Antiseizure medicines are sometimes used to prevent the
frequency or recurrence of
cluster headaches, which are cycles of painful,
one-sided headaches. Antiseizure medicines most often prescribed for cluster
headaches include topiramate and valproate. These medicines are usually tried with another medicine to prevent cluster headaches.
It is not clear exactly how
antiseizure medicines work to reduce cluster headaches or
migraines. Antiseizure medicines are usually taken
daily in small doses and then gradually increased until your symptoms subside
or the side effects become intolerable.
Common side effects include:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a
warning on antiseizure medicines and the risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts.
The FDA does not recommend that people stop using these medicines. Instead,
people who take antiseizure medicine should be watched closely for
warning signs of suicide. People who take antiseizure
medicine and who are worried about this side effect should talk to a
January 27, 2012
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Colin Chalk, MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology
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