Epidiolex represents a new medication option for children with these types of epilepsy. It is also the first ever FDA approved medication to treat seizures in. Treatments are available that can successfully control seizures for most people with epilepsy. The first treatment is almost always one of the many seizure. It works for about 7 out of 10 people with epilepsy. Epilepsy medications, sometimes called anti-seizure or anticonvulsant.
Seizures Epilepsy Treats and
Finding the right medication and dosage can be complex. Your doctor will consider your condition, frequency of seizures, your age and other factors when choosing which medication to prescribe. Your doctor will also review any other medications you may be taking, to ensure the anti-epileptic medications won't interact with them. Your doctor likely will first prescribe a single medication at a relatively low dosage and may increase the dosage gradually until your seizures are well-controlled.
To achieve the best seizure control possible with medication, follow these steps: Take medications exactly as prescribed. Always call your doctor before switching to a generic version of your medication or taking other prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs or herbal remedies. Never stop taking your medication without talking to your doctor. Notify your doctor immediately if you notice new or increased feelings of depression, suicidal thoughts, or unusual changes in your mood or behaviors.
Tell your doctor if you have migraines. Doctors may prescribe one of the anti-epileptic medications that can prevent your migraines and treat epilepsy. At least half the people newly diagnosed with epilepsy will become seizure-free with their first medication. If anti-epileptic medications don't provide satisfactory results, your doctor may suggest surgery or other therapies. You'll have regular follow-up appointments with your doctor to evaluate your condition and medications.
When medications fail to provide adequate control over seizures, surgery may be an option. With epilepsy surgery, a surgeon removes the area of your brain that's causing seizures. Although many people continue to need some medication to help prevent seizures after successful surgery, you may be able to take fewer drugs and reduce your dosages.
In a small number of cases, surgery for epilepsy can cause complications such as permanently altering your thinking cognitive abilities. Talk to your surgeon about his or her experience, success rates, and complication rates with the procedure you're considering. Apart from medications and surgery, these potential therapies offer an alternative for treating epilepsy:.
In vagus nerve stimulation, doctors implant a device called a vagus nerve stimulator underneath the skin of your chest, similar to a heart pacemaker. Wires from the stimulator are connected to the vagus nerve in your neck. The battery-powered device sends bursts of electrical energy through the vagus nerve and to your brain. It's not clear how this inhibits seizures, but the device can usually reduce seizures by 20 to 40 percent.
Most people still need to take anti-epileptic medication, although some people may be able to lower their medication dose. You may experience side effects from vagus nerve stimulation, such as throat pain, hoarse voice, shortness of breath or coughing. Some children with epilepsy have been able to reduce their seizures by following a strict diet that's high in fats and low in carbohydrates. In this diet, called a ketogenic diet, the body breaks down fats instead of carbohydrates for energy.
After a few years, some children may be able to stop the ketogenic diet — under close supervision of their doctors — and remain seizure-free. Consult a doctor if you or your child is considering a ketogenic diet. It's important to make sure that your child doesn't become malnourished when following the diet. Side effects of a ketogenic diet may include dehydration, constipation, slowed growth because of nutritional deficiencies and a buildup of uric acid in the blood, which can cause kidney stones.
These side effects are uncommon if the diet is properly and medically supervised. Following a ketogenic diet can be a challenge. Low-glycemic index and modified Atkins diets offer less restrictive alternatives that may still provide some benefit for seizure control. In vagus nerve stimulation, an implanted pulse generator and lead wire stimulate the vagus nerve, which leads to stabilization of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Deep brain stimulation involves implanting an electrode deep within your brain.
The amount of stimulation delivered by the electrode is controlled by a pacemaker-like device placed under the skin in your chest. A wire that travels under your skin connects the device to the electrode. A magnetic resonance imaging MRI scan of deep brain stimulation shows the location of electrodes placed in the brain.
Mayo Clinic is one of a very few medical centers in the U. It's also a leader in advancing the diagnosis and treatment of people with autoimmune epilepsy syndromes and houses a leading neuroimmunology laboratory. Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease.
In addition, make healthy life choices, such as managing stress, limiting alcoholic beverages and avoiding cigarettes. Uncontrolled seizures and their effects on your life may at times feel overwhelming or lead to depression. It's important not to let epilepsy hold you back. You can still live an active, full life. If your seizures are so severe that you can't work outside your home, there are still ways to feel productive and connected to people.
You may consider working from home. Let people you work and live with know the correct way to handle a seizure in case they are with you when you have one. You may offer them suggestions, such as:. You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, in some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred immediately to a specialist, such as a doctor trained in brain and nervous system conditions neurologist or a neurologist trained in epilepsy epileptologist.
Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot to talk about, it's a good idea to be well-prepared for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
Keep a detailed seizure calendar. Each time a seizure occurs, write down the time, the type of seizure you experienced and how long it lasted. Also make note of any circumstances, such as missed medications, sleep deprivation, increased stress, menstruation or other events that might trigger seizure activity.
Seek input from people who may observe your seizures, including family, friends and co-workers, so that you can record information you may not know. Take a family member or friend along. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all the information provided to you during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot. Also, because you may not be aware of everything that happens when you're having a seizure, your doctor may want to ask questions of someone who has witnessed them.
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something. Epilepsy care at Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. This content does not have an English version. This content does not have an Arabic version. Diagnosis Diagnosing your condition. Vagus nerve stimulation In vagus nerve stimulation, an implanted pulse generator and lead wire stimulate the vagus nerve, which leads to stabilization of abnormal electrical activity in the brain.
Deep brain stimulation Deep brain stimulation involves implanting an electrode deep within your brain. Deep brain stimulation A magnetic resonance imaging MRI scan of deep brain stimulation shows the location of electrodes placed in the brain. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. References The epilepsies and seizures: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Accessed May 24, Evaluation and management of the first seizure in adults.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They may bite their tongues or lose control of bowel or bladder. The patient is often sleepy and confused for some time after the convulsion stops. If you witness a convulsion, have someone call Try and prevent the patient from hitting his or her head on any sharp objects nearby, such as corners of furniture. DO NOT place your finger or anything else in the person's mouth! The common fear that a patient may "swallow his or her tongue" is just an old wives' tale.
After the convulsion stops, roll the patient on his or her side and wait for EMS to arrive. Learn more on first aid for seizures.
Those kinds of episodes can be accompanied by behavior that looks intentional but is not such as lip smacking, picking at clothes, etc. In some seizures, the patient's awareness may be completely normal but there are involuntary muscle movements, odd sensations, or sometimes even hallucinations.
Almost every patient who has had a seizure requires an imaging study of the brain. The most common imaging studies are:. Some patients require both types of scans. These tests look for some of the visible causes of seizures, but in most cases they are normal. Patients evaluated for seizures usually require at least one electroencephalogram EEG or "brain wave test. The procedure involves applying small metal discs called electrodes to the surface of the scalp using a dab of special gel.
The length of the recording varies, but is usually minutes. Applying and removing the electrodes takes longer, though, so the entire process is over an hour. During the actual recording, all the patient has to do is sit in a recliner and relax. It is helpful if you doze off during the recording, since abnormalities often show up during the transition between sleep and wakefulness.
A normal EEG does not rule out the possibility of epilepsy. The sensitivity of the EEG—that is, the likelihood that the test will pick up abnormality—increases each time the test is run. Sometimes patients need a second or third EEG or more over the course of evaluation. For such a simple test, the EEG or "brain wave test" is surrounded by many myths!
Here are a few. The EEG has little to do with what a person is thinking, and certainly cannot allow your doctor to "read your mind. Because many abnormalities tend to show up during the transition between sleep and wakefulness, your neurologist may ask you to have a "sleep deprived EEG. Ideally, you should get only 3 or 4 hours of sleep and should avoid caffeine for 24 hours before the EEG. You do not have to stay up all night, but just as late as you can so that you are tired during the test the next day.
Not all seizures require treatment. The decision is made on a case-by-case basis after discussion with your neurologist. For example, a single seizure that occurs during hospitalization for a major illness might not require long-term treatment with medications.
In such cases we often say that the seizure was provoked by some other medical problem. When the other medical problem is treated, the chance of the seizure recurring is usually low. A wide variety of medications is available when treatment is required. Like all drugs, each of these medications has pros and cons.
Conditions We Treat
For more information about each drug, see "Epilepsy: Medications to Treat Seizures." Each of these drugs is slightly different. Some work well. Keywords: Cannabis, Cannabidiol, Epilepsy, Seizures, Review cannabis, to treat a variety of ailments, including nocturnal convulsions.2,4 In. Epileptic seizures are caused by irregular electrical discharges, that would allow the use of CPD oil to treat people with severe epilepsy.