What YOU need to know about Anticonvulsants

What YOU need to know about Anticonvulsants

Each quarter, the team at Claims Pharmacy do a deep dive into our data to understand the trends we are seeing in medication consumption. We have previously identified and discussed trends in opioids, antidepressants and NSAIDs.

But there is one medication group in the Top 5 most prescribed medications to injured people that we have not discussed yet. And that would be anticonvulsants. So today let’s jump in and discuss everything you need to know about anticonvulsants.

But what are anticonvulsants???

Anticonvulsants are a group of medications that have been traditionally used in the treatment of epileptic seizures, but have more recently (and more importantly in the personal injury sector) been used to treat the symptoms of neuropathic pain. This is something the Claims Pharmacy team is seeing regularly when reviewing claims.

Neuropathic pain is often a chronic form of pain that is the result of damage to nerves in the body, such as by an injury.

Often described as a burning or shooting pain, neuropathic pain is triggered by these damaged nerves sending pain signals to the brain unprompted. Anticonvulsants help to minimise nerve pain and ease these symptoms. It is important to note however that anticonvulsants only treat the symptoms of neuropathic pain rather than cure it.

So, anticonvulsants are good for neuropathic pain, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t risks….

While anticonvulsants do treat the symptoms of neuropathic pain, they also pose serious risks if used improperly. Side effects from anticonvulsants include dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and can even have an effect on cognitive function. These side effects, and their severity, can increase the longer anticonvulsants are taken.

The use of anticonvulsants is only recommended for up to 12 weeks. However, Claims Pharmacy has seen injured people often prescribed anticonvulsants for far longer periods. This longer term use heightens side effects and can cause those taking anticonvulsants to develop tolerance and dependency. This can make withdrawal dangerous and difficult, leading to anticonvulsant being associated with increased hospitalisation, overdose, and death.

Constant vigilance is required when prescribing these medications.

It is important that the risks and benefits of anticonvulsants are regularly reviewed and assessed by a medical professional. This is where Claims Pharmacy comes in.

Through our reviews, our team of medical professionals can identify any risks anticonvulsants pose to injured people and move to resolve them. With our Medication Management program, a safe withdrawal and taper process can occur. Together, this helps to reduce any secondary injuries and ensure that injured people remain on the road of recovery.

For more information on our end-to-end medication program, please contact Claims Pharmacy on 1300 926 220 or email us at [email protected]

The information on this website is not a substitute for medical advice, nor is it to be used for diagnosis and treatment.