Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Medicine Side-Effects in Epilepsy {Epilepsy Awareness}

Having Epilepsy generally means taking medicine to control it.  There is a large range of available medications for control of seizures and each comes with their own side effects.  Some of the side effects are managable and others are not, so you should always read up on a medication, ask questions to both your doctor and pharmicist and know what your side effects are for that medication, as well as other drug interactions.

Our family has taken the following medications over the years: Phenobarbital, Trileptal, Dilantin, Lamictal, Keppra, and Carbatrol. Currently Laycie is taking Carbatrol.  Medicine dosage is important.  Too much can lead to severe side effect symptoms and too little can result in seizure. 

Here are some examples of the side effects of these medications and how they have affected our family:

Phenobarbital can cause over-excitement and hullicinations, as well as rash and itching.  I personally suffered all of these as a result of this medication. 

Dilantin can result in the same side effects and I also suffered these from the medication.

Trileptal can cause extreme drowsiness, lack of appetite and speech impairment.  Laycie suffered all of these side effects while taking this medication for her first two years.

Carbatrol can result in over-excitement, severe hyperactivity or ADHD type symptoms, insomnia, lack of appetite, rash, and itchiness.  Laycie has suffered all of these symptoms from this medication also.

For Laycie, the Keppra stopped working after two weeks without warning.  The doctors give no reason as to why.

As I stated above these are examples of how these medications' side effects have effected our family.  This does not mean they will effect your family in the same way, and should not be viewed as such.  As a patient, parent or loved one of someone with Epilepsy, you should read up on the facts about the medication your family member is taking and pay special attention to the side effects so that you know what is normal and common and what is not.  Some of these side effects can be dealt with in other ways but some can have severe and dangerous effects.  Our family is lucky that it is not the case for us.  Our side effects are mild, thankfully and easy to live with. 

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