For more information visit our ‘What is Epilepsy?’ section here.