Find the best drug dosage

Each person is different and the dose of medicine they need depends on many factors. The “best dose” is the one that controls seizures with the fewest side effects. When a drug is tested, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a dosage range, or how much a person should receive of each drug. However, this is only a guide that the doctor uses to find the best dose for each person. Some things that affect the “best dose”:

  • The individual drug and how it works: Some drugs need to be given in higher doses than others. Some work best at low doses.
  • A person’s age and weight: Older people often need lower doses than younger adults. Children’s bodies also break down drugs differently, depending on their age.
  • Duration of drug intake: A person’s body gets used to a drug over time. Some drugs build up quickly to a good level, others need to be adjusted slowly.
  • Other medications taken: some drugs can affect how a drug is absorbed or broken down in the body and how much reaches the brain.
  • Other side effects or health problems: Some medicines can make side effects or other problems worse, such as blurred vision, coordination or unsteady walking. Other drugs can help some problems, for example many anti-epileptic drugs help mood and pain.

To find the best dose of a drug, you and your doctor or team may want to know:

  • How often do you have seizures and if they have changed since the dose was changed.
  • If you have any side effects that bother you,
  • Whether a higher or lower dose would work better for you.
  • If you took the medicine long enough to judge whether it was helpful or not.
  • How much medicine gets into your body and the highest dose you can tolerate.

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