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.
- 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)