Tracking Your Seizures

After you start an epilepsy medication, your doctor will ask you questions about how often you are having seizures. Keeping a seizure diary is a good way to collect information for you and your doctor. A diary can also help your doctor understand if medication is working or not. You may be able to have someone video record one of your seizures so that you can give your doctor more information about your seizures.

A seizure diary is a record of the date and time of day that you had a seizure. You can also write down other information about the seizure, such as:

  • What you were doing when you had the seizure
  • What you think might have triggered the seizure (such as stress, lack of sleep, flashing lights)
  • How you felt before the seizure
  • How you felt after the seizure
  • How long the seizure lasted
  • If you had been taking your epilepsy medication regularly or not
  • When you took your last epilepsy medication dose
Essential downloads to help you keep track of seizures
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Your Epilepsy Treatment Regimen May Change

Your doctor might want to change your course of epilepsy treatment based on:

  • How often you're having seizures (information in your seizure diary)
  • Side effects
  • Blood tests

Here are some changes your doctor might make to your antiseizure medication (ASM) prescription:

  • Change the amount you take (dose)
  • Change how often you take it
  • Switch to a different ASM
  • Add another ASM

Epilepsy Medications at Different Times in Life

Medications may affect you differently at different times in your life.

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When children become teenagers, they may have to change:

  • The type of ASM they take
  • Their dosing regimen, as their body weight changes

Older people with epilepsy may be more likely to have certain types of ASM side effects compared to people without epilepsy, such as:

  • Feeling sleepy
  • Feeling confused
  • Being more likely to fall
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What to Expect During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, or are intending to get pregnant soon, you should understand that:

  1. You should not stop taking epilepsy medications without talking to your doctor (different medications may have different risks; your doctor may simplify your dose)
  2. Seeing your doctor often is important to monitor ASM levels in your blood
  3. If you need drugs during pregnancy, your doctor will try to give you only what you need at the lowest possible dose
  4. 15% to 30% of women may have an increase in seizures during pregnancy (most often in the first or third trimester)
  5. Women who are seizure-free for the 9 months prior to pregnancy have a very high chance of remaining seizure-free during pregnancy

Helpful Fact Sheet showing how medications affect you.

Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is important to be informed about the potential risks for you and the baby.

If you become pregnant while taking your medication, talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry. You can enroll in this registry by calling 1-888-233-2334. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the safety of antiepileptic medicine during pregnancy.

If you plan on taking birth control, talk to your doctor about which birth control may be right for you and the medication you are taking or about other ways of preventing pregnancy.