The American Academy of Neurology and the American Epilepsy Society have released their guidelines on how to manage an adult patient who has had their first unprovoked seizure. Based on their review of the evidence, they recommend that clinicians base their decision about immediately initiating an antiepileptic drug after a first seizure on an individualized assessment. That evaluation should weigh the risk of a second seizure occurring against the adverse effects of the medication, as well as patient preferences. The risk of a second seizure increases if the patient has already suffered a symptomatic brain insult such as a stroke or head trauma, among other risk factors. The guidelines also point out that immediate treatment with an antiepileptic agent reduces the likelihood of additional seizures for 2 years but does not have an impact on long-term prognosis for seizure remission.
Tao JX, Davis AM. Management of an Unprovoked First Seizure in Adults. JAMA. 2016;316(15):1590-1591.