Anti-epileptic medication information

Side-effects

All medications have side effects. Not everyone will experience those side effects and many children tolerate medicines very well.

Some side effects occur when commencing a new medication and are dose related. Speak to your doctor as an adjustment of dosage may remove the adverse effect. Possible side effects in this category include:

  • upset tummy
  • tiredness or sleepiness
  • occasional poor coordination

Many families worry about learning. There  are a number of factors that influence learning, including: the epilepsy syndrome, depression, behaviour, and medications. Good documentation of school progress and input from the teacher is helpful for your doctor in determining what might help. Keep a diary of concerns associated with a new medicines or dose increases.

Medication management

  • Do not stop giving or change any medications without discussing this with your doctor.
  • Do not change the dose of medication without talking to your doctor first.
  • If your child has more  seizures than usual, contact your doctor.
  • It is best to make sure your child always has the same brand of medications as there may be differences in the performance across brands.
  • Try to give the medications at approximately the same time each day.
  • Always make sure you have enough medication. Order a new prescription at least 2 weeks before you are due to run out.
  • Always check the expiry date on your medication, if the medication has expired, take it back to your pharmacy.
  • In case of overdose or poisoning please contact the Poisons Information Center on 131126.

What if my child vomits?

  • If your child vomits within 30 minutes after having their dose then repeat the dose.
  • If it is longer than 30 minutes since having the dose you do not need to repeat the dose but if vomiting or diarrhoea continue to seek medical help.

What if I forget to give a dose?

  • If a dose is missed, it should be taken as soon as it is remembered.
  • The next due dose should be taken at the usual time.
  • However, if the missed dose is remembered in close proximity to the next due dose (i.e. within 3 to 4 hours of next dose), please seek medical advice.
  • If unsure about what to do, the treating GP, epilepsy nurse, paediatrician or neurologist should be contacted.

Medication storage

  • Make sure the medication is kept out of direct sunlight and away from heat.
  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • If you have any concerns please contact your doctor.