Close X
Get more out of WDDTY.com
by joining the site for free
Free 17-point plan to great health
Twice weekly e-news bulletins
Access to our News, Forums and Blogs
Sign up for free and claim your
17-point plan to great health
Free 17-point plan to great health

Twice weekly e-news bulletins

Access to our News, Forums and Blogs
OR

If you want to read our in-depth research articles or
have our amazing magazine delivered to your home
each month, then you have to pay.


Click here if you're interested
Helping you make better health choices

In shops now or delivered to your home from only £3.50 an issue!

Subscribe!

More harm from epilepsy medication

About the author: 

New studies suggest that many of the available antiepileptic drugs, especially the older ones, can have other negative effects besides worsening seizures

New studies suggest that many of the available antiepileptic drugs, especially the older ones, can have other negative effects besides worsening seizures. A range of epilepsy drugs can cause serious skin disorders, such as the potentially fatal Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis (severe skin loss due to skin cell death). Short-term skin disorders have been reported in as many as 21 per cent of those taking older drugs such as phenobarbital, phenytoin, carbamazepine, valproic acid and lamotrigine (Lancet, 1999; 353: 2190-4). In addition, the antiepileptic drug vigabatrin caused vision problems in 73 per cent of participants in one small British study (BMJ, 1998; 317: 206).

But most disturbing are the other adverse effects on the brain, including a decline in mental function and memory. Although these effects are usually modest, they can be clinically significant for some patients (Epilepsia, 1986; 27: 760-8).

Phenobarbital appears to produce the most reports of mental dysfunction (Neurology, 1995; 45: 1494-9), but drugs like carbamazepine, phenytoin, valproate and benzodiazepines can also have this effect (Epilepsia, 1999; 40: 1279-85).

Recently, researchers have turned their attention to the possible effects of a newer drug, topiramate, on cognition and memory. In one trial, it induced a drop of almost 50 per cent in word-learning performance (Neurology, 1999; 52: 321-7). Other studies of topiramate in patients with epilepsy have shown similar, more modest, but nevertheless significant, effects (Epilepsia, 1998; 39 [Suppl 6]: 188-9; Epilepsia, 2001; 42 [Suppl 2]: 75).

Some doctors reason that the trade off is a fair one - control of seizures for a small loss of memory. But what constitutes a small loss for one person may be intolerable for another. For some patients, putting up with the occasional seizure is preferable to purchasing seizure freedom at the price of mental slowing.


Halve your risk with a few simple steps

Eyedrops for glaucoma

You may also be interested in...

Latest Tweet

About

Since 1989, WDDTY has provided thousands of resources on how to beat asthma, arthritis, depression and many other chronic conditions.

Start by looking in our fully searchable database, active and friendly community forums and the latest health news.

Positive SSL Wildcard

Facebook Twitter

Most Popular Health Website of the Year 2014

© 2010 - 2017 WDDTY Publishing Ltd.
All Rights Reserved