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"The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives."


Tips and Tricks for People Living With Epilepsy

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Managing epilepsy (recurrent seizures) can be complicated because there are many things to consider. A short list of concerns includes taking medications properly, having healthy habits, keeping in mind seizure safety guidelines, and avoiding medications that can actually worsen your seizures. That is quite a list! These issues can be especially overwhelming when you are first diagnosed with epilepsy.

There are ways to simplify challenges you may face. Here are specific tips and tricks, along with helpful resources and ideas, to give you plenty of concrete options to try.

-- Be flexible! Try the different tricks and tips to see which ones work best for you.

-- The most important thing is to create a system that will help make your life easier.

-- Creating routines that naturally integrate managing medications, remembering doctor’s appointments, and other basic concerns into your daily life will set you up for success in the long run.

Concern One: Taking Your Medications

Taking your medication as prescribed by your doctor, at the same times every day, can be very difficult. We live in a fast-paced world and many of us are juggling multiple responsibilities. However, missing even one or two doses of your medicine can cause a seizure, so remembering to take medicine as directed is extremely important. #AimForZero Missed Medications

However, realistically everyone misses a dose sometimes! It can simply slip your mind, or sometimes you realize that you are out of medications when you go to take your pills. Do not be hard on yourself for these slip ups. Instead, let’s look at tips below that can address how to create a system that will set you up to avoid slip ups in the future.

Running Out Of Medication

Always try to keep track of how much medication you have left, and call for a refill a few days before you need it. You never want to call the doctor’s office or pharmacy and find it’s closed or needs to be special ordered. As mentioned before, even missing a few doses of medication can cause a seizure.

Concern Two: Healthy Habits for Epilepsy

There is a lot of talk in the media about what is healthy: drink a lot of water, cutting out carbs, other fad diets, etc. The advice seems to change week to week. Are these the healthy habits your doctor means when he or she talks with you about making lifestyle changes? Well, no. For people with epilepsy, there are specific recommendations.

Concern Three: Seizure Safety

There are specific considerations that people with epilepsy must make to stay safe and protect themselves and others from harm.

Concern Four: Medications that Can Worsen Seizures

Certain medications can actually put you at increased risk for having seizures. Not all doctors are as comfortable as an epilepsy specialist when treating people living with epilepsy. Therefore, it is important to know some of the most common medications to keep an eye out for.

In Closing...

I hope these tips and tricks were helpful and that managing your epilepsy seems a little more manageable now. The important thing is to keeping trying new tricks until you find the right ones that work for you!

Authored by: Kathleen Murray MD | Neurology Resident, PGY-2, at the University of South Florida on 11/2017
Reviewed by: Selim Benbadis MD | NES - Controversies - Hot Topics Editor on 11/2017