Loading icon
Press enter or spacebar to select a desired language.
Health Information Center

Talking to Your Doctor About Epilepsy

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Talking to Your Doctor About Epilepsy

Talk with your doctor about epilepsy. Talking openly and often with your doctor can help you make the best choices.

Tips for Talking to Your Doctor

Here are some tips that will help:

  • Bring someone with you. It helps to have one more person hear what is said and think of things to ask.
  • Write your questions so you do not forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get and make sure you grasp what you are hearing. Ask for help if you need to.
  • Do not be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find out more. You have a right to know.

Some Questions to Ask Your Doctor

About Epilepsy

  • What causes it?
  • Does having a seizure mean that I have it?
  • What are the health problems that could happen?
  • Can it cause death?

About Your Risk of Getting Epilepsy

  • Can I lower my risk?
  • One of my parents has epilepsy. Does that mean I will get it too?

About Treatment

  • Is medicine the best way to treat my epilepsy?
  • Will I have to take it for the rest of my life?
  • How will it help? What side effects might happen?
  • Medicine is not helping me. Are there other things I can try?
  • When should I think about surgery as a choice?
  • Can surgery cause other problems with my brain?
  • What is the success rate?
  • Which surgery is best for me?
  • What are the health problems I could have from it?
  • Are there any other therapies that I should think about getting?

About Lifestyle Changes

  • Are there things that I may have to stop doing?
  • What are the rules about driving? Will I be able to drive?
  • Will I be able to work?
  • Do I have to tell my boss?
  • Is it safe for me to get pregnant?
  • Is it okay to take birth control pills and seizure medicine?
  • Will my seizure medicine cause problems with my other medicines?

About Outlook

  • How well does medicine control epilepsy?
  • Can I live a normal life on medicine?
  • Can I live a normal life after surgery?
  • Are there support groups for people and their loved ones?


  • Epilepsy in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/condition/epilepsy-in-adults. Accessed April 8, 2022.
  • Epilepsy in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/condition/epilepsy-in-children. Accessed April 8, 2022.
  • Epilepsy information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Epilepsy-Information-Page. Accessed April 8, 2022.
  • Tips for talking to your doctor. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor. Accessed April 8, 2022.


  • Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.