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Alternatives to Dilantin

by
author image Carrie Cross
Carrie Cross has been writing for profit and pleasure for more than 35 years. Her background includes business, real estate, entrepreneurship, management, health and nutrition. A registered nurse, she has published various pieces, including web content, numerous newspaper and magazine articles and columns and six books.
Alternatives to Dilantin
People who have epilepsy have choices when it comes to medications. Photo Credit My family image by aleksey kashin from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Epilepsy.com states that Dilantin, generic name phenytoin, is a drug of choice for epilepsy. Dilantin is easy to use, is effective against a number of different types of seizure activity and is cost-effective. First developed in 1938, it comes in 30 mg and 100 mg capsules, 50 mg chewable tablets, an oral suspension and parenteral, or injectable, solution. If contraindications exist, such as allergies or drug interactions, alternative medications and treatments are available.

Carbamazapine

The brand name for carbamazapine is Tegretol. Tegretol is used in epileptic patients who experience partial seizures, grand mal or generalized tonic-clonic seizures and seizures that are a mix of both types. Epilepsy.com lists availability in 100 mg chewable tablets, 200 mg nonchewable tablets and oral suspension. Common side effects include drowsiness, poor balance, nausea and vomiting.

Surgery

The Epilepsy Center of West Virginia University says 70 percent of individuals suffering from epilepsy can become seizure-free or seizure-reduced with surgery and surgery may reduce the risk of injury and death. Of the 30 percent of people not controlled by anti-epileptic medication, one in three will qualify for surgery. Surgical methods used include lesionectomy, vagus nerve stimulation and hemispherectomy.

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Diet

The Epilepsy Foundation states a ketogenic diet is useful in preventing seizures in one out of three children and useful in controlling epilepsy in three out of five. The diet is high in fat and low in carbohydrates and protein. Strict adherence is necessary to be effective, as is close monitoring by a physician. The diet encourages the body to use fat as a source of energy instead of carbohydrates and proteins. As of 2010, the reason why the diet aids in controlling seizures is unknown.

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