Which medications in the drug class Anticonvulsants are used in the treatment of Herpes Simplex Encephalitis?

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: Wayne E Anderson, DO, FAHS, FAAN; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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Anticonvulsants are used to terminate clinical and electrical seizure activity as rapidly as possible and to prevent seizure recurrence.

Carbamazepine (Tegretol)

Carbamazepine is effective in treatment of complex partial seizures; it appears to act by reducing polysynaptic responses and blocking posttetanic potentiation.

Phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek)

Phenytoin is a hydantoin. Its primary site of action appears to be the motor cortex, where it may inhibit spread of seizure activity; it may reduce maximal activity of the brain stem centers responsible for the tonic phase of grand mal seizures.

The dose should be individualized; if daily dosage cannot be divided equally, larger dose should be given before bedtime. A phosphorylated formulation, fosphenytoin, is available for parenteral use.

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