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Seizure / Epilepsy Medications and Alcohol

Written by L. Anderson, PharmD on Nov 7, 2017

Many medications used to treat seizures (anticonvulsants) can have drug interactions with alcohol. Added central nervous system side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, trouble concentrating, and even an increased risk of seizures can occur.

In general you should avoid drinking alcohol when you are taking seizure medication. Avoid hazardous activities requiring mental alertness and motor coordination, such as driving, until you know how these agents will affect you. Discuss this interaction with your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about using the combination of  alcohol and epilepsy medication.

Certain seizure medications such as clonazepam (Klonopin) and diazepam (Valium) are classified as benzodiazepines and can lead to central nervous system depressant interactions with alcohol. You should avoid alcohol during benzodiazepine therapy, such as Valium and alcohol.

Common Seizure Medications

Generic Name Common Brand Names
brivaracetam Briviact
clonazepam Klonopin
diazepam Valium, Diastat
ethosuximide Zarontin
gabapentin Neurontin
levetiracetam Keppra, Roweepra, Spritam
oxcarbazepine Trileptal, Oxtellar XR
perampanel Fycompa
phenobarbital Luminal
phenytoin Dilantin, Phenytek
pregabalin Lyrica
primidone Mysoline
topiramate Topamax, Qudexy XR, Trokendi XR
valproic acid Depakene
vigabatrin Sabril
zonisamide Zonegran

*Note: This is not a complete list; always check with your pharmacist for possible drug-alcohol interactions.

Extended-release pregabalin (Lyrica CR) is approved to treat nerve pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia. Lyrica CR did not receive FDA approval for the management of fibromyalgia and its effectiveness in partial onset seizures has not been demonstrated.

Types of Drug Interactions With Alcohol

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.