Causes of Status Epilepticus
The causes of status epilepticus (SE) relate to problems that affect the brain. Although epilepsy increases risk for developing the disorder, only a fourth of people who develop SE patients have epilepsy. About 75 percent of patients have no previous history of seizures. Frequently, the condition is triggered by a serious illness. The major cause of status epilepticus in children is infection with fever. In adults, the most common risk factors for status epilepticus are stroke, hypoxia (oxygen deprivation), metabolic disorders, and alcohol intoxication. Some drugs and medications such as penicillin, antihistamines and antidepressants also may trigger the extended seizures.
In people with epilepsy, withdrawing from anti-epileptic drugs primarily causes status epilepticus. The disorder occurs more often in patients where epilepsy results from an underlying condition, as compared to epilepsy with no known cause.