Anticonvulsants (for sufferers of CP and epileptics) work directly on the brain, by calming down the overactive brain chemistry that causes the body to go into seizures or tremors.

A seizure has often been described as “a thunderstorm of the brain”. A lot of sudden flashes of electrical activity occurs, sending an overwhelming amount of messages to nerves and muscles. The body, in not knowing how to respond to all of these conflicting messages, goes into a seizure.

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Many anticonvulsants for cerebral palsy are muscle relaxants, so if the brain sends too many messages to move, the muscles will ignore it. Common cerebral palsy medications that fall into this category include Baclofen, Valium (diazepam), Dantrolene sodium, Flexeril (clyclobenzaprine) and Zanoflex (tizanidine). Medicines like Baclofen calm the brain’s thunderstorm and also help muscles relax.

Side Effects

Anticonvulsants for cerebral palsy are powerful medications which can interact badly with other medications and may cause side effects. The attending physician must be aware of all medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements or herbal treatments the CP patient is taking before deciding which medication to prescribe.

The most common side effects of anticonvulsants for cerebral palsy are drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, loss of eye muscle coordination, gingivitis, irritability, confusion, skin rash and skin itchiness.