Antiepileptic drugs


The treatment of epilepsy is aimed at restoring the inhibitory functions in the brain and suppressing seizure activity. Three major mechanisms of drug action are used:





1. Potentiating GABA to enhance the inhibitory control and modulate the abnormal firing by:

  • Activating GABA-receptors (benzodiazepines and barbiturates; yellow drugs)
  • Inhibiting GABA reuptake (tiagabine; black drugs)
  • Inhibiting GABA breakdown (vigabatrin, valproic acid; not shown)

2. Sodium channel inhibitors to prevent repetitive firing of neurons in a potential seizure focus (white drugs: phenytoin, carbamazepine, lamotrigine, valproic acid)

3. Calcium channel inhibitors to control bursting of these channels during absences. (blue drugs: ethosuximide, valproic acid)


When considering stopping antiepileptic drugs the patient should


A patient is brought to the emergency room in status epilepticus. Which of the following is NOT indicated in the management of his condition?