Treatment for seizures depends on the type of seizure and the underlying cause for the seizures. Treatment for seizures usually includes the use of anticonvulsant medications. Less common treatments for seizures include surgery, or a vagus nerve stimulation implant, which sends electrical impulses through a nerve in the chest, to the brain. The nerve impulses suppress the electrical activity in the brain that causes the seizures.
Treatment options for seizures include:
- Ketogenic diet for seizures:
- For children with severe epilepsy
- Stop an ongoing seizure
- Decrease the frequency and severity 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.
For more information:
Anticonvulsant medications for seizures include:
- Anticonvulsant medications:
- Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
- Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal)
- Phenytoin (Dilantin)
- Valproate (Depakote)
- Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
- Ethosuximide (Zarontin)
- Phenobarbital (Barbita, Luminal)
- Primidone (Mysoline)
- Topiramate (Topamax)
- Felbamate (Felbatol)
- Gabapentin (Neurontin)
- Pregabalin (Lyrica)
- Tiagabine (Gabitril)
- Levetiracetam (Keppra)
- Zonisamide (Zonegran)
- Benzodiazepine medications used for seizures include:
Seizures Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of seizures.
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?
Continue to Seizures Home Care
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- 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. 
- 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.