Classification Of Epilepsies

A generally accepted classification is given in Table 20.2 (p. 418), together with drugs of choice for the various seizure disorders.

Principles of management

These call for attention to nondrug as well as drug measures, as set out below:

• Any causative factor must, of course, be treated, e.g. cerebral neoplasm.

• Educate the patient about the disease, duration of treatment and need for compliance.

• Avoid precipitating factors, e.g. alcohol, sleep deprivation, emotional stress.

• Anticipate natural variation, e.g. fits may occur particularly or exclusively around periods in women (catamenial2 epilepsy).

• Give antiepilepsy drugs only if seizure type and frequency require it, i.e. more than one fit every 6-12 months.

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