Treatments for Seizures

Many people with a first seizure will never have a second seizure, and physicians often counsel against starting antiseizure drugs at this point. In some cases where additional epilepsy risk factors are present, drug treatment after the first seizure may help prevent future seizures.

Evidence suggests that it may be beneficial to begin antiseizure medication once a person has had a second unprovoked seizure, as the chance of future seizures increases significantly after this occurs .

A person with a pre-existing brain problem, for example, a prior stroke or traumatic brain injury, will have a higher risk of experiencing a second seizure. In general, the decision to start antiseizure medication is based on the doctorís assessment of many factors that influence how likely it is that another seizure will occur in that person.

Source: NINDS (NIH)1

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Back to: « Seizures

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What to do if you see someone having a seizure

  • Roll the person on his or her side to prevent choking on any fluids or vomit.
  • Cushion the personís head.
  • Loosen any tight clothing around the neck.
  • Donít restrict the person from moving or wandering unless he or she is in danger.
  • Do NOT put anything into the personís mouth, not even medicine or liquid. These can cause choking or damage to the personís jaw, tongue, or teeth. Remember, people cannot swallow their tongues during a seizure or any other time.
  • Remove any dangerous objects the person might hit or walk into during the seizure.
  • Note how long the seizure lasts and what symptoms occurred so you can tell a doctor or emergency personnel if necessary.
  • Stay with the person until the seizure ends.

Call 911 if:

  • The person is pregnant or has diabetes.
  • The seizure happened in water.
  • The seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes.
  • The person does not begin breathing normally or does not regain consciousness after the seizure stops.
  • Another seizure starts before the person regains consciousness.
  • The person injures himself or herself during the seizure.
  • This is a first seizure or you think it might be. If in doubt, check to see if the person has a medical identification card or jewelry stating that they have epilepsy or a seizure disorder.

After the seizure ends, the person will probably be groggy and tired. He or she also may have a headache and be confused or embarrassed. Try to help the person find a place to rest. If necessary, offer to call a taxi, a friend, or a relative to help the person get home safely.

Don't try to stop the person from wandering unless he or she is in danger.

Don't shake the person or shout.

Stay with the person until he or she is completely alert.

Source: NINDS (NIH)2

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References

  1. Source: NINDS (NIH): ninds.nih.gov/ disorders/ epilepsy/ detail_epilepsy.htm
  2. ibid.

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.