Coffee and Seizure Risk in Epilepsy


Too much and too little coffee is tied to an increased risk of a specific seizure type in patients with epilepsy, new research shows (Epilepsy Behav. Published online December 17, 2021).

Investigators found that high and low coffee consumption in patients with epilepsy was associated with up to a twofold increased risk for focal to bilateral tonic-clonic seizure (FBTCS) compared to moderate coffee consumption in this patient population.

The main message is that coffee is not contraindicated if you have epilepsy. But maybe the level of coffee consumption is important to discuss because of the potential increase of FBTCS frequency in patients drinking more than four cups per day.

The study included 619 patients age 18 years or older (mean age, 36.1 years; 54% women) with drug-resistant focal epilepsy for whom data about coffee consumption and seizure frequency were available.

Compared with patients with moderate coffee consumption, the OR of at least one FBTCS per year was 1.6 in patients who never drank coffee, 1.62 in patients who drank it rarely, and 2.05 in patients with high coffee consumption.