The main goal of treatment for post-traumatic epilepsy is to prevent future seizures. Based on your risk factors, your doctor may prescribe anti-epileptic drugs after a concussion to decrease the likelihood of early seizures.

If you begin experiencing late seizures, your doctor may prescribe medications to prevent future episodes. They will determine which medications will be the best for you and how long you will need to take them. Although it’s rare, your seizures may gradually slow down and even stop for good.

If you continue to have seizures despite taking anti-epileptic medications, surgery may also be an option.

Living with post-traumatic epilepsy

Because seizures are unpredictable, there are certain lifestyle adjustments you may need to make:

  • Depending on your state, you may need to be seizure-free for 3 to 12 months before you can drive.
  • Ask your doctor whether it’s OK for you to swim. If you do swim, always do so with a partner and wear a life jacket.
  • Be careful around heat or flames, especially if you have uncontrolled seizures.
  • Safety-proof your home to protect from injuries during a seizure (for example, pad sharp corners and use a nonslip carpet).
  • Avoid working on ladders or other unprotected heights, especially if you’re alone

The bottom line

Although most people will never have a seizure after a concussion, up to 10 percent can develop epilepsy (repeated seizures).

There are two types of seizures after a brain injury: early and late. Early seizures happen within the first week after a concussion. Late seizures appear after the first week and usually reflect more severe and long-lasting damage.

Any seizures after a brain trauma should be evaluated by a medical professional. Your doctor may prescribe medications to prevent future episodes.