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Epilepsy: It's wrongly diagnosed in one out of four cases
About the author: 
WDDTY Team

Epilepsy drugs take no prisoners

Epilepsy drugs take no prisoners. Their number reads more like a 'most wanted' list, and includes phenobarbitone, phenytoin, primidone, carbamazepine, lamotrigine, and sodium valproate. As such the adverse reactions to these drugs can be as bad, if not worse, than epilepsy itself, and at WDDTY we've recorded a number of deaths as the direct result of an anti-epileptic.

To add insult to injury, it's just been discovered that 90,000 people in England and Wales alone - and the number could be around 450,000 in the USA - are each year wrongly diagnosed with epilepsy.

That means 90,000 people each year are prescribed one of these noxious substances for no reason whatsoever.
A new study reckons that one out of four cases of epilepsy are wrongly diagnosed - largely because the practitioner has no knowledge of epilepsy.

The report writers suggest that any suspected case of epilepsy should be referred to a specialist who actually knows what he's talking about.

For the report writers the scandal is all about the waste of money involved. These wrongly diagnosed cases are costing the National Health Service around lb138m ($257m) every year in unnecessary drug use, they estimate.

Our thoughts are more with the patients and their families, who may be trying to cope with major incapacity and even death caused by a drug that was prescribed by a doctor who doesn't even know what epilepsy looks like.

(Source: Seizure, 2006; 29 September; www.sciencedirect.com,doi:10.1016/j.seizure.2006.08.005).

E-news broadcast 26 October 2006 No.304 [Subscribe]


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