Generalized Seizure Treatment
The initial treatment for a tonic clonic seizure includes anticonvulsant medications. There are a wide variety of these medications and your doctor may try several different medications to find the one that works best. Tonic clonic seizures that can't be controlled with anticonvulsant medications may be treated with a vagus nerve stimulation implant.
Specific treatment for a tonic clonic seizure may include:
- Ketogenic diet for seizures:
- For children with severe epilepsy
- Anticonvulsant medications:
- Carbamazepine (Tegretol, Tegretol XR, Carbatrol, Epitol)
- Phenytoin (Dilantin)
- Valproate (Depakote, Depakote ER, Depakene, Depacon)
- Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
- Phenobarbital (Barbita, Luminal, Solfoton)
- Topiramate (Topamax)
- Felbamate (Felbatol)
- Levetiracetam (Keppra)
- Zonisamide (Zonegran)
- Rufinamide (Banzel)
- Benzodiazepines for seizures:
- 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.
For more information:
Generalized Seizure Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of tonic clonic seizure.
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?
- Do I need a special exercise program?
- Will I need physical therapy?
- Will I need occupational therapy?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for having seizures?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Generalized Seizure Specialist
Continue to Generalized Seizure Home Care
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- Gilad R, Lampl Y, Gabbay U, Eshel Y, Sarova-Pinhas I. Early treatment of a single generalized tonic-clonic seizure to prevent recurrence. Arch Neurol. 1996 Nov;53(11):1149-52. 
- 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. 
- Pearl PL, Bennett HD, Khademian Z. Seizures and metabolic disease. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2005 Mar;5(2):127-33.