Review Article

General side effects and challenges associated with anti-epilepsy medication: A review of related literature

Ngonidzashe Mutanana, Maria Tsvere, Manase K. Chiweshe
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 12, No 1 | a2162 | DOI: | © 2020 Ngonidzashe Mutanana, Maria Tsvere, Manase K. Chiweshe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 June 2019 | Published: 30 June 2020

About the author(s)

Ngonidzashe Mutanana, Department of Child Sensitive Social Policies, Faculty of Social and Gender Transformative Sciences, Women’s University in Africa, Harare,, Zimbabwe
Maria Tsvere, Department of Development Studies, Institute of Lifelong Learning and Development Studies, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe
Manase K. Chiweshe, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe


Background: This study is coming against the background of people with epilepsy who are abandoning anti-epilepsy medication in developing countries, such as Zimbabwe.

Aim: The aim of this article was therefore to review the general side effects and challenges associated with these anti-epilepsy medications.

Setting: The researchers reviewed literature related to the general side effects, psychological, social and economic challenges associated with anti- epilepsy medication.

Methods: To answer the research questions, the researchers used a narrative approach.

Results: Findings of the study reflected that the general side effects associated with anti- epilepsy medication include feelings of tiredness, stomach upset, dizziness or blurred vision, which usually happen during the first weeks of taking medicines. Psychologically, an individual with epilepsy may suffer cognitive problems that are associated with thinking, remembering, paying attention or concentrating and finding the right words to use. Socially, people with epilepsy experience social isolation, dependent behaviour, low rates of marriages, unemployment and reduced quality of life. Using anti-epilepsy medication is also associated with economic challenges.

Conclusion: The researchers concluded that some people with epilepsy have discontinued using anti-epilepsy medications because of these side effects and challenges.


anti-epilepsy medication; general side effects; psychological challenges; social challenges; economic challenge


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Crossref Citations

1. Association of Anemia With Epilepsy and Antiepileptic Drugs
Jaskamal Padda, Khizer Khalid, Mohammad Syam, Varsha Kakani, Gauvain Kankeu Tonpouwo , Richa Dhakal, Sandeep Padda, Ayden Charlene Cooper, Gutteridge Jean-Charles
Cureus  year: 2021  
doi: 10.7759/cureus.19334