One of the most commonly encountered consultations in my office has to do with individuals who have had a new single isolated seizure or those who have a history of well controlled epilepsy who have suddenly had a recurrence. One of the biggest culprits for why seizures may present or recur, includes the possibility that an individual has ingested a medication, whether over the counter or prescribed, that may had increased the risk towards seizures. These may include innocuous pills that one is accustomed to taking for pain relief or it could be illicit. Even some herbal supplements can increase the chance for seizures. This month's column will itemize drugs, both over the counter or prescribed, and/or herbal supplements that may increase the risk for seizures.
There are a lot of other medications that may cause seizures. Prescribed medications and medication groups that are often listed as possibly causing seizures include:
Hormones also may increase seizures. This is particularly true for estrogens.
Cancer medications that may augment the chance for seizures include the following agents:
Sometimes drug abuse leads to seizures. Substances that can cause seizures by either taking too much or suddenly stopping it are listed below.
Many individuals take over the counter supplements. In certain situations, the following supplements may be possibly associated with seizures:
As you can see, there are many different agents that can potentially cause seizures and the lists that I've included in this month's column are not a comprehensive list. When starting a new medication, taking a new over the counter, or perhaps ingesting an herbal supplement, it is important to speak to your nurse or physician with regards to this so that they are aware of what you are taking. It is only by everyone being informed that we can best provide information to you so as to avoid any unnecessary risks.
The Epilepsy Therapy Project is involved in the development of new products and devices that are useful to individuals with epilepsy and to get them to market sooner than later. Part of our research is to address what are potential drug interactions and what are other adverse effects that could occur with the use of these novel treatments. One other way ETP may help is by My Epilepsy Diary; an epilepsy management tool available on epilepsy.com This tool allows the individual with epilepsy to document all medications that they have taken so that they may share the information with their physician. It is by research and our understanding of how certain drugs may cause and prevent seizures that we can learn how to prevent seizures and epilepsy in the future.
Joseph Sirven, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 3/15/11
Article from the March 2011 Epilepsy.com Spotlight Newsletter. Other articles in this issue inclue:
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