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Anticonvulsant Medications

  1. Charles F. Gillespie

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0068

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Gillespie, C. F. 2010. Anticonvulsant Medications. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. Emory University School of Medicine

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Anticonvulsant medications, also known as antiepileptic drugs, are a pharmacologically diverse class of medications so named for their common efficacy in the prevention of seizures. Historically, seizures were referred to as convulsions and known colloquially as “spells” or “fits.” Epilepsy is a general term used to describe the collection of diseases characterized by chronically recurrent seizures of any etiology. Prior to the advent of anticonvulsant medications and modern surgical therapy, patients with epilepsy were subjected to treatments such as bleeding, cupping, trephination, herbal remedies, and exorcism that were ineffective and often harmful.


  • bipolar disorder;
  • anti-epileptic drug;
  • epilepsy;
  • seizure;
  • mood stabilizer;
  • teratogen