Treatment

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Epilepsy

Treatment can help most people with epilepsy have fewer seizures, or stop having seizures completely.Treatments include:

  • medicines called anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs)
  • surgery to remove a small part of the brain that’s causing the seizures
  • a procedure to put a small electrical device inside the body that can help control seizures
  • a special diet (ketogenic diet) that can help control seizures

Some people need treatment for life. But you might be able to stop if your seizures disappear over time.

You may not need any treatment if you know your seizure triggers and are able to avoid them.

Talk to your specialist about the treatments available and which might be best for you.

Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs)

AEDs are the most commonly used treatment for epilepsy. They help control seizures in around 7 out of 10 of people.

AEDs work by changing the levels of chemicals in your brain. They do not cure epilepsy, but can stop seizures happening.

Types of AEDs

There are many AEDs.

Common types include:

  • sodium valproate
  • carbamazepine
  • lamotrigine
  • levetiracetam
  • topiramate

The best type for you will depend on things like the type of seizures you have, your age and if you’re thinking of having a baby.

Some AEDs can harm an unborn baby – see living with epilepsy for more information.

If your doctor recommends taking an AED, ask them about the different types available and which is likely to be the most suitable for you.

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