Most people are concerned with the potential side effects of drug treatments, particularly because they can affect the quality of life. Many anti-epileptic drugs can cause a wide range of possible side effects but this does not mean that everybody taking a particular drug will experience them. All medicines have potential side effects as well as benefits, and the effects of anti-epileptic drugs on people can vary greatly.
A few people reported no or minimal side effects. Several recalled how tiredness occurred at the start of treatment but later subsided when their bodies had adjusted to the drugs. Sleepiness, drowsiness or a lack of energy were also mentioned by many other people we interviewed.
Side effects sometimes occur when the dose of the drug being taken is too high for an individual. Some people said that high dosages of drugs left them feeling ‘zombified’, and so the dosage of the drug was reduced. One woman told us how her drug dosage was gradually changed because she was feeling tired and looking pale.