Seizure Medications

Seizure medications are usually the first treatment option to help control seizures in children with epilepsy. Learn more about the different pediatric seizure medications.

There are many types of medications used to treat seizures and epilepsy in children. At the CHOP Neuroscience Center, we select medications based on the type of seizure, age of the child, side effects, cost of the medication, and adherence with the use of the medication.

Medications used at home are usually taken by mouth (as capsules, tablets, sprinkles, or syrup), but some can be given rectally (into the child's rectum). If the child is in the hospital with seizures, medication by injection or intravenous (IV) may be used.

It is important to give your child his/her medication on time and as prescribed by your child's physician. Different people use up the medication in their body differently, so adjustments (schedule and dosage) may need to be made for good control of seizures. In some cases, surgery may be required for patients who do not respond to medications. 

Side effects

All medications can have side effects, although some children may not experience them. Discuss your child's medication and potential side effects with his/her physician.

Monitoring pediatric seizure medication effectiveness

While your child is taking medications, different tests may be done to monitor their effectiveness. These tests may include:

  • Blood work: Frequent blood testing is usually required to check the level of the medication in the body. Based on this level, a child's physician may increase or decrease the dose of the medication to achieve the desired level. This level is called the "therapeutic level" and is where the medication works most efficiently. Blood work may also be done to monitor the effects of pediatric seizure medications on body organs.
  • Urine tests: These tests are performed to see how the child's body is responding to the medication.
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG): A procedure that records the brain's continuous, electrical activity by means of electrodes attached to the scalp. This test is done to monitor how a medication is helping the electrical problems in the brain.

List of seizure medications

  • Carbamazepine (TEGRETOL, CARBATROL)
  • Clobazam (FRISIUM)
  • Clorazepate (TRANXENE)
  • Clonazepam (KLONOPIN)
  • Diazepam (VALIUM)
  • Ethosuximide (ZARONTIN)
  • Felbamate (FELBATOL)
  • Lacosamide (VIMPAT)
  • Lorazepam (ATIVAN)
  • Rufinamide (BANZEL)
  • Gabapentin (NEURONTIN)
  • Lamotrigine (LAMICTAL)
  • Levtiracetam (KEPPRA)
  • Oxcarbazepine (TRILEPTAL)
  • Phenbarbital (LUMINAL)
  • Phenytoin (DILANTIN, PHENYTEK)
  • Pregablin (LYRICA)
  • Tiagabine (GABITRIL)
  • Topiramate (TOPAMAX)
  • Valproic acid (DEPAKOTE, DEPAKENE)
  • Vigabatrin (SABRIL)
  • Zonisamide (ZONEGRAN)

Please visit for more information on available pediatric epilepsy medications.

Next Steps