A person’s prognosis depends entirely on the type of epilepsy they have and the seizures it causes.

More than 60 percent of people will respond positively to the first anti-epileptic drug prescribed to them. Others may require additional assistance finding a medicine that is most effective. Almost all patients will find relief from their epilepsy symptoms with medication.

After being seizure-free for about two to five years, 50 percent of patients will be able to stop using their anti-epileptic medicines.

Worldwide Facts

Worldwide, 50 million people have epilepsy. Almost 80 percent of these people live in developing regions of the world.

Epilepsy can be successfully treated, but more than 75 percent of patients living in developing areas do not receive the treatment they need for their seizures.


Epilepsy may not be preventable for some people. However, you can take certain precautions. These include:

  • Protect against head injury. Accidents, falls, and injuries to the head may cause epilepsy. Wear protective headgear when you’re bicycling, skiing, or engaging in any event that puts you at risk for a head injury.
  • Guard against prenatal injury. Taking good care of yourself while you’re pregnant helps protect your baby against certain health conditions, including epilepsy.
  • Be vaccinated. Childhood vaccinations can guard against diseases that might lead to epilepsy.



Each year, Americans spend more than $15.5 billion caring for and treating epilepsy.

Other Surprising Facts or Information

Having a seizure doesn’t mean you have epilepsy. In fact, one in 100 Americans will have an unprovoked seizure in their lifetime. An unprovoked seizure is not necessarily caused by epilepsy. However, two or more unprovoked seizures may signal that you have epilepsy.

The future for epilepsy treatment looks bright. Researchers believe brain stimulation may help patients experience fewer seizures. Small electrodes, placed into your brain, can redirect electrical pulses in the brain and may reduce seizures.