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Drugs reported to cause seizures or lower seizure threshold

Drugs reported to cause seizures or lower seizure threshold
Psychotropic drugs:
  • Tricyclic, tetracyclic antidepressants
  • Serotonin reuptake inhibitors
  • Neuroleptic agents (phenothiazines, haloperidol, clozapine)
  • Lithium
  • Bupropion
Methylxanthines (theophylline, caffeine)
Selected opioids (meperidine, propoxyphene, tramadol)
  • Penicillins, cephalosporins (cefepime) in high dose
  • Imipenem, meropenem, doripenem
  • Isoniazid
  • Antimalarials
  • Cyclosporine
  • Nalidixic acid
Chemotherapeutic agents (methotrexate, chlorambucil)
General anesthetics (ketamine, enflurane)
Local anesthetics (lidocaine, bupivacaine)
Stimulants (amphetamines, cocaine, pseudoephedrine)
Antiarrhythmics (mexiletine, procainamide, propranolol overdose)
Antihistamines (diphenhydramine)
Antiemetics (chlorpromazine)
Drugs most likely to be associated with seizures, even at therapeutic doses, are shown in bold font.
Data from:
  1. Olson KR, Kearney TE, Dyer JE, et al. Seizures associated with poisoning and drug overdose. Am J Emerg Med 1994; 12:392.
  2. Shorvon SD, Tallis RC, Wallace HK. Antiepileptic drugs: coprescription of proconvulsant drugs and oral contraceptives: a national study of antiepileptic drug prescribing practice. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2002; 72:114.
  3. Messing RO, Closson, RG, Simon, RP. Drug-induced seizures: a 10-year experience. Neurology 1984; 34:1582.
  4. Bey TA, Walter FJ. Seizures, in Ford: Clinical Toxicology, 1st ed., Copyright © 2001 W. B. Saunders Company.
  5. Gilmore RL. Seizures associated with noneurologic medical conditions. In: The treatment of epilepsy: principles and practice, 3rd ed, Elaine Wyllie (Ed), Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore 2001.
  6. Sutter R, Rüegg S, Tschudin-Sutter S. Seizures as adverse events of antibiotic drugs: A systematic review. Neurology 2015; 85:1332.
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