Epilepsy, AEDs and Exercise

Published: 18 Feb 2020
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Click the link to see an article by Better Health further detailing the following topics about Epilepsy, Anti-Epileptic Drugs (AEDs) and Exercise:


About Epilepsy and Exercise – In rare cases, sport and exercise can cause epileptic seizures, however, in general, physical activity doesn’t worsen epilepsy, and in many cases, it may even improve seizure control and overall health. Most sports are completely safe to participate in (even contact sports), however special care is advised for water sports and sports involving heights. Sports that involve extreme risk (like downhill skiing) are not recommended.


Exercise safety issues and epilepsy (General Safety Considerations) include:


Avoid your known seizure triggers, such as getting a bad night’s sleep

Stay well hydrated

Don’t continue to exercise if you feel faint

Wear a medical alert bracelet if participating in a solo sport

Always take medication as prescribed

Notify family or friends when you are exercising


AEDs and Exercise – Anti-Epileptic Medication may cause side effects that interrupt exercise, such as fatigue, blurred vision, and slower reaction times. If you feel that the side effects are significantly impacting your sport, speak to your doctor about reviewing your medications.


Exercise-Related Epilepsy Triggers – Seizures that occur during or after exercise may be due to triggers such as extreme fatigue, lack of sleep, dehydration, hyperthermia, and hypoglycaemia. To avoid this, you should attempt to sleep sufficiently, don’t push yourself too hard, drink plenty of water and limit or abstain from alcohol.

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