Many of the antiseizure I'm aware of are described as having the potential for behavior altering side-effects. I am curious about this.

  • Is there something about the chemistry of the brain that frequently makes anticonvulsants also psychoactive? Does it have to be this way?


  • Maybe the anticonvulsant drug profiles are like this because much more money is invested in R&D for psychoactive drugs used in psychology than is invested in R&D for epilepsy drugs. And, during the R&D process the anticonvulsant property of a drug is discovered as being the side effect of the drugs whose main property is psychoactivity. And this might be why the anticonvulsants being sold are psychoactive?

Viagra was discovered during R&D into high blood pressure. Viagra does lower high blood pressure. Viagra also has a side effect. People take Viagra for the side effect.

So, might it be like:
During R&D into psychoactive drugs, Zonisamide was discovered to have the side effect of elevativing the seizure threshold. Zonisamide is psychoactive. Zonisamide also elevates the seizure threshold as a side effect. People take Zonisamide for the side effect?

Is it understood why anti-epileptic drugs are always mood altering? Is it chemical? a product of the R&D cycle? a simple correlation that a person with the disease might be more emotional?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome and nice question! It seems that many psychiatric drugs either raise or lower seizure threshold. Some are the opposite of anticonvulsants, e.g. seroquel (and other antipsychotics) and probably most stimulants, including the mild ones like bupropion. Why this happens is an interesting question. $\endgroup$ – Fizz Jan 21 '18 at 10:07
  • $\begingroup$ My guess is that since most psychoactive drugs either raise or lower some neurotransmitter they also have the potential to raise or lower the seizure threshold in the brain areas that use that neurotransmitter. $\endgroup$ – Fizz Jan 21 '18 at 10:18
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @OP - could you give examples of drugs you are talking about? Secondly, and more importantly, what do you mean with 'psychoactive'? Anticonvulsants have many side effects, so a definition of psychoactive is essential. -1 $\endgroup$ – AliceD Jan 24 '18 at 9:08
  • $\begingroup$ As far as I can gather, with the exception of Felbamate all Anticonvusants mentioned in this list are Psychoactive as described in this Wikipedia article $\endgroup$ – Chris Rogers Jan 24 '18 at 14:05
  • $\begingroup$ @AliceD The drugs I am referencing are the drugs, such as Lamictal, Topamax, Zonisamide, Keppra, etc. The definition of psychoactive that was described to me by my friend is the wikipedia definition of "psychoactive drug". Taking the drug alters "mood and perception". $\endgroup$ – Khae Jan 27 '18 at 5:07

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