Seizures: Diagnosis and management in the outpatient setting

Katherine H. Noe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Epilepsy and seizures are common, and can significantly affect quality of life. A careful history and guided evaluation is necessary to avoid misdiagnosis, to establish causation, and to determine prognosis. Medical therapy is effective in controlling seizures in two thirds of people with epilepsy. In choosing which antiepileptic drug to use, it is important to consider epilepsy type, side effect profile, and cost. Even when seizures are controlled, dose-related side effects from antiepileptic medication, such as fatigue and imbalance, can negatively impact health-related quality of life. Teratogenic side effects are also of concern for women of childbearing age. Monotherapy is generally preferred, and with dose titration, a successful balance between efficacy and tolerability can be reached in the majority of patients. Epilepsy that is medically refractory may respond to epilepsy surgery or vagus nerve stimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-64
Number of pages11
JournalSeminars in Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011


  • Epilepsy
  • antiepileptic drug therapy
  • diagnosis
  • seizure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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