The first step is to see a doctor if you think you or a loved one is having seizures! The doctor may tell you that you have epilepsy, or he or she may call it a seizure disorder. These terms generally mean the same thing. To know if you have epilepsy, the doctor will ask lots of questions and usually recommend some tests.

Next step is deciding how to treat the seizures. The doctor will first want to talk to you about trying a seizure medication. There are many different medications that are taken daily to control seizures.  Some will work for certain kinds of seizures, yet others may work for many different seizure types.

Choosing the right medicine depends on a number of factors such as:

  • The type of seizure
  • The person’s age and gender
  • Other medical problems the person may have
  • If you are a woman who wants to get pregnant
  • Possible side effects from the medicine

Once you and your doctor decide which seizure medication to try first, make sure you get instructions on how to take the medicine. Taking seizure medication will mean you need to learn a lot about what to do and what not to do. The medicine is taken daily and over a long period of time. 

For example, a few things you’ll need to know are:

  • What dose or how much to take
  • When to take it
  • Whether to take before or after food
  • Any other special instructions
  •  What side effects to look for
  • If blood tests are needed
  • When to see the doctor or nurse again for a follow-up visit.




Authored By: 
Steven C. Schachter, MD
Patty Obsorne Shafer RN, MN
Joseph I. Sirven MD
Authored Date: 
Reviewed By: 
Joseph I. Sirven MD
Patty Obsorne Shafer RN, MN
Wednesday, March 19, 2014