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When to Seek Medical Help for Epilepsy

Dr. Anuj Khandelwal 89% (136 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Psychiatry
Sexologist, Mumbai  •  6 years experience
When to Seek Medical Help for Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a form of chronic disorder and it is characterized by recurrent seizures. The episodes of epileptic seizures may differ from person to person. These seizures could be a result of genetic disorder or a result of trauma or stroke. During a seizure, a patient may also experience symptoms of neurological disorders and sometimes lose consciousness.

Medical help for epilepsy
Epilepsy itself cannot be cured using medication, but proper medicines help in eliminating recurrent seizures. These medicines stabilize the electrical activity within the brain preventing seizures.

How effective is the medication for epilepsy?
The success of controlling seizures using medicines depends on the type and severity of the epilepsy. Medicines for epilepsy are usually very effective and may fully keep seizures under control. However, controlling seizures caused due to brain problems may be more difficult. Usually, epilepsy medicines can control seizures for a long period of time when they are taken regularly.

When is medical help needed?
The decision about when to start medicines for epilepsy is a tricky one. This is because a first seizure cannot confirm whether a person has an on-going epilepsy problem. A second seizure may occur after many years or may not happen at all. Prediction of seizures is also quite difficult.

The severity of seizures also indicates when to start medicines for treatment. In case a first seizure is quite severe, medication should be started at once. Some people have very mild seizures even though they may be recurring in nature, and medication can be avoided in this situation.

All the pros and cons must be thought over before starting medications for the treatment of epilepsy. It is advisable to wait for a second seizure and then start medications for treatment. In most cases, medication is started after a second seizure occurs, twelve months within the first seizure. You should always consult a doctor to know when you need to start taking medicines to treat the condition.

For making the most out of the medicines to control seizures, you should follow certain steps:

  1. You must take medications exactly as your doctor has prescribed.
  2. Before switching to generic versions of your medicines or before taking other prescribed medicines, you must consult your doctor.
  3. You should never stop taking the medicines.
  4. In case you experience enhanced depression, mood swings and suicidal thoughts, you should talk to your doctor immediately.
  5. In case you have migraine, you should let your doctor know so that he can prescribe you anti-epileptic medicines, which also prevent migraines.

Medicines cannot treat the underlying cause of epilepsy, but these help in controlling seizures and this is the most common symptom of epilepsy. Medication should be started at a proper time and must be continued without stopping.

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