Anti-Seizure Medications for Cerebral Palsy

Doctors usually recommend the most organic-based therapy for all types of illnesses. Unfortunately, sometimes disabilities such as cerebral palsy have so many special circumstances that a fully organic therapy plan isn’t logical –or comfortable for the child.


Perhaps one of the most widely recognized medications used for children with cerebral palsy, phenobarbital therapy is in a class of medications called phenobarbital anticonvulsants and hypnotics, and works by slowing down the activity in the brain.

Side effects:

 According to research, phenobarbital is can be habit-forming, and those who use it can build up a tolerance that makes long-term use ineffective.

You might want to try if:

Considering the side effects, this might be a short-term option for children who struggle with a sleeping disorder that doesn’t involve nightmares. Don’t try it if your child has an anxiety disorder.


Dilantin –also known as Phenytoin- is a drug in the family of anticonvulsants that work on decreasing abnormal activity in the brain. This particular drug is intended to treat children with cerebral palsy or epilepsy, decreasing the electrical activity that eventually leads to seizures.

Side effects:

Some side effects of Dilantin include trouble sleeping, uncontrollable eye movements, abnormal body movements, loss of coordination, confusion, slowed thinking, slurred speech, dizziness, and swollen glands. Several of these are quite normal considering the drug works on changing the way your child’s brain reacts.

You might want to try if:

If you are concerned about trying a substance that is addictive, this may be an option as there are no known associated habit-forming effects. Don’t try it if your child already has trouble speaking or if he or she has trouble sleeping, as both of these conditions may get worse.


Klonopin is the U.S. name for the drug Clonazepam, and is in the class of medications referred to as benzodiazepines. It works by slowing or decreasing abnormal electricity in the brain. It is primarily used to treat seizures for children with cerebral palsy that also have epilepsy, as it is used to prevent seizures. Additionally, it serves the purpose of a muscle relaxant, a drug used to treat anxiety, and a sleep aid.

Side Effects:

Klonopin is another highly-addictive drug which your child may build up a tolerance to over time, making it both ineffective and difficult. Because of the habit-forming nature, withdrawals are part of the side effects, and the other primary side effect is drowsiness.

You might want to try if:

If your child doesn’t respond to any other medical treatment, this may be a short-term option to try. Due to the potency of the drug, your child may be extra drowsy, so this may be a good fit for a child who has trouble sleeping. This also may be a great short-term solution for parents who are concerned about drugs with other side effects.

Leave a Comment