Epilepsy With Headache Paper
J.P. is a 24-yr-old woman who was diagnosed with
epilepsy at age 15. At that time, she had a tonic-clonic
seizure and was given a prescription for phenytoin
(Dilantin). She had a second witnessed seizure 4 mo
later, but has since been seizure free. J.P. now has
complaints of headaches and says she is afraid that
her seizures are going to return. She is single, lives
alone, and describes her job as stressful.
• Describes headache pain on the left side of her forehead as throbbing
• Has vomited with headache
• Describes changes in vision, including flashing lights
• Headache occurs nearly every month on a regular cycle
• Alert and oriented to person
• Neurologic examination negative
• Phenytoin level within normal limits
• EEG normal
• CT of head normal
1. What is epilepsy?
2. What is the pathophysiology of epilepsy?
3. What is the significance of the laboratory and diagnostic findings?
4. Is the headache related to seizure activity?
5. Priority Decision: What is a priority nursing intervention for J.P.?
6. What should be included in the teaching plan for J.P. regarding the
course of the disease?
7. Priority Decision: Based on the assessment data, what are the priority
8. Evidence-Based Practice: Based on current treatment guidelines,
what medication may be effective in managing both J.P.’s epilepsy and
her migraine headaches?
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