Treatment for Epilepsy

Women with epilepsy

Seizures ... Epilepsy

Do you know the difference between seizures and epilepsy?

A seizure is a general term for a sudden attack. The term seizure is used in neurology (the medical specialty dealing with the nervous system) to refer to the sudden onset of abnormal electrical discharge within the brain which can lead to convulsions. Convulsions are uncontrolled violent spasms (jerking) of muscles of the body. Epilepsy is the medical term for the condition of having chronic seizure disorder.

What Are the Treatments for Epilepsy?

The majority of epileptic seizures are controlled through drug therapy, particularly anticonvulsant drugs. The type of treatment prescribed will depend on several factors including the frequency and severity of the seizures as well as the person's age, overall health, and medical history. An accurate diagnosis of the type of epilepsy is also critical to choosing the best treatment.

Drug Therapy

Many drugs are available to treat epilepsy, several of which have only recently been released.

Older medications used to treat epilepsy include:

Newer drugs to treat epilepsy include:

In general, for a given type of epilepsy there are only minor differences among appropriate drugs. The choice is most often based on other factors specific to each patient, such as which side effects can be tolerated by the patient, other illnesses they may have, and which delivery method is acceptable.

Although the different types of epilepsy vary greatly, in general, medications can control seizures in about 70% of patients.

Epilepsy and Seizures Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ

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