Your doctor likely will start at the lowest dose of anti-seizure medication possible and increase the dosage as needed to control the seizures. Most children can taper off anti-seizure medications, under a doctor's supervision, after they've been seizure-free for two years.
Drugs prescribed for absence seizure include:
June 03, 2014
- Ethosuximide (Zarontin). This is the drug most doctors start with for absence seizures. In most cases, seizures respond well to this drug.
- Valproic acid (Depakene). Because this drug has been associated with higher risk of birth defects in babies, doctors advise women against using it while trying to conceive or during pregnancy. Women who can't achieve seizure control on other medications should discuss potential risks with their doctors.
- Lamotrigine (Lamictal). Some studies show this drug to be less effective than ethosuximide or valproic acid, but has fewer side effects.
- Korff CM. Childhood absence epilepsy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 3, 2014.
- Absence seizures. The Epilepsy Foundation. http://www.epilepsy.com/learn/types-seizures/absence-seizures. Accessed April 3, 2014.
- Stafstrom CE, et al. Pathophysiology of seizures and epilepsy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 3, 2014.
- Glauser TA, et al. Ethosuximide, valproic acid, and lamotrigine in childhood absence epilepsy. New England Journal of Medicine. 2010;362:790.
- Jentink J, et al. Valproic acid monotherapy in pregnancy and major congenital malformations. New England Journal of Medicine. 2010;362:2185.
- Safety information: Stavzor (valproic acid) delayed release capsules. http://www.fda.gov/safety/medwatch/safetyinformation/ucm360495.htm. Accessed April 3, 2014.