— Not an actual patient/physician

Epilepsy Management

Managing epilepsy can take on many forms. Here are a few things you and your doctor may discuss as you learn to manage your condition. 

If you have epilepsy, you may wonder what you can do to manage your condition and symptoms. Here are a few things you may want to discuss with your doctor about managing your epilepsy.

Seizure tracking

Tracking your seizures can help you to remember the details of a seizure while they are still fresh. Seizure tracking won’t treat your epilepsy, but it can help you present a complete picture of your particular epilepsy situation to your neurologist or epileptologist. Work with your care team to see which details would be the most helpful for you to track. The Epilepsy Foundation has a great guide to various tools you can use to track your seizures.1 You can access that by clicking here.


Medication is usually the first method used to manage epilepsy. There are numerous anti-seizure medications that give doctors the ability to manage this disorder on a case-by-case basis. More than half of all new epilepsy patients are seizure-free after trying just one medication.2

The goal of the medication, when prescribed, is to stop taking it after a few years and remain seizure-free; however, some patients must remain on medication permanently in order to control seizure activity. Everyone is treated differently, so having a consultation with your doctor is crucial to determine the correct treatment process. If a medication does not work, there are other treatment options.2


If a person does not respond to traditional medications, there are alternatives that can be used to help manage epilepsy. Dietary change is an alternative treatment method, but always discuss trying a new diet with your doctor first.3,4

There are two main diets that have shown to be effective in some epilepsy patients: the ketogenic diet and the modified Atkins diet. The ketogenic diet is characterized by high-fat and low-carbohydrate food consumption. This diet forces a person’s body to use fat as a source of energy instead of carbohydrates. The ketogenic diet is typically prescribed to children who are not responding to regular medication, but can be used for adults as well.3,4

For teenagers and adults who are not responding to regular medications.3,4 the modified Atkins diet is typically prescribed. This diet is similar to the ketogenic diet, however unlike the ketogenic diet, the modified Atkins diet does not place restrictions on fluid, calorie, or protein intake.


Surgery may be an option for someone who isn’t responding to other treatments. There are certain criteria that must be met in order to be considered a candidate for epilepsy surgery, and only a qualified epileptologist can make this assessment.

Benefits and risks of surgery should always be discussed in detail with your doctor, as there is no guarantee that epilepsy surgery will be successful in eliminating seizures. Seek out an epileptologist at a specialized epilepsy center if you would like more focused care or a second opinion.

It’s important to keep in mind that the pathway to epilepsy surgery is usually not a quick or easy process. Your doctor may want to try multiple different medications and monitor seizures over a certain period of time before recommending a surgical procedure or making a diagnosis of drug-resistant epilepsy.5

Please let us know how useful this article was to you

Thank you for rating this article.

  1. Schachter, S., et al. (2019, Sep 13). Using Seizure Diaries. Epilepsy Foundation. https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/managing-your-epilepsy/tracking-my-seizures/using-seizure-diaries
  2. (2021, Oct 7). Epilepsy Diagnosis & Treatment. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/epilepsy/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350098
  3. Kossoff, E. (2017, Oct 25). Ketogenic Diet. Epilepsy Foundation. https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/treating-seizures-and-epilepsy/dietary-therapies/ketogenic-diet
  4. Schachter, S. and Sirven, J. (2020, Nov 13). Modified Atkins Diet. Epilepsy Foundation. https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/treating-seizures-and-epilepsy/dietary-therapies/modified-atkins-diet
  5. Patel, A. and Kiriakopoulos, E. (2019, May 31). Medical Marijuana and Epilepsy. Epilepsy Foundation. https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/treating-seizures-and-epilepsy/other-treatment-approaches/medical-marijuana-and-epilepsy

Content reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Jiyeoun Yoo, MD, FAES, FACNS 

Here's more you can do

Share Your Story

People like you need to hear that they're not alone. Your story can make a difference in their life.
I Want to Share My Story

Be Informed. Be Prepared!

Sign up for personalized article recommendations in your email.
Get Updates

About Us

Learn more about who we are and our mission of helping patients find balance in their lives.
About Us

Find a Doctor

Search by speciality, location and more. Find the right provider for you.
Find a Doctor