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New-onset Seizure In Adults
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A seizure is an episode of abnormal brain activity that can cause jerky muscle movements, loss of consciousness, or confusion. A new-onset seizure is a seizure that happens for the first time. Some common triggers are alcohol, drugs, lack of sleep, fever, or an infection. High or low blood sugar levels, pregnancy, a head injury, or a stroke could also trigger a seizure. The cause of your seizure may not be known. You have a higher risk for another seizure within the next 2 years.
Have someone else call 911 for any of the following:
- Your seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes.
- You have trouble breathing.
- You cannot be woken up after your seizure.
- You have more than 1 seizure before you are fully awake or aware.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have a second seizure that happens within 24 hours of your first.
- You are injured during a seizure.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- You are planning to get pregnant or are currently pregnant.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may be given the following:
- Antiseizure medicine may control or prevent another seizure. Do not stop taking this medicine. You may need blood tests to check the level of medicine in your blood. Your healthcare provider may need to change or adjust your medicine.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your 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.
Manage your stress:
High levels of stress may increase your risk for another seizure. Exercise and get plenty of sleep to decrease your stress. Do yoga, meditate, or do other activities that help you relax. Ask your healthcare provider about other ways to manage stress. You may need therapy to help you manage and cope with stress.
Safety measures after a seizure:
- Do not drive until your healthcare provider says it is okay.
- Do not operate heavy equipment or dangerous machines for at least 6 months.
- Do not swim, scuba dive, or climb for 3 months , or as directed.
- Help prevent another seizure with healthy habits. Do not drink alcohol. Eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and reduce stress. Try to get plenty of sleep.
- Tell your friends, family members, and coworkers that you have had a seizure. Give them written instructions to follow if you have another seizure.
How others can keep you safe during a seizure:
Give the following instructions to family, friends, and coworkers:
- Do not panic.
- Gently guide me to the floor or a soft surface.
- Do not hold me down or put anything in my mouth.
- Place me on my side to help prevent me from swallowing saliva or vomit.
- Protect me from injury. Remove sharp or hard objects from the area surrounding me, or cushion my head.
- Loosen my clothing around the head and neck.
- Time how long my seizure lasts. Call 911 if my seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes or if I have a second seizure.
- Stay with me until my seizure ends. Let me rest until I am fully awake.
- Perform CPR if I stop breathing or you cannot feel my pulse.
- Do not give me anything to eat or drink until I am fully awake.
Follow up with your healthcare provider or neurologist as directed:
You may need more tests to find the cause of your seizure. You may also need tests to check the level of antiseizure medicine in your blood. Your neurologist may need to change or adjust your medicine. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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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.