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Seizure: Care Instructions

Picture of the brain

Your Care Instructions

Seizures result from abnormal patterns of electrical signals in the brain. Seizures are different from person to person. They can affect movement, speech, vision, or awareness. Some people have only slight shaking of a hand and do not pass out. Other people may pass out and have violent shaking of the whole body. Some people briefly lose touch with their surroundings and appear to stare into space. Although awake, they cannot respond normally, and afterwards may not remember what happened. Further testing may be needed to identify the type and cause of the seizures.

A seizure may occur only once, or it may be repeated. Taking medicines as directed and following up with your doctor may help prevent recurrent seizures.

The doctor has checked you carefully, but problems can develop later. If you notice any problems or new symptoms, get medical treatment right away.

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 advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) 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.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse call line if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Do not drive a car, operate machinery, swim, climb ladders, or do any other activity that could be dangerous to you or others until your doctor says it is safe to do so.
  • Be sure that anyone treating you for any health problem knows that you have had a seizure and what medicines you are taking for it.
  • Identify and avoid things that may make you more likely to have a seizure, such as lack of sleep, alcohol or drug use, stress, or not eating.
  • Make sure you go to your follow-up appointment.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You have another seizure.
  • You have new symptoms, such as trouble walking, speaking, or thinking clearly.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You are not acting normally.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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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.