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Epilepsy - what to ask your doctor - adult

Definition

You have epilepsy. People with epilepsy have seizures. A seizure is a sudden brief change in the electrical activity in your brain. It leads to brief unconsciousness and uncontrollable body movements.

Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse to help you take care of yourself if you have epilepsy.

Alternate Names

What to ask your doctor about epilepsy - adult; Seizures - what to ask your doctor - adult

Questions

Should I call you, or someone else, every time I have a seizure?

What safety measures do I need to take at home to prevent injuries when I have a seizure?

Is it okay for me to drive? Where can I call to find more information about driving and epilepsy?

What should I discuss with my boss at work about my epilepsy?

  • Are there work activities that I should avoid?
  • Will I need to rest during the day?
  • Will I need to take medicines during the work day?

Are there any sports activities that I should not do? Do I need to wear a helmet for any type of activities?

Do I need to wear a medical alert bracelet?

  • Who else should know about my epilepsy?
  • Is it ever okay for me to be alone?

What do I need to know about my seizure medicines?

  • What medicines am I taking? What are the side effects?
  • Can I take antibiotics or other medicines also? How about acetaminophen (Tylenol), vitamins, herbal remedies? Will birth control pills still work if I am taking medicines for my seizures?
  • How should I store the seizure medicines?
  • What happens if I miss one or more doses?
  • Can I ever stop taking a seizure medicine if there are side effects?
  • Can I drink any alcohol with my medications?

How often do I need to see the doctor? When do I need blood tests?

What are the signs that my epilepsy is becoming worse?

What should others with me do when I am having a seizure? After the seizure is over, what should they do? When should they call the doctor? When should we call 911?


Review Date: 11/6/2012
Reviewed By: Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA and Department of Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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