SUDEP stands for Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy. It is an uncommon occurrence but it does happen. Risks appear to be negligible for those whose epilepsy is well controlled and greatly reduced for those who follow a healthy lifestyle.


More research is needed and some is occurring. Your local epilepsy association can provide you with further information about SUDEP, which, while it is devastating for those people it effects, is also uncommon. It is not helpful to discuss SUDEP immediately following a diagnosis of epilepsy. Chances are you will gain excellent seizure control and that the possibility of SUDEP will not even become an issue. If you do not gain excellent seizure control then there are things that you can do to reduce the risk of what is in any case an uncommon phenomenon, and your epilepsy counsellor will certainly help you deal with the issue.


We mention SUDEP because it is important that you know about it and that you understand that no matter how unlikely it might be for you, epilepsy can and does kill people. It underlines the importance of taking seriously the need to work with your doctor and your family and your epilepsy counsellor to minimise the impact of epilepsy in your life.

Reprinted from Epifile with the permission of Epilepsy Australia: August 2002