Epilepsy and depression often go hand-in-hand. Up to 50% of people who have epilepsy also experience depression at some point in their lives, and this greatly impacts upon their quality of life.
The highest frequency rate occurs in those patients with seizure disorders arising in the temporal or frontal lobes or who have poorly controlled epilepsy. And among TLE patients, those with a left temporal focus had higher depression severity than those with a right focus. A more recent study confirmed these findings and found that patients suffering from a complex partial seizure disorder were much more inclined to have depression, compared to those with generalized tonic-clonic seizures.
However, concern for the potential of certain antidepressants to induce seizures has led to under-treating depression and anxiety disorders in epilepsy patients.
The first Vagus Nerve Stimulator (VNS) was implanted in 1988, as a therapeutic option for medically intractable epilepsy, when elective epilepsy surgery was not appropriate.
As the number of implanted vagus nerve stimulators grows, so does the need to remove or revise the devices.
When I was young, in the middle of the night, I’d have these horrible seizures.
I’d wake upright with the inside of my head spinning at about 100 miles per hour.
Clutching my head, I’d tear at my hair — anything to make it stop.
And eventually it did. And I slipped back to sleep. Terrified. Wondering when the next one would hit…
At the very best, finding the right anti-epilepsy drug is a crap shoot. There’s always the hope that this one will do it. Or maybe adjunct therapy will work. Or, sigh, the side-effects derail you and you’re on to the next. Is asking for seizure control too much?
The good news is that many newer AEDs are better tolerated than the older, standard AEDs. Although they, too, come with side-effects.
Newer AEDs often cause less sedation and require less monitoring than older drugs. Although they are generally FDA-approved for use as add-ons to standard drugs that have failed to control seizures, they are often prescribed as single drugs.
Specific choices usually depend on your particular condition and the specific side-effects of the AED.
None has emerged as being superior to either standard or newer drugs. All appear to offer some benefits, however, as with standard anti-seizure drugs, they all come with side-effects of their own.
But, until a cure for epilepsy is discovered, medical treatment is the only game in town. Unless you go for surgery or some of the newer intervention techniques.
Your pharmacist is the least expensive and most accessible health resource you have. They fill prescriptions and provide expert information about medications — a very important role considering the prominent use of seizure medications to treat epilepsy.
While it might seem easier to forge a personal relationship with one pharmacist at a small mom-and-pop pill dispensary, smart patients can and do establish great relationships with superstore pharmacists, too.
You can see the pharmacist anytime you want, without an appointment, and all consultations are free. In medicine, that’s extraordinary.
How many times have you had a prescription switched without your knowledge or permission?
Not just switched to a generic version of the prescribed drug, but to a different drug altogether.
Yet the practice of swapping out medications is perfectly legal in most states.
It’s called “therapeutic substitution” and it happens when a patient is switched from to a cheaper medication in the same class of drugs.
The drug shortages that have been plaguing the U.S. show no signs of going away anytime soon.
The problem peaked in 2011, when a record 251 drugs were declared in short supply. This year, slightly more than 100 were placed on the list, and workers say the battle to keep pharmacy shelves stocked continues…