Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP)

Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) is when a seemingly healthy person with epilepsy dies unexpectedly, and the reason for death is unknown. More than one out of 1,000 people with epilepsy die from SUDEP each year, and for those with poorly controlled seizures, the risk increases to one out of 150. Keeping your seizures controlled through medication or other therapies and avoiding seizure triggers is the best way to reduce your risk of SUDEP.

Risk factors include:

  • Epilepsy beginning in childhood
  • Past Status Epilepticus
  • Having seizures at night
  • People between 20 and 40 years old
  • Not taking medications regularly

Strategies to reduce your risk:

  • Avoid seizure triggers
  • Avoid excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Live a complete and healthy lifestyle (including adequate sleep, balanced nutrition, regular exercise, etc.)
  • Take medications exactly as prescribed

Meet the Benitez-Gonzalez Family

The Benitez-Gonzalez family had no connection to epilepsy until the day it put 16-year-old Miguel in the hospital, and ultimately took his life. Now, just ten months later, his mother Clarissa uses her energy to raise awareness of the rare form of epilepsy that caused her to lose a child. She is Miguel’s voice now, and along with the other members of Team Miguel will be walking in his memory at the upcoming Rise Above Seizures Walk.

Read their story

Talk to Your Doctor About SUDEP

Your doctor is your best resource for better understanding and lowering your risk of SUDEP. Here are some questions you should consider asking your doctor :

  • Are there treatments that can reduce my seizures and lower my risk of SUDEP?
  • Should I consider using a device that warns someone when I am having a seizure?
  • What is my risk of SUDEP?
  • What can I do to reduce my risk if I have seizures at night?

To learn more, visit the SUDEP Institute or contact us through our web portal or by calling 800.779.0777.

Read more about SUDEP

The national Epilepsy Foundation has created a SUDEP Institute to offer resources, support research, and promote education about SUDEP.

Learn More