Brain Neoplasms Medication

Updated: Nov 09, 2015
  • Author: Bruce M Lo, MD, MBA, CPE, RDMS, FACEP, FAAEM, FACHE; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Medication Summary

Practice parameters from the American Academy of Neurology discourage prophylactic use of anticonvulsants for seizures in patients with newly diagnosed brain tumors and suggest that it is appropriate to taper and discontinue anticonvulsant use postoperatively in patients without seizures. [17] Anticonvulsant use may be reserved for patients with clinical seizures, but some physicians prescribe prophylactic anticonvulsants in patients with cortical tumors.



Class Summary

Steroids are thought to stabilize cell membranes and diminish the vasogenic edema associated with tumors.

Dexamethasone (Decadron)

Used in treatment of vasogenic cerebral edema; improves endothelial integrity.


Hyperosmolar agents

Class Summary

These agents may reduce ICP and cerebral edema by creating an osmotic gradient across an intact blood-brain barrier. As water diffuses from the brain into the intravascular compartment, ICP decreases.

Mannitol (Osmitrol)

May reduce subarachnoid space pressure by creating osmotic gradient between cerebrospinal fluid in arachnoid space and plasma. Not for long-term use.