Medicines to treat seizures caused by meningitis

Medicines used to treat seizures caused by meningitis include:

  • Phenytoin (Dilantin).
  • Phenobarbital (Barbita, Luminal, Solfoton).

Common side effects of phenytoin include acne and tender, swollen gums. Common side effects of phenobarbital include changes in behavior and mood. Phenobarbital also can interfere with the ability to learn and remember. In addition, phenobarbital can cause children to be overactive and restless, and it can cause adults to be tired and sluggish.

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

Last Updated: December 24, 2008

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