What are they? Also known as acute repetitive or serial seizures, seizure clusters are a closely grouped series of seizures that are typically different from an individual’s usual seizure pattern. They occur repeatedly over a matter of hours or even days, with periods of recovery in between.
Who has them? Not everyone with epilepsy will experience seizure clusters. They occur most often in people who have uncontrolled epilepsy.
Why are they important? Untreated seizure clusters can have potentially serious consequences, including physical injury, neurological damage, hospitalization, and/or status epilepticus—which is when a seizure lasts longer than five minutes or when seizures occur close together and the individual doesn’t recover in between episodes.
What are some potential treatment options? When needed, a doctor may prescribe a “rescue medicine” to treat a seizure cluster. Rescue medicines are different from daily seizure medicines that individuals take to manage their epilepsy. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about seizure clusters or rescue medicines.
Originally published in EpilepsyAdvocate Fall 2019.