Tonic-clonic seizure

Home > Explanatory Dictionary > T > Tonic-clonic seizure

Submitted by Linda McGlone

Previously called “Grand Mal” and also termed convulsion or fit. These are the most universally recognised seizures. They often begin with a sudden cry and loss of consciousness. The body becomes quite stiff (tonic) shortly followed by jerking of the muscles (clonic). The seizure usually lasts no more than 2 minutes and is followed by a period of confusion, agitation or sleep. Headaches and soreness are common afterwards.