Epilepsy Talk

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome — a danger for those on Dilantin or Lamictal

November 19, 2018
Leave a Comment

This article is not for those with a weak stomach.  Because Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is an ugly and sometimes deadly disease.

But if you are on Dilantin or Lamictal, I urge you to read this information.

According to the Mayo Clinic: Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is a rare, serious condition, thought to be caused by a disorder of your immune system.


Dilantin — What People Are Saying…

November 13, 2018
23 Comments

When I was first diagnosed with epilepsy back in 1969, the availability of AEDs was limited.

Phenobarbital or Dilantin.

Pick your poison.

I chose Dilantin. It was not a pretty picture.


Dilantin — Hero or Horror?

November 12, 2018
15 Comments

Dilantin (Phenytoin) can be considered the grandfather of all epilepsy medications.

Although it was invented in 1908 as a chemical that could prevent convulsions during electroshock treatment, its popularity grew quickly, and as early as 1940, it was hailed as initiating a whole new epoch of anti-epilepsy drugs, motivating researchers to seek even more effective medications and pharmaceutical companies set up aggressive screening programs.

In the next two decades, a dozen new anticonvulsants were introduced into clinical therapy!

Today, Dilantin remains one of the most widely used drugs in the world.


Epilepsy and Memory…

October 21, 2018
17 Comments

To say that lack of memory is a major worry for those of us with epilepsy is hardly a surprise.

In fact, it’s the number one concern.

Simply put, memory is our brain’s ability to store information and find it again later.

Chemical and electrical changes happen in your brain when new memories are made.

It’s a natural brain process that requires continuing attention and recording by parts of your brain.


Epilepsy And Complementary Medicine…

October 18, 2018
17 Comments

Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) is just what it sounds like. Something to complement the AED regimen you’re already on. And perhaps take an extra step (with your doctor’s go-ahead) to alleviate seizures.

There are lots of alternatives, so I’ll touch on the most popular ones here. (Somehow, I don’t think you’re going to be turning to stones or amulets for relief!)

Interestingly, The Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona did a survey and it revealed that half of the people with epilepsy had tried CAM at some time for seizure control. Almost half used them for other reasons.

Overall, people found CAM to be generally beneficial to their health. The most helpful were stress reduction, yoga, and botanicals (herbs). Nonetheless, half of the patients taking botanicals had an increase in their seizures.

One third of the patients felt that CAM helped treat their epilepsy better than the AED. However, very few patients considered stopping the AED. Almost all of the patients stated they would feel comfortable informing their physician about CAM use.

“Modern medical therapy often fails, yet modern medical therapy exists because complementary and alternative medicine often fails. Both sides have to recognize each other.”  Dr. Orrin Devinsky


Medical Marijuana — What the Experts are Saying

October 13, 2018
19 Comments

“It doesn’t have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes Marijuana is the only thing that works… It is irresponsible not to provide the best care we can as a medical community, care that could involve Marijuana. We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that.” — Dr. Sanjay Gupta / Neurosurgeon.


The Great Debate — Medical Marijuana

October 9, 2018
17 Comments

Even though the cannabis plant has a long history of medicinal use, with evidence dating back to 2,737 BCE, it’s still a subject of hot controversy. 

It appears to be a standing battle between politics and science.

The legality requires proof of medical marijuana’s effectiveness.

Reports of success are anecdotal.

Yet there are no funds for clinical trials and it remains on a back burner for further NIH funding and research.

(Wow. What a surprise!)

Dr. Ben Whalley, who is leading the research at the department of pharmacy at the University of Reading, said: “There was a stigma associated with cannabis that came out from the 60’s and 70’s associated with recreational use, so people have tended not to look at it medicinally as a result.”

But now, some experts are calling for fresh research into the potential of cannabis-like compounds to help alleviate seizures.

Because further evidence has emerged that an ingredient of cannabis could help prevent epileptic seizures.


Your Thyroid…What Everyone with Epilepsy Should Know…

September 28, 2018
11 Comments

Touch your neck, right above your collarbone, and you’ll find a little gland called your thyroid.  It only weighs an ounce, yet this thyroid’s hormones control your metabolism.

When those hormones are balanced, everything is fine.

But if your thyroid makes just a little less or more than you need…it could cause havoc, both with how you function and the effectiveness of your AEDs.


Epilepsy Drug Side-Effects

September 23, 2018
36 Comments

They’re necessary, but not necessarily nice.

And every med has its own side-effects.

Just as different people experience different difficulties.

But here‘s the low-down on the possible side-effects.

I hope you don’t have to suffer any of them. (Or as few as possible.)


AEDs…Surgery…and Alternative Treatments…

September 18, 2018
14 Comments

The saying “there’s something for everyone” may be true.

But with epilepsy, it’s often a dicey proposition — not to mention frustrating — to determine what that “something” is for you.


Next Page »

    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

    View Full Profile →

    Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive free notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,503 other followers

    Follow Epilepsy Talk on WordPress.com