If seizures occur as the result of an underlying disease of the brain (e.g. a tumour) or the body (e.g. kidney failure), treatment of these primary conditions can prevent seizures from occurring, and anti-epileptic medication may become unnecessary. In other circumstances, drug treatment or surgery for epilepsy can prevent seizures from recurring.
Occasionally, drug therapy is prescribed prophylactically – as is the case after brain surgery, where a short course of anti-epileptic medication is often prescribed routinely to all patients, even those with no history of seizures.
In established epilepsy, avoiding changes in routine, disturbed sleep, drugs and alcohol, and (in a minority of patients) certain situations or activities known to promote seizures, are other practical forms of prevention.
What is epilepsy?
Causes of epilepsy
Treatment of epilepsy
Professor Jonathan Carr, FCP (SA) Neurology, PhD. Head Division of Neurology, Tygerberg Hospital and University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town. February 2015.