Talking to Your Doctor About Epilepsy
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
- What causes epilepsy?
- If I’ve had a seizure, does that mean I have epilepsy?
- What are the possible complications from epilepsy?
- Can epilepsy be life-threatening?
- Are there specific activities that increase my risk of having additional seizures?
- One of my parents has epilepsy. Does that mean I’m at increased risk for epilepsy?
- Is medication the best treatment for my epilepsy?
- Will I have to take medication to control epilepsy for the rest of my life?
- What are the benefits and side effects of these medications?
- Medication is not controlling my epilepsy. Are there other treatments I can try other than surgery?
- At what point do I need to consider surgery to treat my epilepsy?
- Can the surgical treatment of epilepsy cause other brain complications?
- What is the success rate for the surgical treatment of epilepsy?
- If I do have to have surgery to treat epilepsy, which type of surgery is best for me?
- What are possible complications from the surgical treatment of epilepsy?
- Are there any alternative or complementary therapies that I should consider?
- Are there specific activities that I may have to avoid if I have epilepsy?
- What are the rules about driving and epilepsy? Will I be able to drive?
- Will epilepsy affect my work?
- Must I tell my employer that I have epilepsy?
- Is it safe for me to get pregnant if I have epilepsy?
- What effect do seizure medications have on the effectiveness of birth control pills?
- What effect do seizure medications have on my other medications?
- How successful is medication in controlling epilepsy?
- Can I live a normal life if my epilepsy is controlled by medication?
- Can I live a normal life if I have surgery for my epilepsy?
- Are there support groups for people with epilepsy or their families?
Epilepsy in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 18, 2013. Accessed February 22, 2013.
Epilepsy in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 19, 2012. Accessed February 22, 2013.
NINDS Epilepsy information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/epilepsy/epilepsy.htm. Updated February 21, 2013. Accessed February 22, 2013.
What is epilepsy? Epilepsy Foundation website. Available at: http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/aboutepilepsy/whatisepilepsy/index.cfm. Accessed February 22, 2013.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 03/2014 -
- Update Date: 05/06/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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