Medication does not control absence seizures

Medication does not control absence seizures for my son. 

My 9-year-old son has had generalized absence seizures for about 18 months now.   He has never had any other type of seizure.  He started out on Zarontin, which controlled the seizures but made him feel terrible and caused stomach pain.  He then took Lamictal which successfully controlled his seizures with no side effects for a year.  Then, it gradually stopped working for him, even on the highest dose for his weight.  We then switched him to Depakote, which left him feeling bad and having stomach pain as well.  His blood work confirmed that it was too much for him, even on a low dose.  Now we are trying Lamictal again, and have tried adding Klonopin, neither of which seems to be helping.  He is still having 15 to 20 absence seizures every day.  From what his ped neuro has said, and from the research I have done, there just isn't anything else out there for his type of seizures.  Is anyone else going through this?  Or found another answer?  It is very frustrating for him and for me. 


Re: Medication does not control absence seizures

Unfortunately, Depakote and Zarontin are probably the best medications for absence seizures.  Maybe try Dilantin?  I am unfortunately having a hard time controlling my seizures at the moment.  I have been on Depakote successfully for years and then my insurance company sent me the generic form and I began having them again.  When we switched back to the brand name, it didn't seem to help.  We're trying to figure out what next to do.  Good luck.  You might want to try the Depakote again and see if the side effects go away after a while.  And stay AWAY from generic!

Re: Medication does not control absence seizures

How is it going now?
My daughter is having a similar experience
We are frustrated that zarontin gave her stomach trouble and depakote is not working at all to reduce zzz
She is 7

Re: Medication does not control absence seizures

Milmay Mom
same with my daughter age 5 1/2 . We are told to have her on the modified Atkins diet
We are seeing the nutrionistlist in two weeks to start. Have you tried that?

Re: Medication does not control absence seizures


Re: Medication does not control absence seizures

I just joined this web site in hopes that someone out there has had a positive outcome after going through medications without success. My 7 year old son was diagnosed just over a year ago with absence epilepsy. He started on Zarontin which eventually failed for him even after taking the dose to the highest safe dose. He was sick to his stomach, complained of head aches and never wanted to eat. He was taken off, and Depakote was added and then increased with still no success. Recent blood work confirms that the levels are on the high end so now the doctor wants to add Lamotrigine. My once light hearted, sweet, happy(and still all boy) is now obstanent, depressed and irritable. I am truely afraid to add yet another harmful ineffective drug. From the beginning I tried to discuss alternative therapies and was scoffed at by the professionals who seem to have little care for my concerns as his mother. There does not seem to be any supported alternatives at least in my area. I am looking for someone who had a simmilar experience with a positive outcome. Please help-

Re: Medication does not control absence seizures

hi kimbe

sorry to hear your son is having that many in a day

have you tried keppra? I have had complex partial seizures all my life. For the most part i was on dilantin & mysoline. I lived and adjusted my life to having these complex partial seizures every month.  Alas i came upon a dr. who convinced me to do a drug trial. It was the most difficult task to go through but here i am 5 yrs later and seizure free.

I started on a 2 drug therapy and then a three drug therapy only to discover no drug was going to make me seizure free.My seizures were stemming from the temporal lobe,they were in fact the same type of seizure your son is experiencing. Do you know what part of the brain the seizures are coming from?  When I was going through the drug trials, i found the meds did not stop the siezures but made me experience them differently. Does your son get auras? Can he sense or feel anything prior to the seizure? I found that if a drug did not work the 1rst time, there was no point in trying it again. Although my drug trial consisted of trying 10 different drugs, I did read somewhere that after 3 failed drugs,the dr. should look into other options such as diet, vagal nerve stimulator  or surgery.

If the dr.s can find where your son's seizures are originating from, there is a high possibility that it can be rectified through surgery.. I dont mean to alrm you , in this modern day of technology,surgery is an option that has become easier to perform and the outcome is greater than any drug therapy. I am speaking from experience.I hope your son has seizure freedom some day soon unlike myself that waited 40 yrs to acheive.   I am taking keppra and dilantin still but have decreased someof my meds now. it has been 3 yrs since my last complex partial seizure..

I  hope this becomes of great help to you and your son.My dr. is an epileptologist and i am from massachusetts. good luck  & good health  babzy