These pages are about using the National Health Service in the UK. If you are looking for information about using the health service in another country, please contact your local epilepsy organisation.
This page is a guide to questions you may wish to ask the doctor that you see about your epilepsy. This might be your family doctor, epilepsy specialist, or epilepsy specialist nurse.
In the UK, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) Guideline suggests that if you have epilepsy, you should have a meeting with a health professional, a doctor or nurse, at least once a year, whether or not you are experiencing any particular problems. This is an opportunity to make sure that you are getting the best treatment for your epilepsy.
Understanding your own epilepsy and monitoring your situation, for example by keeping a seizure diary, will give you the confidence to ask questions if necessary.
- More information about keeping a seizure diary
Preparing for your appointment
You may find it helpful to organise your thoughts before you go, for example by making brief notes or a list of questions.
Be persistent in asking your questions until you fully understand the explanation.
You might find it helpful for a close relative or friend to go with you. They can offer support and may also be able to help with information such as describing exactly what happens when you have a seizure.
If there is not enough time to cover all your questions, ask for another appointment.
Questions for your doctor
Here are some questions which you may wish to ask your doctor.
- Why do you think I have developed epilepsy now?
- Has my epilepsy got a particular name?
- What is the future outlook for my epilepsy?
- How does the medication work?
- When should I take it?
- Must I take it exactly as stated?
- What happens if I miss a dose, vomit or have diarrhoea?
- What are the possible side effects of my medication?
- Which side effects are important to see you about?
- What will happen if my medication does not work?
- Can you explain how the driving regulations will affect me?
This information has been produced under the terms of The Information Standard.
Updated November 2011To be reviewed November 2013