Epilepsy & Alcohol

Effects of Alcohol

24 February 2009
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A person with epilepsy may need to take more care then others if drinking alcohol. There are good reasons for this

  • ALCOHOL CAN INTERFERE WITH ANTI-EPILEPTIC MEDICATION AND CAN PREVENT THEM FROM REACHING LEVELS IN THE BLOODSTREAM NECESSARY TO CONTROL SEIZURES
  • LARGE AMOUNTS OF ANY LIQUID, INCLUDING WATER, BEER, CIDER, ETC. CAN TRIGGER SEIZURES IN A PERSON WITH EPILEPSY
  • HEAVY DRINKING IS OFTEN ASSOCIATED WITH LATE NIGHTS, LACK OF SLEEP, MISSED MEALS AND FORGOTTEN TABLETS, ALL LIKELY TO INCREASE THE RISK OF A SEIZURE.

Medical opinion on whether a person with epilepsy should drink alcohol varies. Some doctors' recommend that it should be avoided at all times, while others say that a moderate amount will do no harm in most cases. Each person must decide what suits him or her best, in the light of their doctor's advice.

It is important to bear in mind that a person taking medication, which act, on the brain is likely to be more sensitive to the effects of alcohol than other people. This means that rather less than the recommended amounts for activities such as driving might affect their competence. It is preferable for the person with epilepsy not to drink any alcohol before driving. At other times consumption of alcohol should be carefully moderated.

Attached Documents

PDF icon Epilepsy and Alcohol (Epilepsy_and_Alcohol.pdf | 345 kB)
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