Most people with epilepsy are able to achieve good seizure control with antiepileptic medicines and by avoiding triggers. The type of antiepileptic therapy you will need depends on factors such as how old you are and what types of seizures you are having. Many antiepileptic medications require blood tests to make sure the levels in your blood are not too low or too high.
Several new treatments are being explored. These include:
- surgery on the area of the brain causing the seizures
- Vagus nerve stimulation – nerves in the neck are stimulated by a device placed under the skin.
- a strict medically supervised diet used in some children with epilepsy, called a ketogenic diet
You also may need different treatment for the underlying cause of the epilepsy, depending on what it is.
Keeping a seizure diary can help you monitor how well your epilepsy is being managed as well as help you identify what your triggers are. Your doctor may also help you develop an epilepsy management plan which can be useful for schools, employers and health professionals.
It’s important to work with your doctor to gain the best control over your seizures.
Ask your doctor if it is safe for you to drive or do other high risk activities like operating heavy machinery. Depending on the type of epilepsy they have, most people will be able to return to driving after being seizure-free for 6 months.