Breakthrough seizures, which are seizures that occur despite the use of stable regimens of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), can be an ongoing concern for anyone who has epilepsy. Breakthrough seizures can occur anytime and anywhere. When a breakthrough seizure happens, quick and effective action is needed. Why? Because seizures that continue untreated may result in serious health problems and costly emergency room visits.

Give yourself the security of a seizure preparedness plan

Create a Personalized Seizure Preparedness Plan:

Create a plan for a child/teen

Create a plan for an adult

A seizure preparedness plan contains written information and step-by-step instructions that can better prepare family, caregivers, friends, coworkers, and healthcare professionals to help those who have a breakthrough seizure— quickly and effectively—wherever a seizure may occur, such as at work, school, home or while traveling.

What will my plan include?

Your personalized plan will include information on:

  1. How to recognize the signs and symptoms of a seizure
  2. Basic first aid for seizures
  3. Treatment options for seizures:
    1. Administration of a rescue medication as prescribed
    2. Calling 911: Establishing a time frame for making the call
    3. Emergency contacts: When and whom to notify when a seizure occurs
  4. Seizure preparedness wallet cards: to be distributed to friends, family, and caregivers, so they are prepared to respond to a breakthrough seizure.

Why do I need a seizure preparedness plan?

A seizure preparedness plan helps people who know and care for you respond quickly to a seizure, potentially minimizing long-term health complications and costly emergency room visits.

What goes into a seizure preparedness plan?

There are several parts to a successful seizure preparedness plan:

  • Daily management of epilepsy. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions when it comes to treating your epilepsy. You and your doctor have probably established a routine that includes daily use of AEDs to control your epilepsy and minimize the risk of breakthrough seizures. Your doctor may have suggested some lifestyle changes, such as changes in diet, sleep habits and stress reduction. Your doctor may also have suggested avoidance of certain seizure triggers, such as avoiding alcohol, illegal drugs and flashing lights. Your successful epilepsy treatment relies on working with your doctor and taking your medicine as prescribed.
  • Education. Educating yourself about epilepsy is also an important part of a successful seizure preparedness plan. There is a lot of valuable information available to help you learn about epilepsy and to help educate those around you. Your local Epilepsy Foundation is a great place to start. Visit to learn more about your local chapter.
  • Personalized seizure preparedness plan. Completed by both you and your doctor, this part of the plan empowers others to act in your best interest if you have a breakthrough seizure. It includes information on how to recognize signs and symptoms, how to provide basic first aid, what your doctor’s prescribed treatments are, and notification and emergency contact numbers.
  • Create a plan for a child/teen
  • Create a plan for an adult