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Tips on managing epilepsy

Managing your own epilepsy or caring for someone with epilepsy may feel overwhelming at times. Here are a few tips for coping with epilepsy, day-to-day.

Stick with an epilepsy treatment plan

Take your medication or instruct your loved one to take his or her medication exactly as prescribed, without missing any doses. The more closely you or your loved one sticks with a treatment plan, the better the chances of reducing the frequency of focal seizures.

Know your state's epilepsy driving regulations

Driving with epilepsy can certainly have its challenges. When it comes to driving, every state has different laws and regulations. To find out your state's driving regulations, click here.

Keep a seizure diary

Keep a seizure diary to track the frequency, and if you’re able to, the duration of your focal seizures. Watch for common seizure triggers and make a note of any feelings or cues that let you know when a focal seizure is coming. Sharing your seizure diary with your doctor can help him or her determine how well you are doing. If you’re tracking your loved one’s focal seizures, describe any noticeable differences or side effects that you’ve witnessed to your loved one’s doctor.


Ask your doctor before embarking on new exercises

You or your loved one may be able to live an active lifestyle with epilepsy but be sure to talk with your doctor first to find out which activities are okay.

Take seizure safety precautions

Safeguard your home to take extra precaution from accidental injury. Use plastic containers rather than glass, avoid cooking over an open flame, consider carpet over hardwood flooring for soft cushioning, and avoid locking bedroom and bathroom doors, just in case.

Consider getting an epilepsy ID bracelet and instruction card

Let others know that you or your loved one has epilepsy by wearing, or encouraging your loved one to wear, a medical ID bracelet with the word epilepsy on the back, and/or carrying a card with instructions on what to do if a focal seizure occurs.

Try an epilepsy diet plan

In addition to taking a medication, following a ketogenic diet for epilepsy may help to control seizures in some people. The ketogenic diet plan is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. When carbohydrates are not available to the body for fuel, fat becomes the primary fuel instead. When the body uses fat for its source of energy, ketones are formed. Higher ketone levels in the body may help improve seizure control. For more information and ketogenic recipe ideas, visit The Charlie Foundation.

Remember to talk to your doctor about an epilepsy diet plan that could help reduce the frequency of your seizures.

Educate others

If you or your loved one has focal seizures, it’s important to teach others who spend time with him or her, like teachers and friends, about epilepsy. Download a fact sheet to help them understand the signs of epilepsy, what your loved one’s seizures look like, and what to do if one occurs.

Living with epilepsy

A practical guide to understanding and living with epilepsy.


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Managing Focal Seizures

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It is not known if APTIOM is safe and effective in children under 4 years of age...[read more]


It is not known if APTIOM is safe and effective in children under 4 years of age.

Do not take APTIOM if you are allergic to eslicarbazepine acetate, any of the other ingredients in APTIOM, or oxcarbazepine.

Suicidal behavior and ideation: Antiepileptic drugs, including APTIOM, may cause suicidal thoughts or actions in a very small number of people, about 1 in 500. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you: thoughts about suicide or dying; attempting to commit suicide; new or worse depression, anxiety, or irritability; feeling agitated or restless; panic attacks; trouble sleeping (insomnia); acting aggressive; being angry or violent; acting on dangerous impulses; an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania); or other unusual changes in behavior or mood.

Allergic reactions: APTIOM may cause serious skin rash or other serious allergic reactions that may affect organs or other parts of your body like the liver or blood cells. You may or may not have a rash with these types of reactions. Call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms: swelling of the face, eyes, lips, or tongue; trouble swallowing or breathing; hives; fever, swollen glands, or sore throat that do not go away or come and go; painful sores in the mouth or around your eyes; yellowing of the skin or eyes; unusual bruising or bleeding; severe fatigue or weakness; severe muscle pain; or frequent infections or infections that do not go away.

Low salt (sodium) levels in the blood: APTIOM may cause the level of sodium in your blood to be low. Symptoms may include nausea, tiredness, lack of energy, irritability, confusion, muscle weakness or muscle spasms, or more frequent or more severe seizures. Some medicines can also cause low sodium in your blood. Be sure to tell your health care provider about all the other medicines that you are taking.

Nervous system problems: APTIOM may cause problems that can affect your nervous system, including dizziness, sleepiness, vision problems, trouble concentrating, and difficulties with coordination and balance. APTIOM may slow your thinking or motor skills. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how APTIOM affects you.

Liver problems: APTIOM may cause problems that can affect your liver. Symptoms of liver problems include yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, or dark urine.

Most common adverse reactions: The most common side effects in patients taking APTIOM include dizziness, sleepiness, nausea, headache, double vision, vomiting, feeling tired, problems with coordination, blurred vision, and shakiness.

Drug interactions: Tell your health care provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Taking APTIOM with certain other medicines may cause side effects or affect how well they work. Do not start or stop other medicines without talking to your health care provider. Especially tell your health care provider if you take oxcarbazepine, carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, clobazam, omeprazole, simvastatin, rosuvastatin, or birth control medicine.

Discontinuation: Do not stop taking APTIOM without first talking to your health care provider. Stopping APTIOM suddenly can cause serious problems.

Pregnancy and lactation: APTIOM may cause your birth control medicine to be less effective. Talk to your health care provider about the best birth control method to use. APTIOM may harm your unborn baby. APTIOM passes into breast milk. Tell your health care provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. You and your health care provider will decide if you should take APTIOM. If you become pregnant while taking APTIOM, talk to your health care provider about registering with the North American Antiepileptic Drug (NAAED) Pregnancy Registry. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the safety of antiepileptic medicine during pregnancy. You can enroll in this registry by calling 1.888.233.2334.

Get medical help right away if you have any of the symptoms listed above.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1.800.FDA.1088.

For more information, please see the APTIOM Medication Guide and Full Prescribing Information.


Aptiom® (eslicarbazepine acetate) is a prescription medicine to treat partial-onset seizures in patients 4 years of age and older.