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Epilepsy is a common condition that causes repeated seizures. The seizures are caused by bursts of electrical activity in the brain that aren't normal. Seizures may cause problems with muscle control, movement, speech, vision, or awareness. They can be scary.
Epilepsy affects each person differently. Some people have only a few seizures. Others get them more often. If you know what triggers a seizure, you may be able to avoid having one.
You can take medicines to control and reduce seizures. It may take time and careful changes by you and your doctor to find the right combination, schedule, and dose of medicine to best manage your epilepsy.
Seizures may continue and become worse and more frequent over time.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
To control your seizures, you need to follow your treatment plan. If you take medicine to control seizures, you must take it exactly as prescribed.
The medicine works only if you take the right amount on the schedule your doctor sets up. Following this schedule keeps the right level of medicine in your body. Even missing just a few doses can allow seizures to happen.
You might be on a special ketogenic diet. If so, you'll need to follow the diet exactly for it to help prevent seizures.
As you follow your treatment plan, also try to figure out and avoid things that may make you more likely to have a seizure. These may include:
If you keep having seizures despite treatment, keep a record of them. Note the date, time of day, and any details about the seizure that you can remember. Your doctor can use this information to plan or adjust your medicine or other treatment. The record can also help your doctor find out what kinds of seizures you are having.
If you have epilepsy:
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: August 4, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Steven C. Schachter MD - Neurology & Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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