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  • An electroencephalogram (e-lek-tro-en-SEF-ah-lo-gram) is usually called an "EEG". An EEG measures the electrical activity made by your brain. A machine or a computer is used to make a tracing that shows the electrical activity as "brain waves". Caregivers study this tracing to learn about your brain and how it is working. You will not get a shock from having an EEG. The machine or computer cannot "read your mind".
  • EEGs can help caregivers learn about epilepsy (EP-i-lep-see). Epilepsy is a condition where you may have unusual electrical rhythms. These unusual rhythms may cause seizures (convulsions). EEGs also help caregivers learn about sleeping problems, brain injury, brain tumors, and many other problems.


Take your medicine as directed:

Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

What happens after my EEG?

  • If you were given a sleeping pill before your EEG, do not drive home by yourself. Arrange ahead of time to have a friend or family member to drive you home after the EEG.
  • Usually, you may start doing your normal daily activities after your EEG. Ask your caregiver if there are any special instructions for you after the EEG.
  • Wash your hair after the EEG. You may put on your regular hair conditioners, sprays, and gels afterward.
  • If you stopped taking any of your medicines because of the EEG, talk to your caregiver before you leave. Ask the caregiver when you should start taking the medicine again.
  • Your caregiver may talk to you about the EEG results before or after you leave the hospital. The caregiver may give a letter to you explaining the EEG results in about five to seven days.


  • The problem for which you had the test has gotten worse.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have questions about your test results or if you have other concerns.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Electroencephalogram (Aftercare Instructions)

Micromedex® Care Notes