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Status Epilepticus

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

What is status epilepticus?

Status epilepticus is a seizure that lasts longer than 5 minutes. It can also be a second seizure before you are fully awake and aware after the first. Status epilepticus is a medical emergency. It can cause permanent brain damage or death.

What increases my risk for status epilepticus?

What are the different types of seizures?

You may have warning signs and symptoms before the seizure starts. This is called an aura. Examples include dizziness, anxiety, or flashing bright lights. You may also have any of the following, depending on the kind of seizure you have:

How is status epilepticus diagnosed?

You may need any of the following:

How is status epilepticus treated?

Your healthcare provider will treat the underlying cause of your seizure if it is known. You may need IV medicine to stop status epilepticus. You may need multiple medicines to control or stop your seizures. You may also need other treatments if status epilepticus causes problems with breathing or circulation.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

What can I do to help prevent another episode of status epilepticus?

What can others do to keep me safe if I have another seizure?

Give the following instructions to family, friends, and coworkers:

Have someone else call 911 if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

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Further information

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