Epilepsy - Topic Overview
Medicine controls seizures in
many people who have epilepsy. It may take time and careful, controlled
changes by you and your doctor to find the right combination, schedule, and
dosing of medicine to best manage your epilepsy. The goal is to prevent
seizures and cause as few side effects as possible. After you find a
medicine that works for you, take it exactly as prescribed. The best way to
prevent more seizures is to keep the right amount of the medicine in your body.
To do that, you need to take the medicine in the right dose and at the right
times every day.
If medicine alone does not control your
seizures, your doctor may try one or more of these other treatments. They
- Surgery to remove damaged tissue in the brain
or the area of brain tissue where seizures begin.
- A special diet
called the ketogenic diet. With this diet, you eat a lot more fat and less
carbohydrate. This diet reduces seizures in some children who have
- A device called a vagus nerve stimulator. Your doctor
implants the device under your skin near your collarbone . It sends weak signals
to the vagus nerve in your neck and to your brain to help control seizures.
affects each person differently. Some people have only a few seizures. Other
people get them more often. Usually seizures are harmless. But depending on
where you are and what you are doing when you have a seizure, you could get
hurt. Talk to your doctor about whether it is safe for you to drive or swim.
If you know what triggers a seizure, you may be able to avoid
having one. Getting regular sleep and avoiding stress may help. If treatment
controls your seizures, you have a good chance of living and working like
But seizures can happen even when you do everything
you are supposed to do. If you continue to have seizures, help is available.
Ask your doctor about what services are in your area.