Education
from MedisoftIndia


Epilepsy


What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain. In people with epilepsy, brain cells create abnormal electricity that causes seizures. A seizure may cause "jerking" movements. In some cases, seizures cause only a loss of consciousness, a period of confusion, a staring spell or muscle spasms.

A single seizure is not considered epilepsy. People with epilepsy have repeated episodes of seizures.

Epilepsy is not a mental illness, and it is not a sign of low intelligence. It is also not contagious. Between seizures, a person with epilepsy is no different from anyone else.

What should I do when someone has a seizure?

If you have epilepsy, you may want to share the following information with your family, friends and coworkers. If someone near you has a seizure, use the following general guidelines:

If I have epilepsy, do I have to take medicine every day?

Yes. You must take your medicine every day, even when you aren't having seizures or when you think you won't have a seizure. To prevent seizures, you have to take the medicine regularly, just as your doctor tells you.

What should I do if I forget to take my medicine?

Usually you should take your medicine as soon as you know you forgot a dose. If more than 24 hours have passed since your last dose, ask your doctor what to do.

Should I take extra medicine if I think I'm about to have a seizure?

No. The amount of medicine you take is carefully set for your own needs. No extra medicine should be taken without your doctor's approval.

Will I have to take medicine forever?

It may be possible for some people with epilepsy to stop taking medicine. However, this decision must be made by your doctor. Before you and your doctor can decide to stop the medicine, several questions should be considered. These include how quickly your seizures were controlled, how long you have been free of seizures, and if you have other illnesses that may affect your problem.

Can I take other drugs while taking medicine for epilepsy?

Because many drugs affect the ability of your epilepsy medicine to control your seizures, ask your doctor or pharmacist before taking other drugs, even drugs you can buy without a prescription.

Can I drink alcohol if I have epilepsy?

It is probably a good idea to avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol can make it easier to have a seizure and can also affect your epilepsy medicine. However, a little alcohol may be acceptable. Ask your doctor.

What if I become pregnant?

Uncontrolled seizures can affect the unborn baby. Epilepsy medicine may also affect the unborn baby. Decisions about taking medicine during pregnancy must be made by you and your doctor, after talking about the risks and the benefits.

Can I drive if my seizures are under control?

Laws about driving for people with epilepsy are different in each state. Ask your local epilepsy foundation or ask your doctor.

 

When to call your doctor

 


This is a general overview on this topic and may not apply to everyone. To find out if this handout applies to you and to get more information, talk to your doctor.

Visit medisoftindia.com for more useful information on this and many other health-related topics.

Permission is granted to reproduce this material for patient handouts, and printed use if it does not involve making any profit.  Written permission is required for other uses, including electronic uses.


Copy right medisoft 1999-2002