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There are several different types of cerebral palsy medicine with varying purposes and effects. Some of these drugs known to treat patients with cerebral palsy include injections given directly into a muscle to ease spasms or medications taken orally. Oral cerebral palsy medicines for spasms are generally classifications of drugs that are known as muscle relaxants. Patients who are prone to seizures may receive anti-convulsant drugs.
When cerebral palsy patients suffer from stiffening of the limbs or involuntary twitching, drugs that control those symptoms can relax the muscles. A few of the more common drugs prescribed are Diazepam, Baclofen, and Dantrolene. They generally work by sending a message directly to the brain, where motor functioning is located. The spasms are typically controlled to some degree or, in some cases, completely alleviated. The cerebral palsy medicine Baclofen is aimed specifically at the spinal cord rather than the brain.
On occasion, injections are used to control facial twitches. This is another form of cerebral palsy medicine similar to a Botox® injection. The medication seeps directly into skin tissue, which helps to relax spasms. Utilizing this form of therapy, however, is typically limited to occasional treatments, as overusage can cause specific problems.
The drug Valium®—known as Diazepam in its generic form—is often used as a cerebral palsy medicine and can have side effects in certain individuals. Some side effects might include abdominal discomfort such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Extreme drowsiness can occur if higher dosing is used. Although this drug is given to relax muscles in cerebral palsy patients, Valium® may actually promote muscle contractions in certain individuals.
Some patients with severe forms of cerebral palsy may have movements that are lumbering. There are drugs prescribed to help control such jerkiness or unsteady gait. These drugs are known as anti-spasmotics. This type of drug generally works within the central nervous system. These, too, have known side effects and might interact with other medications and therefore should be used under strict supervision of a physician.
Although cerebral palsy medicine is known to help minimize the symptoms, there is no known cure for the disease. A course of therapy in the form of drugs is typically a treatment that will be ongoing throughout the patient's life. This can be done on an outpatient basis or at home. In conjunction with drugs, physical and speech therapy are often prescribed for the patient as well.
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