If you or anyone you care for suffers from epilepsy, you might be concerned about the risks of coronavirus infection and the COVID-19 vaccine. People with epilepsy are more likely to be in residential care, have caregivers visit them, or have other health problems in addition to their epilepsy. These factors can increase their chances of contracting coronavirus or being more severely affected by it.
Is it possible for epileptic seizures to get worse during or after a coronavirus infection?
High fever and infections often caused by the coronavirus infection can lower the seizure threshold, leading to an increase in seizure frequency.
Is it possible to get the COVID-19 vaccine if you have epilepsy?
The COVID-19 vaccine is effective for people with epilepsy based on current knowledge. There is no indication suggesting that patients with epilepsy are at a higher risk of adverse effects after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Epilepsy medications are unlikely to interfere with COVID-19 vaccines. This ensures that the vaccine should have no effect on how your medicines operate.
Are there any side effects to the COVID-19 vaccination for epilepsy patients?
COVID-19 vaccines, like other vaccines, can cause mild to moderate side effects such as fever. Not all will experience side effects, but if you do, the majority will subside within a few days. Fever can make certain people with epilepsy more likely to have a seizure. If you're worried about getting a fever after the vaccine, consider taking a fever-reducing drug like paracetamol for 48 hours afterwards.
The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 infection greatly outweighs the risk of side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine for the vast majority of epilepsy patients.