The vast majority of people with epilepsy live long and healthy lives. As with many other medical conditions though, for some people there is an increased risk of dying caused by epilepsy.

The possible causes of this increased risk include:
  • More serious health problems, such as a stroke or a tumor. These conditions carry an increased risk of death and may cause seizures.
  • Falls or other injuries that happen because of seizures. These injuries can be life-threatening.
  • Seizures that last over 5 minutes. This is a condition called status epilepticus. Status epilepticus can sometimes happen when a person suddenly stops taking seizure medication.
  • The underlying medical cause of someone’s epilepsy
  • SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy). SUDEP is thought to happen when a person with epilepsy, who is in their usual state of health, dies unexpectedly.
Can you die from epilepsy?