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seizures
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seizures

How long does it take lamictal to take effect on partial seizures and as a mood stabilizer?  Are there any medicines that I can't take with it?  I'm taking it for both.  I had an abnormal eeg(havn't had seizures for 20 years though) and I have recurrent depression and forgetfulness.  Also, do you think that partial seizures could cause depressive symptoms?

Thanks
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For seizures, the dose of Lamictal needed to reach therapeutic (effective antiseizure levels) is very dependent on a number of things including: 1. the simultaenous use of other antiepileptics 2. the simultaneous use of depakote 3.your specific enzyme activity level  (don't worry about this).  The major things are the other drugs you may be taking. But let's say you're taking this alone. The doses that patients respond to are different, ranging from 75-600mg per day, but can definitely be higher especially for people who totally depend on just one drug for seizure control. Many of our patients are on 300-500mg/d. Now the second part of this is that you start with a low dose like 25mg and then VERY SLOWLY titrate it upwards to the therapeutic range because of the possible side effect of a serious rash if loaded too quickly.  Most people take 6-8 weeks to become therapeutic, so it's usually safer to have them on something else in the meantime for adequate seizure protection.

FOr mood disorder, the dose ranges from 75-300mg/ day in research studies for the drug to be effective. The clinical response is used to judge the dose of the drug that should be used (although in your case, the level needs to be high enough for seizure protection).  So theoretically, if you are being slowly loaded the mood stabilizing effect could take place (if it's going to work) in 4-8 weeks. Finally, it is well known that there is an association between epilepsy and depression due to multiple biological, psychological and social reasons. Look for a support group in your area. This has been very helpful for some of our patients. Best of luck.
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Hi Sillysue,
Just wanted to let you know of a couple of Yahoo support clubs for those with seizures, in case you weren't aware:

http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/epilepsychat

http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/epilepsysupportgroup

Gee, you haven't had a seizure in 20 yrs, but they are making you take meds because of abnormal EEG?!  Was there alot of activity?  Why were you getting the EEG in the 1st place?  I hope you don't mind me asking, as I was just recently diagnosed.  I hope to be off the Trileptal in 2 years!
Good luck and a healthy and Happy New Year!

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When I was recently diagnosed with ADD without hyperactivity and recurrent depression, I got the eeg to rule out seizures as a cause of my forgetfulness and there was a lot of activity.  They arent making me take it, its more of a trial kind of thing to see if it will help my symptoms.  Lamictal is also prescribed as a mood stabilizer.  I'm 25 and had three generalized seizures when I was 2.  Havn't taken aed's since I was 5.  Activity is in left frontal temporal lobe.
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Mine is in the same place and my memory is the pits! My cognitive and language skills have declined, I am always asking hubby, "What is that word I am thinking of". I hate it, it is soooo frustrating. Also, I am having troubles with the my right side of my body, abnormal sensations. The epil. actually told me if I didn't take med I could possibly totally lose the use of my right side! I dunno. Some drs. think stroke and some MS, because of the lesion there. I feel like I am in a nightmare. My hubby says I have to break down the "brick wall" of denial. :o(
Did you check out those sites?
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Those sites are great thanks for the input.
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I have a big problem with word finding. I'll be able to describe what the word means but unable to say the word.  Its usually something easy too.  Once I was telling a story and mentioned that someone was from Maryland.  In the next sentence, I couldn't think of the word Maryland.  I said "You know that state that starts with an 'm' mary something"  Makes a conversation difficult sometimes.  It comes and goes though.  It's not always that bad.
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That is exactly how it is for me! Even the part where I say what letter it starts with! Except sometimes I think I am wrong, sometimes I am not sure because hubby doesn't give me the word I am thinking of (at least I don't think he does). LOL
How about when you type, do you find that you have used words that may sound a bit similar instead of the proper word? Like one time when I was explaining this very thing I used the word "you" instead of "use". Sometimes I catch it and sometimes it is too late and I just look at it and shake my head.
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I also experience the use of a wrong word, usually while talking.
I somtimes say a simular word or a rhyming word.  

I've had one unexplained seizure in 10-01.  I was out eating with my family and the next thing I remember is waking-up hysterical in the ER.  I remember NOTHING in between.  

My MRI and EEG were normal.  I'm taking Carbatrol 300mg. twice a day.  I suffered no trauma to the head, wasn't sick before or after, and still do not remember anything of the episode.

My husband of 21 years states I looked at him and my eyes twitched and then my whole body began to convulse.  Due to my previous jobs with the handicapped he knew enough to get me to the floor and protect my head.  He states I convulsed for almost 5 minutes and was unconscious until the paramedics arrived.  

I woke up very frightened and confused.  I had no idea who the techs. were or why they were checking me.  I became violent and vulgar with them, refusing to go with them.  My husband gave them consent to take me to the hospital.

I also am going stir crazy not being able to drive.  I have always been a very independant person who is used to coming anf going as I please.

It's taken me this long to build-up the courage to seek others with the same experience.  Not being able to find a cause is just as terrifying as having a tumor would be.  My Dr. can't say if I will have another seizure or not.  He suggests I stay on medication for at least 1 year seizure free.  3 months down and 9 to go!
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My wife has had her second siezure in three months. Her first, after an MRI, CAT Scan, and blood work was attributed to her taking Welbutrin with an ephedrine product. The second may be related to Ultram that was prescribed for pain.

We are waiting to get in to see the neurologists, Has anyone else had seizures related to taking medications?
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It is interesting reading about what has happened to others.  I had my first seizure in 1991.  I was at the mall with two of my children and all of a sudden everything looked liked it was written in a foreign language instead of English.  I was looking for a book and I commented to my daughter that I could not belive the bookstore had so many foreign books and not English books.  She looked very confused and I told her I was going to go sit in the Mall and wait for her and her brother.  At that point my vision started narrowing down to where I could not see anything.  In a few minutes after that I lost consciousness and my son said I had a seizure.  I was taken to the hospital and tests were run and they could find nothing.  I didn't start taking any medication.  I have had 6 episodes since.  They all start with the floaties (I call them) going in front of my eyes.  Then in a day or two, it feels like I cannot focus on anything, I can almost see "everything" and cannot focus on anything in particular.  Then in about five or ten minutes my vision starts to narrow, as if I had on blinders, and then I lose my vision completely and pass out.  When I wake up I have a horrible headache and cannot stand the light.  I keep the headache for at least the rest of the day or night this occurs.  I feel fine except for the headache.  I am so frustrated as I have been to at least 6 neurologists and had eeg's, cat scans, mri's and they can never find aything.  I am taken to the hospital each time and these are usually done within 30 minutes to an hour after each episode.  Some of the doctors think it is a migraine headache.  I want to know if anyone else has had this problem or something similar.  I am really desperate at this point.  This started when I was 48 years old.  Thanks for any help you can give me.
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Please visit the sites I posted they may help you.

Zoloft is what "brought out" my seizure according to epileptologist.

My eegs were normal the 1st two times and the 3rd only showed focal slowing. Then I had a 48 hr.video/eeg at a university hosp. and it showed sharp waves and spikes. Maybe you should see about getting a video/eeg. I am kinda sorry I did, long story and maybe some denial going on.

Not driving for months drove me bonkers!!!
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My sister had similar events as Learner, she is now wearing an insilin pump for her diabeties.

We did the 48 hour home eeg and in advertantly caused a seizure with my wife by watching Gladiator, too close to the big screen and in the dark.

One lady I spoke with thought that my wife is having "Cycle Seizures" and that many women have similar events related to monopause. We are waiting to hear from the neurologists after he reviews the data
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Whatis a sleep deprived EEG? what is the downside efect of having this test? will it provide additional information if I already have had a conventional EEG which shows seizure damage has already occurred.  I had a stroke and a seizure following aortic valve surgery at Cleveland Clinic and am on Dilanton.  What are the odds of getting off this medication without further seizures? Since I have never had a seizure or stroke in the past do you have any suggestions of a course of action for me now?
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You know I started to pass this section up, but something told me to go in and see what everyone is talking about. i have been totally surprised with what all of you have been saying regarding epilepsy. I was diagnosed with petit mal epilepsy in the fall of 99'. I was surprised the test showed that as i never had any thought about having epilepsy. I have a brother who has 2 chidren and they all have it. An older sister who has the same as I. My brother and his kids(they are grown) take the grand mal seizures. All my life as I was growing up from child to teenager to adult and had migraines, spells of getting somewhere without knowing how I got there, feelings that my brain was made of jelly because that is how it felt many times, forgetting words, saying different words in place of the right words (which is now getting worse) and shaking and feeling like I am not with my body but floating outside of it, I never knew until I just reaad all that you all have wrote about your experiences with epilepsy that all this stuff I have been experiencing is from my epilepsy. I thought for the past several years I was getting alheimers disease and I have been totally scared to death. I want to thank you all very much for taking the time out of your lives to write all the things you have for it has been a real awakening for me. My brother and his kids are not forthcoming on what they feel or how epilepsy makes them feel. My neice and nephew are slighty slow also so it is hard to get them to descibe their feelings and such since they still are children in their minds. My sister has been experiencing a lot of the same things you all have wrote also, so now i can print out the things you have wrote and show her. I am taking Dilantin and zoloft. the doctor wanted to up my dosage to 600 mgs but after he did and I was taking it I would wake up during the nite with the most horrible migraines, every nite. I then remembered when the doctor first started me on dilantin back in 99' I had the same results until a month went by. So iI couldn't handle the headaches this time and told him so and that I was not taking but 400mg a day. He said okay but I really needed the 600 dosage but right now I can't do it maybe later I will. The headaches were just too much for me for I was watching my grandchildren and you know you cannot watch children when you have a terrible migraine. My grandchildren were more important. I don't have seizures like you all have, but what kind I do have are bad. If I forget to take my morning dose of 200mg then go someplace I start shaking and feeling like I am not in my body. As long as I take my medicine then I can cope. I will let the doctor up the dose in February as my daughter-in-law is going to be able to stay home with the kids and I know I need the larger dose so I will start taking it. Thank you all very much. I will try to keep in touch and I will visit those sites for support. Thanks again.
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Albatross,
I am new to this, but have done alot of reading and have joined the support clubs listed above (and just came back from a visit with my epileptologist, to get questions answered).
A sleep deprived EEG is one where they have you sleep only a few hrs., like 4 and then stay up until the EEG. There are no side effects/dangers. This can tell them if there is activity where it is coming from and how often it is occurring and maybe other things. If you had a seizure from the surg or stroke itself, I am not sure the outlook, although I have read about surg and it is good. If the lesion from the stroke is causing activity according to my epil. the brain could be irritated and a couple of years or so on the meds might help, but only time will tell. Again, according to what I read, if it is from something that has scarred the brain your chances of remission aren't as good.
What I suggest is join the support clubs that I posted and visit the links they provide, and get a good book. One of the ones I got was, "A Guide to Understanding and Living with Epilepsy" by Orrin Devinsky, MD. I hope this helps.
Oh, another thing my epi. just told me is I prob won't be coming off my meds as soon as he originally said, because of my stress! He said he "guarantees" stress will only make things worse.

To Squirrley,
The zoloft caused me to have a seizure, is it having any effect on you?

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Jan:
I beleive it may be what is causing mine. since I have been on the zoloft it has helped with my depression but I am still waking up in the mornigs with a sore tongue that feels like it has been chewed on both sides. I also still have all the effects I told about above and for some reason my brain still feels shaky like jello and I am still having the shakiness and the feeling that I am not with my body. My doctor said these symptoms are seizures. I did not know til I read what you wrote that zoloft has the effect you described. So now I have to find another anti-depressant but am not sure which to take since I have been on prozac, paxil, elavil, wellbutrin, and I amd sure a couple of others. So far the only one that helps my depression is the zoloft, but like I said I am still having the seizures. Can you recommend an antidepressant that may help me. Or maybe one of the ones I have tried before just wasn't strong enough. I would appreciate any help.
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My wife
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Sorry, Squirrely, I was just put on Zoloft for neurocardiogenic syncope.
Are you seeing a neurologist? A neurologist should know, I would think.
My epileptologist said it is very important to control seizures and stress. (The epi doesn't treat me, he leaves that up to the neuro, but he diagnosed me and the neuro consults with him and yesterday's appt. was so I could get some questions answered that I was having trouble with. An epi does see and treat people with frequent or hard to control seizures.)
Did you check out those support clubs I listed above?
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Husband,
When seizures occur around the woman's menses it is called "catamenial epilepsy". I will quote some of a book I have here in front of me: "The hormonal changes associated with the  menstrual cycle are well defined and are the most likely cause of changes in the seizure frequency." "Control of seizures that occur mainly around the time of menstruation remains a difficult problem. For women who have regular menstrual cycles, a slight increase of the dosage of the antiepileptic drugs before the time of increased seizure frequency may be helpful." It says that a diuretic to help reduce water retention that occurs premenstrually may help and maybe hormonal substances such a progesterone or birth control pills may help. The efficacy and safety of hormonal therapy for this type of epilepsy remain to be established.
I hope that helps.
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I reread what you said about your med and the side effect (headache). I had some side effects at 1st and the neuro cut back just for a couple of wks. and then split the morning dose up. I take 1/2 at 9:30 a.m. and the other 1/2 at 1:30 p.m. Maybe something like this would help you.
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Thank you Jan,

It has been good to have someone to type to as we have gone from denial to shock to acceptance. Per the neurologist, Melissa has
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I never knew there was adult onset, either. I was just diagnosed in Oct. of last year. I had a complex partial seizure (from left temporal lobe) in March and last week epi. explained I have had simple partials. It took all that time to get a diagnosis because I have been diagnosed with syncope, also. That makes for quite a bit of confusion!
I have gained knowledge from the support clubs I mentioned above and the links provided therein. I have read 2 books, "A Guide to Understanding and Living with Epilepsy" by Orrin Deinsky, MD and  "Epilepsy, 199 Answers, A Doctor Responds to His Patients' Questions" by Andrew N. Wilner, MD,FACP
I am considering starting a support group through Yahoo for adult onset of epilepsy. The clubs I mentioned are a real asset, but I feel they can't relate to what someone experiences getting this later in life.  But it seems my get up and go, got up and went. LOL  Maybe after I adjust to this diagnosis and the Trileptal, I will get to it.
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I shared our communication with Melissa over the weekend and her response was "May god speed your recovery". I am now worried what effect going through this may have on our 4 year old daughter. She was the only witness to my wife's first two seizures.

Jim
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Dear Jim,
Please tell Melissa I wish for her the same!  As far as your daughter is concerned, children are so smart and resilient. I would sit down and explain things to her and reassure her. Give her some instruction in case it would happen again. Maybe your neurologist would have something to add. OH, by the way, there are a number of childrens' books (story books) about epilepsy!!! I think it would be good for you to look into them. If you do, let me know what you came up with, if you don't mind.
Yours,
jan
P.S. If Melissa or you would like to email me, my address is ***@****  
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i'll let her know and thanks. We will get to the book store later this week.
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I have had seizures since I was a little kid but was not diagnosed until I was 22 y/o.  Currently I am on 500mg Lamictal and probably will go up to 600.  The 500 works great, but if I miss my dose by a couple of hours sometimes I have a breakthrough seizure.  I have RTL focal point seizures.  I sometimes will have a grandmal.  But for the most part when I have them, I feel as though I am on a different planet.  I have had a horrific experience with seizures and am thankful that the docs have found something that works(after trying multiple others).  Lamictal is awesome.  Thank you also for the yahoo groups for support.  I will get on one to see if I can help others that are going through the same things.

God bless!
Chad
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my 19 year old daughter had 2 episodes that I call "fainting", one in March 2001 and one in August 2001.  She went completely out--knew she was going (weak wobbly knees, went blank before she fell).  She had stitches in her head after the first one and $2000 worth of dental work after the 2nd.  I don't know what made her faint, but now the neurologist said she had an abnormal EEG (left mid temporal sharp waves and left temporal high amplitude sharp waves were present--also vertex sharp waves and enhanced beta activity as well as some brief sleep spindles---does anyone know what all that means???!!).  Her MRI was normal.  Now she is on 100mg lamictal for seizures, but I have a hard time believing she is having seizures and needs this medicine.  Does the EEG prove that she is having seizures--I'm very confused no matter what I read.
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Well, I just happened upon this site and so glad that I did.  I had my first ever seizure and it scared me to death.  Those that helped me said I turned from blue, to purple to black.  I really didn't know what happened. I was sitting in a meeting and woke to a parametic asking me what day it was and I have no recolection of anything until waking in the hospital and wondering why my tongue was so sore.  I almost bit it in half.  I too was on Zoloft for approx 2 years...and switched to Wellbutrin because of the weight gain on Zoloft.  I too was approximately to the end of my period.  There was no time between the switch from Zoloft to Wellbutrin.  Could this be the problem?  I spent 4 days in the hospital and endured the CT Scan, the bloodwork, the MRI, EEG etc.  No tumors, no stroke..but the EEG showed some problems???  When I switched to Wellbutrin, I noticed the nervousness, shakes... but I just thought that would be to get used to the new anti-depressant.  Now, after the seizure I am still very dizzy and disoriented...my tongue is very thick and I just can't seem to get it right.  I have always been a very expresive person and now I really don't feel like I am all with it.  I sure hope we can find the problem here....good luck to you all....
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kjslmom;
I am not a dr. and am new to this, also. The little knowledge I have is book knowledge and info found on the internet. The only thing I know about what you posted is sharp waves. Sharp waves are epileptiform waves, markers for seizures. The "temporal" refers to the area of the brain, it would seem these are epileptogenic foci, meaning areas that could be the source of seizures. If you have the report, why not look up the terms so you can better understand them. Also, the book and sites I posted are great.

dizzee,
I felt terribly dizzy and out of it for months after my 1st complex partial seizure. I felt like I could/would have a seizure at any minute and wonder if it was seizure activity. It slowly began to clear up and didn't totally (if I can even say that now) until a week after I started my Trileptal. That was 7 months later!!!
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Kjmlmom,

(left mid temporal sharp waves and left temporal high amplitude sharp waves were present--also vertex sharp waves and enhanced beta activity as well as some brief sleep spindles---does anyone know what all that means???!!).

I am not a dr. but I can tell you that I've heard enough of this to say that it certainly sounds like seizures.  The sharp waves indicate that there is a 'misfiring' of electricity in the brain and it is emiting impulses that will cause the fainting.  How old is your child?
From my own experience when I started having seizures that were stronger than those of childhood, the family doc told me a whole list of things that it could be and when he named epilepsy that was the only one that I thought it was definitely not.  I always thought that people who had epilepsy were retarded (forgive me for this word).  But in retrospect, I learned that epilepsy didn't mean that at all.  It simply meant that there was an electical impulse that required medication in many cases to control.  You would probably be amazed at the amount of people that have seizures.  Many times in children it goes undiagnosed for years.  A child might show signs by 'rolling there eyes' and seeming to 'ignore' when someone is speaking to them.  Also it can manifest itself in the smacking of lips and pulling at clothes.  The postictal(sp?) stage of seizures in many is lethargy and confusion and completely not remembering what has happened or forgetting things and repeating themselves frequently.  These are only a few things that could happen, I have experienced most of them, but in every case there is something different.  
I can't imagine what a mother would go through when they find out that their child has epilepsy.  I can only go on what mine went through and what my wife experiences when I have one.  I know it's scary, but you can help her overcome some of the emotional issues that are associated with it.  If you need help in any way as far as someone who knows what it's like, please post something else and I will respond.  The support groups for epilepsy are tremendously helpful, also there are probably support groups at a local hospital.  If you have time for them, it is a major benefit.  I hope something in my post will help you.  God bless you 8-)
Chaddy
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Non of us are Drs. and the look on our neurologists face when I mentioned the internet was priceless.

However, Once again it appears that there can be multiple factors that contribute to seizures. The neurologist Melissa saw showed us her abnormal brain wave activity in right temporal lobe.

She is ramping up on the carbatrol (2 a day going to 4 a day) and so far the only side effect has been headache and being frustrated at being under house arrest. 9 no driving for 6 months) She too has felt that every little tremor was the start of a new event but has not had anything happen so far. She is on her first cycle since starting the meds and we are almost through it.

Our family practitioner said that the neurologist could not and would not ignore the science, but that he some what agreed with me that a cascade of events i.e. her threshold being lowered by multiple factors may have hade more causal effect than anything.

Jim
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Thank you everyone for making me feel better. I thought the reason my mind going blank was because of my seizures but never have confirmed it. Then again I also thought I was a little dumb too. After my seizures are the worst I cant think of much of anything and its best I just sleep until my body has rested.I find this usually helps at least a little. Then there are days I can not think of a lot of words. So I just do what I have to. I have tuberous sclerosis. And I am in search of a doctor right now in the Kansas area that has had experience with it besides me. I only have absence seizures. Where my body works but my mind doesnt. I have been lucky and only hurt myself twice and that was with a stove while I was cooking. Thank you again you have really made my day.
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If you haven't found a dr. yet in Kansas, then there are some in Arkansas that have experience with this condition.  I believe that it is the same one that has been mentioned before by a person at the church that I used to attend.  I could try to find out if you would like though.  Not sure how far I could get but I can try.  Have you looked it up on the internet?  God bless!
chaddy
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In october of 2001 I had a grandmal seisure in my sleep that was the first one I had their was no signs before that. The Dr. said I had epilepsy I had a cat scan and a eeg the eeg showed alot of seisure activity on the right side of my brain. I take 1500mg of depakote daily but it still does not control my seisures 100%. I only have them in my sleep. The Dr. I see has not told me what kind of epilepsy I have are Why? I'm seeking a new Dr. now can any one help me answer these questions? I cry all the time, forget things lose strength in my right hand with every seisure. my words don't come out right etc. and I,m angry all the time.
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I recommend getting in touch with a university hospital that has an epilepsy center and ask if they can help you with your questions.  "Epilepsy specialists use an MRI to look for subtle abnormalities in the brain that can cause seizures."  This is a quote from "Epilepsy:199 Answers" by Dr. Andrew Wilner.  He states in his book that a person can have a normal CT and an abnormal MRI.
I was angry when I found out, too.  It was a rough road.  Now, having started with a new neuro, it seems I have gone on the downside of the rollercoaster again.  Mainly because he said he is going to ask my epileptologist if I am at the drug dosage he wants and at the last visit the epi mentioned I might need an increase.  I just got used to this level and was getting back to a normal routine. Oh well.  
Good luck. I hope you get some answers.  My epi. is the only one who gave me answers, my last neuro would say, because the epi. said so.  Some answer.
Again, I recommend the books and clubs I mentioned in earlier posts.
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My daughter in law has epelipsey is there a medication that is safe to use during pregnancy that won't harm both mother and baby ?
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I'm not sure if there is one of those or not.  She needs to talk with her neurologist.  All of the meds. for epilepsy change that chemical function in the brain to control to seizures.  Some have a definite warning against taking during pregnancy.  Your best source would be the neurologist.  If you can't get in touch with him/her quickly then I would contact a pharmacist because of their knowlege of the side effects of all meds.
I hope this helps, best wishes to you and your daughter,
Chaddy
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I recently had a major seizure which I feel was caused by Xanax which I was taking on and off for about a month.  Did anyone else out there have problems with Xanax causing seizures.

  
I had a seizure about six months ago my doctor felt was caused by taking Webutrin & Paxil together.
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I am new to this forum.
I have had seizures in the past. The last one being in 5-97. I only have them when I have not had enough sllep or I have not finished my sleep cycle. My arms start shaking and It gets better if I just go back to sleep anad finish my cycle. The doctors did not find anything in the EEG or the MRI. I have been controlling it by making sure I get plenty  of rest every night.
The last time I had a seizure(5/97) was while I was driving. I hit someone head on and woke up in the ambulance. Thank god I was on a side street and going about 20mph. No one was hurt.
Since then, I have had panic attacks and anxiety problems. It started with the panic only while driving. These days, I am anxious of the actual panic itself. I don't drive that much.
ANyway, the reason I'm writing is that I got a prescription for Paxil from my doctor today. Is it safe for me. I have been researching it on the internet and seems like all these drugs for anxiety also could cause seizures.
If this is true, why would my doctor prescribe them to someone with a history of seizures?
I am anly researching before I get myself involved in taking something for that makes my seizure problem worse.
Thanks!
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My comment is that of concern sister. My older sister has seizures and has been rushed out of our home more than a couple of times in a ambulance. She has been to the doctor more than 50 times so that she can receive somekind of medication for her epelepsy. She received some medicine but got seizures even worst than before. Thedoctors cut down her doses of medicen to half still she gets seizues, doctors have not found what causes these seizures and dont even seem to bother that my sister has atleast  three times a month. My comment is shouldn't doctors be doing all they can to try and prevent my sister from having siezures or atleast having them under control?
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A related discussion, Epilepsy Chat was started.
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A related discussion, Seizure link with MRI contrast Dyes? was started.
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