Anti seizure medications during initial drug treatment are essential for safety during withdrawal from certain drugs.

During initial withdrawal from certain CNS depressants, such as benzodiazepines, abused sleeping medications and alcohol, brain activity levels are increased, and there is a resultant increase in the danger of seizures and convulsions. CNS depressing medications usually work by decreasing the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA from the brain, and when the GABA antagonist drug of abuse is removed, suddenly high levels of GABA cause increased brain activity, and the possibility of neuro muscular convulsions.

These can be as extreme as to be life threatening, and severe dependence to any of the CNS depressing drugs induces one of the most dangerous withdrawals. Safe withdrawal from a CNS depressing substance requires an anti seizure or anti convulsant medication to reduce brain activity levels out of dangerous ranges. Benzodiazepines are commonly used for the treatment of alcohol abuse, and in addition to reducing the prevalence of convulsions and seizures, they can also calm some of the normal anxiety associated with withdrawal. Other medications such as carbamazepine, chlormethiazole, and valproate can also be used to good effect.

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Page last updated Aug 05, 2010

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