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Medicine for Brain Tumor

Woman giving medication to girl. Girl is wearing hat.Brain tumors often cause symptoms that may include  headaches, pain, seizures, mood swings, and others. To help you feel better and treat your symptoms, your doctor may prescribe medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about possible interaction with other medicines.


Steroids reduce brain swelling which also helps reduce headache and pain. Always take them as directed. Do not stop taking them without your doctor’s approval.

Common side effects can include water retention, increased appetite and weight gain, hair growth, insomnia, stomach upset, increased risk of infection, slow wound healing, and mood changes. Steroids can increase blood sugar levels and make diabetes harder to manage.


Anticonvulsants help prevent seizures or convulsions. Always take them as directed. You may have blood tests to make sure you get the right dosage.

Call the doctor right away if you have any of these side effects: trouble breathing, rash, balance problems, or dizziness. If you have concerns or questions, talk with your doctor about these and other side effects that may occur. Some serious side effects of anticonvulsants may be more likely if you are having radiation therapy.

Other medicines

Medicines can help prevent side effects of brain tumors or certain treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.

  • Antiemetics to help control nausea and vomiting. There are many options and types of treatment for this. Make sure your provider knows if your medicine is not working well for you.

  • Antacids to control stomach acid

  • Laxatives or stool softeners to treat constipation

  • Pain relievers 

  • Medicine to help with anxiety, stress, or depression

  • Hormones to replace the ones that your body isn’t making as a result of treatment or to treat certain types of tumors

Online Medical Reviewer: Alteri, Rick, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Cunningham, Louise, RN
Last Review Date: 7/14/2015
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