You may be taking one or more medicines
seizures. To get the most benefit from them, you need
to consistently take the right dose of the right medicine at the right time.
This can be difficult. But by following a few key tips, you can do it.
Medicines do not
cure epilepsy, but they can prevent seizures. The medicine used to treat
epilepsy work in various ways to help reduce the abnormal electrical impulses
in your brain. The specific medicines prescribed for you depend first on what
kinds of seizures you have. Your age, activity level, overall physical
condition, and other health issues as well as the side effects, health risks,
and costs of different medicines, may also help determine what kind of medicine
is best for you.
Remember, it can take some time and careful,
controlled adjustments by your doctor to find the most effective combination,
schedule, and dose of medicine to control your seizures. Preventing seizures
with as few unwanted side effects as possible is the goal. It is important to
follow your medicine schedule exactly as prescribed.
Medicines can cure epilepsy.
Medicines do not cure epilepsy. But they can
Continue to Why?
Antiepileptic medicines are most effective when you keep the proper
medicine level in your body. Your doctor has set up a schedule of medicine
dosages that keeps that proper level. Even slight changes in your medicine
schedule or doses can throw the whole system off. If you do not take your
medicines properly, you could begin (or continue) having seizures.
Taking your medicines properly can help you achieve better control over
your epilepsy. If you have lost work or driving privileges, getting seizures
under control—and keeping them under control—may help you get back to work or
back behind the wheel. Not having seizures means you can avoid the dangers of
seizures (falls, drowning, choking) and avoid stays in the hospital.
Even small changes in the times that I take my
medicines can affect how they work.
Even slight changes to your medicine schedule
or dosage can increase your risk for seizures. Consistently taking the proper dose of your
medicine on time provides the most effective seizure
Continue to How?
Here's how you
can get started taking your medicines properly.
Work with your doctor to
make a medicine plan. Things to think about include:
Taking medicines properly means
taking the right dose of the right medicines at the right time. To be sure you
are taking your medicines properly, you may want to have a system to keep
track of when and how you take your pills.
Keep the following in mind
as you follow your medicine plan.
What tools can help me take my medicines
A daily planner can be very helpful in taking
your medicines properly. You can write your medicine schedule and doses in
the planner and take it with you to work or school or when you travel. All of
the answers are correct.
You can post sticky notes on your refrigerator
or bathroom mirror or near the clock to remind yourself to take your medicine.
All of the answers are correct.
With a master list of medicines, you can keep
track of all medicines you are taking, their proper doses, their possible
side effects, and your schedule for taking them. All of the answers are
Daily planners, sticky notes, and a master list
of medicines can all help you take your medicines properly.
I don't need to tell my doctor if I start having more
seizures than usual while I'm on medicine. This is normal.
If you start having more seizures than normal,
it may be a sign that your medicine needs to be adjusted or that you need more
medical tests. Tell your doctor immediately.
You should definitely tell your doctor if you
start having more seizures than normal while you are on medicine. Your medicine
may need to be adjusted. Or you may need more medical tests.
Continue to Where?
If you have questions about
this information, take it with you when you visit your doctor. You may want to
use a highlighter to mark areas or make notes in the margins of the pages where
you have questions.
If you don't already have a medicine plan,
schedule a time with your doctor to develop one.
More information about epilepsy and seizure disorders can
be found in these topics:
Return to topic:
Liow K, et al. (2007). Position statement on the
coverage of anticonvulsant drugs for the treatment of epilepsy. Neurology, 68(16): 1249–1250.
August 26, 2011
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
& Steven C. Schachter, MD - Neurology
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