October 26, 2020

Why might a medication not work for you?


The first thing that doctors often do to treat epilepsy is to prescribe medication. For many people this option can greatly improve their lives.

However, for 44% of people, the first drug doesn’t work due to continued seizures for reasons listed below.  Don’t give up, in those cases doctors often change medication or try different types of seizure treatments.

Before making a treatment change, your doctor needs your help:

- The medication must be used appropriately. Did you take your medication as prescribed without missing doses?  Your doctor may determine that the drug does not work for your type of seizures,

- The medication must be given an adequate trial. Were you able to take enough of the medication?  Were you able to take the medication long enough?  Your doctor may try adjusting your dose during this time.    

If your medication has been used appropriately with an adequate trial and you are not seizure free, this is called a “medication failure.”

Think you’re having medication failure?

If you believe your medication isn’t working, it’s useful to provide your doctor with a detailed diary of when you’ve taken drugs and experienced seizures – recording that information in Epsy will help your treatment team understand what’s going on.

Reduce your chances of medication failure

Sometimes medications may appear to not work if you forget to follow your treatment plan. Certain plans require you to follow a strict routine, which can be tough. If that’s the case, speak to your doctor about any difficulties.  Your doctor can tailor treatments to fit your lifestyle.