After experiencing a brain injury
, most people will be prescribed some kind of medication. The type of medication will depend on the injury
and how it has affected the individual. Ask your doctor to explain the medication you are prescribed and follow the instructions you receive carefully.
All medications have a number of side effects. If you have any concerns or are worried about any side effects you experience, please consult your doctor.
Here are some important things to remember if you are taking prescribed medication:
- Ask your doctor to explain any medication you are taking including any side effects
- Always read and follow instructions carefully; if you are unsure ask your pharmacist for advice
- If medication makes you drowsy, do not drive or operate machinery
- Consult your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant, as some medication requires special monitoring during pregnancy.
Types of medication
The most common types of medication prescribed after brain injury can be divided into three groups:
Some people suffer from seizures after a brain injury. Anti-epileptic drugs are commonly used to control seizures. Sometimes anti-epileptic drugs can also be used to help stabilise mood for people who do not have seizures.
Some commonly prescribed anti-epileptics include: carbamazepine (also known as Tegretol, Tegretol Retard, Teril CR or Timinol Retard); Lamotrigine (also known as Lamictal) and Sodium Valproate (also known as Epilim, Epilim Chrono and Convulex).
2. Major tranquilisers
A brain injury can cause mental health disturbances
such as hearing voices or feelings of paranoia. Tranquilisers can also be known as neuroleptics or anti-psychotics, and are used to manage the symptoms of mental health issues, including aggressive or irritable behaviour. Always speak with your doctor if you experience any side effects from your medication, as these can be managed by adjusting doses or taking additional medication.
Some common tranquillisers include: Olanzapine (also known as Zyprexa); Risperidone (also known as Risperidal).
It is common for people with a brain injury to experience depression. In some cases, anti-depressants are prescribed to assist people to manage the symptoms of depression. The most commonly prescribed anti-depressants are called Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (or SSRIs).
Some of the most common SSRIs include: Citalopram (also known as Cipralmil); Paroxetine (also known as Seroxat); Fluoxetine (also known as Prozac).