Group Health
RETURN

Brand NameGeneric NameChemical Name
Tegretolcarbamazepine
Neurontingabapentin
Keppralevetiracetam
Trileptaloxcarbazepine
Dilantinphenytoin
Lyricapregabalin
Topamaxtopiramate
Zonegranzonisamide

Anticonvulsants control cancer pain by changing the way sodium and calcium travel across the surface of nerve cells in the brain. The nerve cells send fewer signals, and the brain senses less pain.

Anticonvulsants help reduce pain related to the nervous system (neuropathic pain). Some have fewer side effects than tricyclic antidepressants.

Anticonvulsants help control cancer pain related to the nervous system (neuropathic pain).

When anticonvulsants are used to control cancer pain, they may be given in small amounts to limit side effects. Tell your doctor if you experience any side effects, especially:

  • Drowsiness.
  • Restlessness and irritability.
  • Confusion and dizziness.
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and belly pain.
  • Blurred vision or uncontrollable eye movements (nystagmus).
  • Itching, fever, or a rash (sensitivity reaction).

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning on anticonvulsants and the risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts. The FDA does not recommend that people stop using these medicines. Instead, people who take anticonvulsant medicine should be watched closely for warning signs of suicide. People who take anticonvulsant medicine and who are worried about this side effect should talk to a doctor.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

Drowsiness is the most common side effect of anticonvulsant drugs.

These drugs are started at low doses and gradually increased to achieve pain relief.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF) (What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.


By: Healthwise Staff Last Revised: October 31, 2011
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Michael Seth Rabin, MD - Medical Oncology

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
Click here to learn about Healthwise