Seizures and Epilepsy

Med Clin North Am. 2019 Mar;103(2):309-324. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2018.10.002. Epub 2018 Dec 3.


Epilepsy affects 65 million people worldwide, and is a leading neurologic cause of loss of quality-adjusted life years. The diagnosis of seizures and epilepsy often depends on a careful history, and is supported with electroencephalogram and imaging. First-line treatment of epilepsy includes medical management. Antiepileptic drugs must be chosen with the patient's particular comorbidities in mind. Drug-resistant epilepsy cases should be referred to an epilepsy specialist and may be evaluated for additional medications, epilepsy surgery, neurostimulation, or dietary therapy. When caring for women, providers must take into account needs for contraception or pregnancy safety where applicable.

Keywords: Antiepileptic drugs; Epilepsy; Epilepsy surgery; Epilepsy treatment; First seizure; Seizure; Women with epilepsy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Drug Interactions
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy* / classification
  • Epilepsy* / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy* / therapy
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Implantable Neurostimulators
  • Male
  • Seizures* / classification
  • Seizures* / diagnosis
  • Seizures* / therapy


  • Anticonvulsants