Phenobarbital – the first anticonvulsant used to treat all types of epilepsy was synthesized in 1912. A history of effective pharmacotherapy of seizures in children and adults began exactly with Phenobarbital.
Anticonvulsants are used not only to control epilepsy symptoms. Some new drugs of this group can reduce excitability of the brain and stabilize the person’s mood.
Today, anticonvulsants are used to treat various neurological disorders, including:
- bipolar disorder
- neuropathic pain.
Despite general indications, the mechanisms of action of various types of antiepileptic drugs differ.
- Some work by blocking sodium and calcium channels.
- Others activate or decrease activity of various brain systems.
The result of using any type of anticonvulsants is decrease in neurons excitability. Epileptic seizures stop worrying the patient or their number is minimized.
Choice of an adequate strategy of epilepsy pharmacotherapy is still one of the main problems of epileptology. Provided a right choice of an anticonvulsant is made, control of neurological disorder can be achieved in about 80% of cases.
A wide range of anticonvulsants allows to choose the best drug for a particular patient.
Neurologists often prefer one of the following anti-epileptic drugs:
Modern anticonvulsants are well absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and are not accumulated in the body. They do not cause habituation and severe side effects in prolonged use.