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How long do I have to take medications for Absence seizures?

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I am 22-year-old female, I have absence seizures for last 8 years, I am taking medicine also for the 8 years. ( levitoz 500mg and toprirol 25 mg) twice a day, butt still I get absence seizure at least once in the month, my doctor ask me to continue my medicine. I took CT and MRI scan both are normal. HOW LONG I HAVE TO TAKE THIS MEDICINE?? Please help me

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Category: Family Physician-GP
Dr. John Monheit is online now

Expert:  Dr. John Monheit replied 4 Days.

With reference to your query regarding absence of seizures which is there for the last 3 years or so and you are taking medicines as well, but still get absence seizures at least once a month. Your Doctor asked you to continue the treatment despite your CT Scan and MRI came back as normal. Now you wanted to know how long you should continue the medicine. Based on the type of behavior and brain activity, seizures are divided into 2 broad categories: generalized and partial (focal or local). Generalized seizures are produced from throughout the entire brain, whereas partial (focal or local) are produced by electrical impulses in a relatively small part of the brain. There are 6 types of generalized seizures where the patient loses consciousness and collapses, followed by stiffening for 30 to 60 seconds, thereby violent jerking for30 to 60 seconds, patient goes into a deep sleep. During grandmal seizures, injuries and accidents may occur, like tongue biting and urinary incontinence. In case of absence seizures, there will be short loss of consciousness (few seconds) with few or no symptoms. These seizures begin and end abruptly and may occur several times a day. Patients are usually not aware that they are having a seizure except that they may be aware of "losing time". These are also known as "Petitmal seizures", where seizures have few physical symptoms but involve a person staring off into space for several seconds. The person's attention cannot be captured during this time. Hereditary factors are important in these seizures. These are brief episodes of staring. During the seizure, awareness and responsiveness are impaired. There is no warning before a seizure and the person is completely alert immediately afterward. There will be a change in muscle activity.. The most common movement is eye blinks, rubbing the fingers together and contraction or relaxation of the muscles. They usually begin between the age of 4 and 14. They will have normal development and intelligence. The EEG is helpful in diagnosing absence seizures, whereas CT and MRI will be normal. So it is better to take advice either from your G.P. or neurologist.

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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