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How is epilepsy treated?

Most people with epilepsy are treated with anti-epileptic medications. Typically, a single anti-epileptic drug is given at a low dose. The dose is then gradually increased until seizures are well controlled. Other drugs may be introduced later on to better control symptoms if needed. Other treatment options include Vagus nerve stimulation, a procedure in which a device is implanted under the skin on the chest. This device sends electrical signals to the brain via the Vagus nerve in the neck. Special diets may also be suggested in uncontrolled epilepsy. Surgery may be recommended in cases that do not improve with medication. Treatment also involves avoiding triggers that cause seizures, such as sleep deprivation, alcohol, recreational drugs and emotional stress.

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About this article

Author: Karen McCloskey BHSc
First answered: 30 Nov 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Votes: 377 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Epilepsy


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