Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About Epilepsy

We know you may have some questions about your child’s visit, medication refills or everyday life with epilepsy. We’ve provided answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

Your child should take the anti-seizure medications exactly as prescribed. If the medication is prescribed once a day, then give the medication at the same time every day. If the medication is prescribed twice a day, then give it as close to 12 hours apart as possible every day. If it is prescribed three times a day, give it as close to eight hours apart as possible. Your child should always take the medication with food.
Your child must take his or her anti-seizure medication at the same time(s) every day. This will provide maximum benefit from the medication, and help prevent “breakthrough” seizures. Your child’s nurse practitioner will provide guidance about what to do in the event that your child misses a dose.
Please allow one week for medication refills. We will always make sure you have enough refills to last you until your child’s next clinic visit.
Labs will be drawn at most clinic visits. We will contact you by phone with test results only if the results were abnormal.
Consult with your primary care doctor. Some cold medications that contain decongestants can lower seizure threshold (increasing the risk of a seizure). However, this does not happen with everyone, and there is no way to predict whether a seizure will occur. If your primary care doctor feels your child would benefit from a decongestant, then follow that advice. Please note that a medication such as Claritin or Zyrtec without the letter “D” in the name is fine to take. 

Licensed drivers who have been diagnosed with seizures must present the department of motor vehicles with a statement from their epileptologist in order to drive legally. Your child will need this paperwork in order to operate any motorized vehicle, including a car or recreational vehicle such as an all-terrain vehicle or jet ski.

In order to drive, a child must be seizure free and taking seizure medication as prescribed. 

Children with epilepsy can participate in many sports. However, some sports are not safe for children who have certain types of epilepsy. For example, a child who has seizures that involve a loss of consciousness should not participate in swimming. Contact sports including football also can be dangerous. The medical team will talk to you and your child about the risks and benefits of sports participation.
Please allow two weeks notice for school forms, driving forms, Family and Medical Leave Act paperwork, and other forms or letters.
The clinic has a licensed social worker who works specifically with the epilepsy team to assist with patient and family needs. You also can contact a Cincinnati Children’s financial advocate at 513-803-6500 or at FFA@cchmc.org.
The Epilepsy Council of Greater Cincinnati and Columbus provides support groups and advocacy groups, and can assist with multiple issues.  Call the council at 513-721-2905.