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How will my Epilepsy be treated?
Your treatment will usually be in the form of medication known as Anti Epileptic Drugs (AEDs). There are many different AEDs that are used to treat Epilepsy, and there may need to be some initial 'fine tuning' of dose and when appropriate, different drugs used to supplement or replace your initial AED.

Before prescribing you with AED you should be informed of the possible side effects both common and rare, so that you may be aware of the facts because you will need to be able to identify them and inform your GP and specialist if they occur.

You need to know the short and long term nature of any side effects of a medication and if there are any alternatives.

If a doctor does not explain the side effects you should ask what side effects there could be.

Once your dose has been 'fine tuned' don't forget that when you have regular check ups to just double check that no extra side effects have been noticed. This is especially important if you have not seen a consultant for over a year or if you are taking a medication which has been introduced fairly recently. If your medication is one of the more recent then the you should be told this when it is initially prescribed to you.

It is recommended that you do take the prescribed medication because the lack of control over your Epilepsy could do you more harm than the side effects of any drugs.

How will they control my Epilepsy?
People who do not have Epilepsy have brains that are able to control the electrical charges. In people with Epilepsy, at times these electrical charges are not so well control, and this can lead to an electrical storm, which causes the seizure.

AEDs work to help the brain to increase its control over the electrical charges by balancing the chemical imbalance that cause the brain to maintain its control over the electrical charges.

What if the medication does not control my seizures?
The doctor supervising your treatment needs to know how often you have seizures and you should keep a written record of how often you have a seizure and what sort of seizure you had.

Think about the events that led up to a seizure. Do you know of any possible reasons for your seizure? Are they more frequent when you are awake or asleep? Have you been getting enough sleep? Are you run down? Are you under a lot of stress at present? Where you at a disco or club, with flashing lights? such as over tiredness, stress, being run down or ill.

Add to your written record any additional medication that you were taking at that time too, this is because some medications lower your seizure threshold and make it more likely that you will have a seizure.

It is for this reason, that you should double check with your GP and chemist that there is no interactions between any new medication prescribed and your AEDs.

It is very important that you do not suddenly stop taking your AED even if you feel that they are not working, because this could mean that you will have a major increase in your seizures.

How can my AED be adjusted to control my seizures?
Once you have informed the doctor supervising your Epilepsy of your seizure history since your previous appointment.

Initially a higher dose of the same AED may be considered.

Most people with Epilepsy take a 1 AED, however, if necessary, you may be recommended to take an addition AED or 'top up'.

Doctors prefer patients with Epilepsy to be on as few AEDs as possible because more AEDs increases the risks of side effects and negative drug interactions.

If a doctor recommends a different medication then what usually happens is you will be slowly weaned of one AED whilst gradually introducing another.

The doctor will try to look for the best balance of the right AEDs, at the right dose, to give you the best seizure control possible.

Your doctor can only do this if you take the prescribed dose and if you inform him / her of any seizures that you have had.

Can I do anything to help control my seizures?
By recording details of how frequently you have seizures and possible triggers, you will begin to understand what you should avoid.

So if you know that if you are more likely to have a seizure when you are over tired, it makes sense to try and get enough sleep. In the real world, this is not always possible but if you know that you do not manage to get enough sleep on a regular basis, maybe you should be kind to yourself and adjust your life style accordingly.

Also you could look in the complementary therapies support section to see if there are other ways that could help.

It is not recommended that you should use these as an alternative to your AEDs but using them as a ways of making it less likely that you trigger a seizure.

For example, if you know that one of your triggers is stress, then aromatherapy may well help you to relax.

Just as different AEDs will help control different types of seizure on different people, different forms of complementary therapy work for different people.