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alcohol, drugs and epilepsy

Whether to drink alcohol or take recreational drugs is a personal choice, but it is worth knowing the possible effects they could have on your epilepsy. Alcohol or recreational drugs can cause epilepsy in some people.

Alcohol and epilepsy

Graphic of alcohol and drugsAlcohol is a common trigger for seizures, especially in the hangover period when your brain is dehydrated. It also disrupts sleep patterns which can be a common trigger for seizures. Alcohol can make epilepsy medication less effective or make the side effects of medication worse. The patient information leaflet that comes with your AEDs may say whether you can drink alcohol with that AED. However, the effect alcohol has on your seizures is individual.

Drugs and epilepsy

Recreational drugs can trigger seizures or increase the frequency of seizures for some people, and can also interact with medication. Taking recreational drugs increases the risk of seizures and of mental and physical health problems, which in turn make seizures more likely. Learning more about your own epilepsy and treatment means you can make informed choices about your lifestyle.​

Want to find out more?

Find out more about seizure triggers.

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Taken from our free Just diagnosed pack which includes 'just diagnosed' booklet, seizure diary, first aid cards, helpline card, 'what would help me?' postcard and ID card and wallet.

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