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Seizures

Sudden, uncontrolled body movements and changes in behavior that occur because of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Symptoms include loss of awareness, changes in emotion, loss of muscle control, and shaking. Seizures may be caused by drugs, high fevers, head injuries, and certain diseases, such as epilepsy.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Phenobarbitone versus phenytoin monotherapy for partial onset seizures and generalised onset tonic‐clonic seizures

Epilepsy is a disorder where recurrent seizures are caused by abnormal electrical discharges from the brain. Worldwide, phenobarbitone and phenytoin are commonly used antiepileptic drugs. This review found no evidence to suggest a difference between phenobarbitone and phenytoin for the control of the seizure types investigated. Phenobarbitone was more likely to be withdrawn than phenytoin, presumably due to adverse effects, however other factors may have influenced the rate of withdrawal of phenobarbitone in this review.

Treatment of seizures for patients with multiple sclerosis

Epileptic seizures occur in a relatively small number of patients with multiple sclerosis, but can have serious consequences. Because the cause of epileptic seizures in patients in MS may be different from that in other forms of epilepsy, it is uncertain whether patients with MS should be treated differently. We searched for studies on the treatment of epileptic seizures in patients with MS, but found none. Well designed studies that address this issue are needed.

Lamotrigine adjunctive therapy for refractory generalized tonic‐clonic seizures

There is limited evidence that adjunctive lamotrigine reduces seizure frequency in patients with refractory primary generalized tonic‐clonic seizures.

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Summaries for consumers

Phenobarbitone versus phenytoin monotherapy for partial onset seizures and generalised onset tonic‐clonic seizures

Epilepsy is a disorder where recurrent seizures are caused by abnormal electrical discharges from the brain. Worldwide, phenobarbitone and phenytoin are commonly used antiepileptic drugs. This review found no evidence to suggest a difference between phenobarbitone and phenytoin for the control of the seizure types investigated. Phenobarbitone was more likely to be withdrawn than phenytoin, presumably due to adverse effects, however other factors may have influenced the rate of withdrawal of phenobarbitone in this review.

Treatment of seizures for patients with multiple sclerosis

Epileptic seizures occur in a relatively small number of patients with multiple sclerosis, but can have serious consequences. Because the cause of epileptic seizures in patients in MS may be different from that in other forms of epilepsy, it is uncertain whether patients with MS should be treated differently. We searched for studies on the treatment of epileptic seizures in patients with MS, but found none. Well designed studies that address this issue are needed.

Lamotrigine adjunctive therapy for refractory generalized tonic‐clonic seizures

There is limited evidence that adjunctive lamotrigine reduces seizure frequency in patients with refractory primary generalized tonic‐clonic seizures.

See all (192)

More about Seizures

Photo of a young adult

Also called: Convulsions, Fits

Other terms to know:
Brain, Epilepsy

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