Treatments for epileptic seizures, such as medications, surgery and ketogenic diet, should be chosen according to the needs of the patient. Factors determine the treatment options for the patient, such as age, frequency and severity of the seizures, overall health, and medical history, states WebMD.
About 70 percent of patients with epileptic seizures control them with prescription medication. Generic anti-convulsant drugs are generally safe treatment options. Many insurance companies do not cover the brand-name version of the drug, but they may be necessary if the patient’s seizures are not controlled by generics. The choice of drugs depends upon factors, such as side effects the patient experiences, existing medical conditions and the delivery method, according to WebMD.
Surgery is not necessary in most patients, but if improvement in symptoms is not seen within two to three different prescriptions, about 10 percent of patients may be candidates. The patient has a presurgical exam, determining whether surgery will improve symptoms with little damage to functions, such as speech and memory. Eligibility for surgery is determined by the patient, along with the social worker, neurosurgeon and others, says WebMD.
One of the newer treatment options, as of 2015, is a ketogenic diet, consisting of high-fat, low-carb foods. Used most frequently as a treatment option for children not responding to other treatment options, the diet starts in the hospital, but may be difficult to maintain at home, according to WebMD.