A medication used to control (prevent) seizures (convulsions) or stop an ongoing series of seizures. There are a large number of anticonvulsant drugs today including, but not limited to: phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine, ethosuximide (Zarontin), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and midazolam (Versed). Anticonvulsant drugs taken during pregnancy put the baby at risk of major birth defects — growth retardation, microcephaly (a small head) and deformities of the face and fingers — a condition known as anticonvulsant embryopathy.
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1. Preventing or arresting seizures. 2. An agent having such action. SYN: anticonvulsive, antiepileptic.

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an·ti·con·vul·sant -kən-'vəl-sənt also an·ti·con·vul·sive -siv n an anticonvulsant drug
anticonvulsant also anticonvulsive adj used or tending to control or prevent convulsions (as in epilepsy)

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a drug that prevents or reduces the severity and frequency of seizures in various types of epilepsy; the term antiepileptic drug is now preferred since not all seizures involve convulsions. The choice of drug is dictated by the type of seizure and the patient's response, and the dosage must be adjusted carefully as individuals vary in their response to these drugs and side-effects may be troublesome. Commonly used antiepileptic drugs include carbamazepine, lamotrigine, phenytoin, and sodium valproate; topiramate, gabapentin, vigabatrin, oxcarbazepine, and levetiracetam are newer drugs. Phenobarbital is no longer commonly prescribed.

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an·ti·con·vul·sant (an″te-) (an″ti-kən-vulґsənt) 1. preventing or relieving convulsions. 2. an agent that prevents or relieves convulsions.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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