Is there a word or phrase that describes an object that would cause an epileptic seizure? In a similar way that something that causes an allergy attack is an allergen For example, the flashing lights in the game were _____. The closest thing I can think of is possibly "triggering" but that isn't very specific.

3 Answers 3


The term of art is "epileptogenic," but this term is slightly misleading because it encompasses only seizures arising from epilepsy, which is neurological disorder. Sometimes normal brains can go into seizure, so the more general term is "ictogenic," from the Latin icere, to strike. For a medical exposition, see Seizures and Epilepsy by Jerome Engel.

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    True, but if you wanted to be understood by ordinary mortals, you might do better saying something like the flashing lights were fit-inducing. Jul 11, 2015 at 19:08
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    @FumbleFingers Or seizure triggers.
    – bib
    Jul 11, 2015 at 19:13
  • Some of us are operating on a higher plane, but point taken. "Fit-inducing" might err on the side of the sublunary though.
    – deadrat
    Jul 11, 2015 at 19:14
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    @deadrat: But (particularly, for learners) it does have the advantage of being a productive mechanism (vomit-inducing, anxiety-inducing, etc.). Possibly there's even a dedicated word for yawn-inducing, say, but who wants to learn all those when you can just apply a simple rule? Teach a man to fish, and all that. Jul 11, 2015 at 19:29
  • Besides, I don't think many people would look down on epilepsy-inducing for OP's context, and few would understand the concept of "non-epilectic fits" anyway. Jul 11, 2015 at 19:35

An English phrase would be "seizure-inducing".


Numerous web dictionaries and wikis define convulsant as an agent, usually a drug, that induces seizures. An anticonvulsant is a drug used to treat seizures.

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