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Altitude and Epilepsy

Hi
I have a 2 part question. Firstly, i have been fit free for just over 3 years and on Lamictal.
Im planning on taking an overseas trip and doing some hiking. I would be at high altitudes.
I need to know if there is any evidence that Altitude affects Epilepsy. Would i be likely to have a fit if i was at a high altitude?
Secondly, Diamox is used to help with altitude sickness. If i took that along with my normal Lamictal medication, would it have any effects?
Thnx in advance
Ben
2 Responses
351246 tn?1379682132
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi
Thanks for the post!
If Lamictal is not making you drowsy or dizzy, then it is fine to go on hiking. However please do so in a group. Also please inform others about your condition and find out all details about whom to contact in medical emergencies.
Lamictal and Diamox do not interact. So it is safe to take them together.

Seizures have been reported at higher altitudes than the person is accustomed to. Mountain climbing should be avoided for your own safety. However if you are slowly acclimatized to higher altitude with medical help nearby I think you’ll be able to take the trip.  I am giving you a link where you can read all the precautions you need to take. http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Epilepsy_and_exercise?OpenDocument

It is difficult to comment beyond this at this stage. Please consult your epilepsy specialist regarding this. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
Avatar universal
It happened last year (in august 2014). We went to Leh Ladakh (In India). It was a planned road trip. Leh stands at an altitude of around 3500 mtrs from mean sea level. We reached Leh on 12th August & we should acclimatize atleast for a day (24 hrs) at such a high altitude, which we didnt & we just halted there for an hour & started driving further for a point named as highest motor-able road in the world (khardung La paas) which stands at an elevation of some 5200~5300 mtrs. We really felt uncomfortable at highest motor-able road there but still managed to stay for about 20 min & we started driving back to Leh. On reaching Leh we were in bad shape, nausea, puking, severe head ache. Within few hours we were normal. Next day we went to Pangong Lake at an altitude of around 4200~4300 mtrs, camped there for night. It was a night mare, so uncomfortable, so uneasy we felt. We were just waiting for the night to pass so that we can start driving for leh back as soon as the day breaks. Morning we drove back to Leh &  visited the Local Hospital in Leh for this which appears to be AMS to all 3 of us. Now the story starts. We all 3 friends went to see the doctor at the same time. The moment i was supposed to get up from the seat & move to other seat, I got this seizure attack (So called epileptic), my jaw locked & I crashed there on the sofa. I was given oxygen & I was again in senses in about some 7~10 mins. So for this 7~10 min I was simply unconscious. This never happened before in life. Never ever. That was the 1st time I ever had this seizure attack. Than I came back to Delhi. Consulted neurologist, got my EEG done, but it was normal. Doctor advised me not to ascend to higher altitudes, like 3000+. It's like my whole world collapsed for ever. I have been very active in trekking in Himalayas. I never had this seizure or epileptic attack ever before in my life. So Sir what's your take on this, is this purely altitude induced seizure, though it appears to be the one? So shall consult few other neurologist & get their opinions too?? Can you please help me ??

Best Regards,
Mickey
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