Managing your treatment
Managing your treatment is an important part of managing your epilepsy, and seeing whether your medication is working. This might include having a care plan, including a treatment plan.
Care and treatment plans
A care plan is an overview of your epilepsy and its treatment and management. It includes information about your epilepsy and seizures and covers other issues that may be important to you such as education, work, driving, leisure activities and starting a family. You should be offered a care plan, particularly if your epilepsy is recently diagnosed. This might be part of the letter that your specialist will write following an appointment. If you are not offered a care plan you can ask for one.
Part of a care plan includes a treatment (or medication) plan. This sets out how your epilepsy will be treated and usually includes how to start and increase your medication and what to do if it does not work or you have side effects.
Your care plan is made by you and your specialist together and you might want to involve your family, carers or anyone else important to you who helps you to make decisions about your epilepsy. Developing a plan together means that you can make informed choices about your epilepsy and know what to do if things change. You should be given a copy of the plan which is usually also given to your GP so that they know how to manage your prescriptions. It should be reviewed and updated when needed.
How do I know if treatment is working?
Often the best way to measure how well your treatment is working is to look at whether your seizures have stopped or you are having fewer seizures. If you have very frequent seizures, it might be easy to see if your seizures have reduced or if they have stopped. But if your seizures were infrequent, it can take longer to see whether the treatment is working.
Keeping a seizure diary can help to record how many seizures you are having, when they happen, if anything triggers them and if your medication is reducing or stopping them.
If your treatment does not work or fully control your seizures, there are other treatment options that might be considered.
Information produced in September 2018
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If someone has not had a seizure for two or more years then they may think about withdrawing (coming off) their AEDs.
If you have just been diagnosed with epilepsy, you may have questions about medication and treatment.
If you have difficulties with taking your medication the following strategies and tools might be helpful.
There are many different types of epileptic seizure. Any of us could potentially have a single epileptic seizure at some point in our lives. This is not the same as having epilepsy, which is a tendency to have seizures that start in the brain.