Epilepsy Talk

Seizures and Steroids

December 5, 2016
4 Comments

I always thought that steroids were the kind used by athletes and bodybuilder to pump up their performance. Yes, they do exist and, yes they are quite dangerous, but those aren’t the kind of steroids this article is about.

In fact, anyone who has epilepsy should NOT take anabolic steroids because they may change the level of anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) in the blood and may make seizures more likely.

The steroids I’m talking about are naturally occurring hormones. Common oral prednisolone or less common/higher risk ACTH — which have a place in the management of severe epilepsies.


Seizures…Memory…Depression. YES, They Are Linked!

November 17, 2016
16 Comments

At least one in every eight people with epilepsy also has depression.

Epilepsy can have different effects on memory functions and depression for various reasons.

Because the portion of the brain where memory and emotions are stored — the limbic system — can be disturbed by epileptic seizures.

In fact, memory problems are one of the most reported problems that coincide with epilepsy.


The Trouble with AEDs

September 10, 2016
12 Comments

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?


Epilepsy and Electrolytes

October 31, 2015
10 Comments

It’s a situation often mentioned but rarely understood – the effects electrolytes have on seizures.

But a simple blood test can detect the danger of unbalanced electrolytes…


Top Seizure Apps For Smartphones…

August 2, 2015
7 Comments

A recent study published in the International Journal of Epilepsy has found that certain smartphone apps might aid those with epilepsy.

These apps include seizure diaries as well as medication trackers with reminders to take the next pill.

Apps are available to answer any question patients with epilepsy might have and to remind doctors about drug interactions to watch out for.

Most of them are free of charge.


12 THINGS YOUR DOCTORS WON’T TELL YOU…

January 4, 2015
17 Comments

Modern medicine can do miraculous things — but every test and treatment has a downside.

And your doctor may not disclose the dangers without prompting, a new survey finds.

Researchers surveyed 2,700 patients who’d recently decided whether or not to have surgery, take a medication, or undergo cancer screening.

Most reported their physician spent far more time talking up the benefits of each choice than explaining the risks.


Epilepsy and Birth Control

November 23, 2014
1 Comment

Figuring out birth control with epilepsy meds can be a challenge at best.

How will your AEDs affect your birth control? Will your birth control lessen the effectiveness of your meds?


Dilantin – What People Are Saying…

June 24, 2013
132 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.

I was a walking zombie, constantly keeling over, and the final insult was when I went into a coma because of toxic blood levels. (No brain, no pain?)

But many have their own serious tales to tell. Here are their experiences. And some advice…


Prescription Switching. Do You Know What You’re REALLY Getting?

February 12, 2013
28 Comments

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.


Epilepsy Medication Conflicts…

November 22, 2011
9 Comments

Common wisdom is that it’s best to take one anti-seizure medication. But for many of us, monotherapy just doesn’t work. However adjunct therapy has its dangers. And both treatments carry their own interactive risks – even with things as innocent as aspirin.

For example, some seizure medicines can lower or raise the levels of other types of medicines in your blood. Some combinations cause the levels of both medications to fall. Some cause one level to fall and one level to rise. And some cause unpredictable side- effects…

So I hunkered down to discover the unhappy marriages between anti-seizure meds. I’m sure there are many more, but it’s a start. And more than I knew before embarking on this research. Here’s what I discovered…


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    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.

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