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Anticonvulsants

Valproic Acid (Depakote)

Possible Benefits. Valproic acid is an epilepsy medication that is now used for the treatment of panic attacks as well as other psychiatric problems. May work better by adding it to a primary medication that is not completely effective.

Possible Disadvantages. Can cause bruising or bleeding when taken with aspirin. Can cause excessive sedation with alcohol and also with Klonipin or other benzodiazepines. Can cause liver problems. To monitor your liver function and your platelet count, your doctor may ask you to take a simple blood test every two months for the first six months and every three to four months after that. Avoid using during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

Possible Side Effects. Valproic acid is well tolerated. Nausea, vomiting, indigestion, headaches, confusion and drowsiness sometimes occur but usually subside in a few weeks.

Dosages Recommended By Investigators. Comes in 250 and 500 mg capsules. Dose is primarily based on body weight.

Gabapentin (Neurontin)

Possible Benefits. May be useful for social anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder. May work better by adding it to a primary medication that is not completely effective.

Possible Disadvantages. Consult a physician before use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Possible Side Effects. Dizziness, dry mouth, drowsiness, nausea, flatulence, and decreased libido

Dosages Recommended By Investigators. Usually started at a dose of 300 mg once a day, usually at bed time. Every three to five days the dose is increased.

Pregabalin (Lyrica)

Possible Benefits. May be useful for generalized anxiety disorder. Early onset of benefits (after 1 week of treatment), May work better by adding it to a primary medication that is not completely effective.

Possible Disadvantages. Consult a physician before use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Possible Side Effects. Dizziness, drowsiness, peripheral edema.

Dosages Recommended By Investigators. 150 mg/day to 600 mg/day.