Pharmacy Clinical Pearl of the Day: Grand Mal Seizures

Many people who experience a grand mal seizure never have another one and don't need treatment.

Clinical Pearl of the Day: Grand Mal Seizures

A grand mal seizure causes a loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions.

Insight:

  • Grand mal seizures are the type most commonly associated with seizures.
  • A grand mal seizure—also known as a generalized tonic-clonic seizure—is caused by abnormal electrical activity throughout the brain.
  • Usually, a grand mal seizure is caused by epilepsy. However, sometimes this type of seizure can be triggered by other health problems, such as extremely low blood sugar, a high fever, or a stroke.
  • Many people who experience a grand mal seizure never have another one and don't need treatment. But someone who has recurrent seizures may need treatment with daily anti-seizure medications to control and prevent future grand mal seizures.
  • Symptoms include loss of consciousness, contractions, and falling.
  • Diagnosis includes neurological exam, blood test, lumbar puncture, CT, MRI, or PET exam.
  • Treatment includes medications such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek), valproic acid (Depakene), oxcarbazepine (Oxtellar, Trileptal), lamotrigine (Lamictal), gabapentin (Gralise, Neurontin), topiramate (Topamax), phenobarbital, and zonisamide (Zonegran)

Sources:

Grand mal seizure - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic

grand mal seizure images - Google Search