Medications are mainstays in controlling epileptic seizures. Surgical procedures are another way epilepsy is treated. Learn about your options.
Although the different types of epilepsy vary greatly, medications can control seizures in about 70% of patients.
Which epilepsy medication is best for you depends on many factors, including the type of epilepsy you have, other health issues, other drugs you take, and what’s convenient for you.
Many medications are available for treating epilepsy in children, and advances in the past years have made a difference.
There have been some studies of alternative treatments for epilepsy, including biofeedback, melatonin, and large doses of vitamins.
For this epilepsy treatment, a doctor implants a pacemaker-like device in your body to stimulate the vagus nerve, which runs from your brain to your torso.
Multiple subpial transection (MST) is a surgery used to control brain seizures in people with epilepsy who don't respond to medication.
In this surgery for epilepsy, brain tissue in the temporal lobe is cut away to remove the seizure focus.
A lesionectomy is an operation to remove a lesion -- a damaged or abnormally functioning area -- in the brain.
Functional hemispherectomy is used only for people who do not see improvement in their epilepsy after taking many different medications and who have severe, uncontrollable seizures.
A corpus callosotomy, sometimes called split-brain surgery, may be performed in people with the most extreme and uncontrollable forms of epilepsy.
An extratemporal cortical resection is an operation to resect, or cut away, brain tissue that contains a seizure focus.
Drugs most commonly used to treat essential tremor (ET) include beta-blockers and epilepsy drugs.
The ketogenic diet – a diet very high in fat and low in carbohydrates - is one of the oldest treatments for epilepsy.
Some people can stop taking their epilepsy medications after going a long time without a seizure, but it depends on their age and the type of epilepsy.
In general, you should call your doctor if any new symptoms occur or if you notice side effects from your medication.