During an atonic seizure the muscles go limp and people can suddenly drop to the floor or slump if sitting down.

    What happens

    1. 1
      Atonic seizures are brief and will usually last for 1 or 2 seconds
    2. 2
      Atonic seizures are sometimes called drop attacks or drop seizures
    3. 3
      This type of seizure can have a generalised onset, where both sides of the brain are affected from the start. Or it can be focal onset, meaning it starts in one side of the brain
    4. 4
      It’s common for people to fall forwards during an atonic seizure and there is a risk of injury to the head, nose or face
    5. 5
      Because there is risk of head injury with atonic seizures, some people wear protective headgear

    How people can help

    If you have atonic seizures

    It’s helpful for others to:

    After the seizure

    Do something

    Keeping a seizure diary really helps people to understand their seizures better.

    What percentage of your seizures are you recording in a seizure diary?

    Go to the Seizures menu

    Updated 12 May 2020
    Review 12 May 2023
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