What to do if you accidentally took your seizure medication twice

  • March 23, 2023
  • 3
In this article
A woman reading medication information

Have you just realized you doubled dosed on your anti-epilepsy drugs (AEDs)? This is a common thing to do, and it’s an easy mistake to make. 

In many cases, accidentally taking seizure medication twice isn’t a major problem. But for some medicines, and for some people, it could be a serious issue. Here’s what you need to know if you accidentally took your seizure medication twice. 

What to do if you took too much seizure medication

If you accidentally took your seizure medication twice, there are a few things you should do:

  • Read the leaflet that comes with your meds - often it will tell you what a safe daily dose is, and what to do if you took too much. 
  • If you can’t find the packaging, you could also try the Drugs website. You can search for thousands of different medicines to find out what is considered a ‘safe’ daily dose. 
  • Call your doctor, treatment team or pharmacist - they can tell you about any risks and what to do. 
  • If you’re worried you’ve seriously overdosed (or someone else took too much seizure medicine and looks sick) either call 911 or contact the Poison Control hotline on  1-800-222-1222. 
  • If you are at all worried, head to the emergency room. 

Related: Taking multiple epilepsy seizure meds

Symptoms of seizure medication overdose

There are many different kinds of anti-epilepsy medication, each of which has its own side-effects and risks from overdosing. For example, taking too much phenobarbital could make you very sleepy, while too much carbamazepine can cause arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats). 

People also react differently when they take too much medicine. For some people, there’s no effect at all. But other people can have quite severe reactions. 

Because there are so many seizure medications out there, it’s not possible to list all the possible consequences if you accidentally took your seizure medication twice. But here are some common symptoms:

  • Feeling confused
  • Feeling very tired
  • Passing out
  • Feeling or being sick
  • Weak muscles
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Breathing difficulties

Often, an accidental overdose might just make you feel a bit dizzy or tired for a few hours. 

But it can have more serious consequences, including triggering breakthrough seizures, serious breathing difficulties or even things like swelling of the brain. If you start to feel sickly, call 911

Meds: Why might a seizure medication now work for you?

How to avoid accidentally taking your seizure medication twice

Accidentally double dosing on seizure medication is an easy mistake to make. You might simply have forgotten you’d already taken the drug, so took two doses within a couple of hours of each other. Or perhaps you’re on a new form of your meds (such as switching from pills to syrups), so you took more than necessary as you weren’t so familiar with the quantities. 

A good way to avoid accidentally taking your seizure medication twice is to use a seizure diary app. With Epsy, you can record each time you took your meds, and double check later on if you can’t remember when - or how much of it - you took. That makes it harder to forget your meds or double dose, and means you can avoid any unnecessary side effects too.

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