The term anticonvulsant refers to a wide variety of pharmaceutical drugs that are used in order to treat patient suffering from epileptic seizures. Anticonvulsant drugs are also applied in treating bipolar disorder in patients. This class of pharmaceuticals has been found to be mood stabilizing and therefore it is widely applied in the treatment of bipolar disorder. The anticonvulsant suppresses the effect of excessive firing of neurons that start a seizure.
When a patient suffers from an epileptic seizure, there is a risk of the seizure spreading to the central nervous system. If this happens then the brain would be damaged by the excitonic effects associated with the epileptic seizure. When an anticonvulsant is administered to the patient, it prevents the spread of the seizure. In certain cases it has been found that when anticonvulsant drugs are administered to children suffering from epileptic seizures then it may lead to lowered Intelligence quotient also known as IQ.
But it is mandatory to administer anticonvulsant drugs as seizures may be lead to serious complications like devastation of the neurological sequel that is secondary to seizures and in certain cases death. Various anticonvulsant drugs are also referred to as antiseizure or antiepileptic drugs. A common abbreviation used to describe anticonvulsants is AEDs, but according to experts the etymology of the drugs fails to differentiate between convulsions and epilepsy.