Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Epilepsy Treatment

Treatment for epilepsy usually includes a special diet, patient (and family) education and medications to lessen the frequency of seizures.

Treatment for epilepsy may include:

  • Ketogenic diet for seizures
    • For children with severe epilepsy
  • Medications to control seizures:
    • The goal is to eliminate, or at least reduce the frequency of seizures.
  • Surgery for seizures
    • Brain stimulator implant
  • Vagus nerve stimulation implant:
    • Also known as a VNS implant
    • Approved for partial seizures in adults and children who cannot be controlled with medications
    • Sends small electrical impulses to the brain via the vagus nerve, which starts at the base of the brain, travels through the neck, and then into the abdomen.
    • Impulses are delivered every few minutes
    • The implant is usually placed below the collarbone
    • Thin wires are threaded into the vagus nerve in the neck
    • About 2 out of every 3 people who have a VNS implant experience some improvement.

Medications for epilepsy include:

For more information:

Epilepsy Drugs

Epilepsy Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of epilepsy.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
    • Is surgery an option for me?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for drug toxicity?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for seizures?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Epilepsy Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat epilepsy:

Continue to Epilepsy Home Care

Last Updated: Oct 13, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Epilepsy References
  1. Alsaadi TM, Marquez AV. Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Sep 1;72(5):849-56. [16156345]
  2. Camfield P, Camfield C. Epileptic syndromes in childhood: clinical features, outcomes, and treatment. Epilepsia. 2002;43 Suppl 3:27-32. [12060004]
  3. Kinsman SL, Vining EP, Quaskey SA, Mellits D, Freeman JM. Efficacy of the ketogenic diet for intractable seizure disorders: review of 58 cases. Epilepsia. 1992 Nov-Dec;33(6):1132-6. [1464275]
  4. Pearl PL, Bennett HD, Khademian Z. Seizures and metabolic disease. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2005 Mar;5(2):127-33. [15743550]
  5. Posner EB, Mohamed K, Marson AG. A systematic review of treatment of typical absence seizures in children and adolescents with ethosuximide, sodium valproate or lamotrigine. Seizure. 2005 Mar;14(2):117-22. [15694565]
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