Epilepsy Talk

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.


The Trouble with AEDs

May 9, 2018
36 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?


Seizures and Steroids

May 4, 2018
26 Comments

I always thought that steroids were the kind used by athletes and bodybuilders 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.


Epilepsy Medication Conflicts…

May 1, 2018
20 Comments

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.


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

August 14, 2017
25 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…


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

November 17, 2016
19 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.


Top Seizure Apps For Smartphones…

August 2, 2015
9 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
25 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?


Anti-Epilepsy Medication Side-Effects

September 7, 2011
56 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.)

Keppra (levetiracetam) — Well we all know about “Keppra Rage” but here, too, is a list of common side effects — dizziness; drowsiness; irritability; sore throat; tiredness; weakness. Not to mention abnormal thoughts, decreased coordination, extreme dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness, or weakness; hallucinations, memory loss, muscle or neck pain; new or worsening mental, mood, or behavior changes (eg, aggression, agitation, anger, anxiety, apathy, depression, hostility, irritability, panic attacks, restlessness); new or worsening seizures; suicidal thoughts or attempts.

Dilantin (phenytoin) – moderate cognitive problems, slurred speech, confusion, hallucinations, mood or behavior changes, hyperactivity (mentally or physically), unsteadiness, dizziness, fatigue, gum overgrowth, potential body/face hair growth, skin problems, bone problems (osteoporosis), suicide thoughts or attempts. Plus, Dilantin can cause a rare and dangerous rash called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.

Here’s the low-down on 27 more medications, in aphabetical order…


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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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