What Triggers a Seizure?

Seizure triggers are:

  • Specific things that may cause your seizures
  • Different for each person with epilepsy
  • Something that happens regularly before you have a seizure

If you know what your seizure triggers are, then you can try to avoid them.

Here are some common seizure triggers:

Seizure Triggers

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Medication Triggers

Epilepsy medications that don't pair well with other medications

Missed dose of medication

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Body Function Triggers

Getting sick (with or without fever)

Hormonal changes

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Diet-Related Triggers

Skipped meals (low blood sugar)

Not drinking enough liquids

Too much caffeine

Certain foods

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Lifestyle Triggers

Alcohol or illegal drug use

Flashing bright lights

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Health-Related Triggers


Lack of sleep

If you already know what your seizure triggers are, you might want to share this information with your family, friends, coworkers, and care team. They can help you avoid your triggers.

If you don't know what your seizure triggers are, try to remember what you were doing before you had a seizure. Here are some good questions to ask:

  • Where were you?
  • Was there a special situation, or something going on around you?
  • How did you sleep the night before?
  • Were you feeling extra stress around the time of the seizure?
  • What did you eat or drink that day?

If you can remember what was happening right before you had a seizure, you can write this down in your seizure diary each time you have a seizure. If someone was with you when you had a seizure, ask if the person remembers anything that might have triggered the seizure. You and your doctor might be able to figure out what your seizure triggers are by looking at your notes.


Start tracking your seizures and see how much it helps!