Community Forum Archive

The Epilepsy Community Forums are closed, and the information is archived. The content in this section may not be current or apply to all situations. In addition, forum questions and responses include information and content that has been generated by epilepsy community members. This content is not moderated. The information on these pages should not be substituted for medical advice from a healthcare provider. Experiences with epilepsy can vary greatly on an individual basis. Please contact your doctor or medical team if you have any questions about your situation. For more information, learn about epilepsy or visit our resources section.

Tonic-clonic after abrupt stop of high doses of zolpidem

Wed, 02/05/2020 - 11:50
About 3 weeks ago I had what i no2 understand to be a Tonic-Clonic (grand mal seizure). I had been using sleep medication, up to 100mg - 120mg of zolpidem(aka Ambien, Stilnox, etc). I decided to stop cold turkey and didnt sleep much for 3 days. My seizure started with me feeling very down and I saw flicking lights (I think red, green and gold). My seizure was very strong that i dislocated my right shoulder. I bit my tongue very hard. However i didn't pee on myself. I had an MRI and EEG done and all was clear. The neurologist put me on Epilim - 1000 mg a day as a precaution to prevent another seizure. He said at this point he can't make a diagnosis of epilepsy as he thinks the withdrawal from the sleeping pills caused the seizure. This is the first time I've had a seizure and I pray the last. Do you think my abrupt stopping of sleep medication could have been the cause? Thank you


Hi, Thank you for posting, we

Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 2020-02-06 - 09:40
Hi, Thank you for posting, we understand this must have been very scary and confusing for you to experience. We cannot determine what caused your seizure, so it’s important that you’re continuing to follow-up with your neurologist and if you experience any changes in seizure types/frequency,side effects, moods, behaviors and symptoms, to help determine what individual treatment plan is best for you. It’s also important to note that not everyone who has a seizure has epilepsy. A person can have a seizure from a physical cause such as an acute medical illness or trauma that begins before the seizure. It could also be related to a substance or event their body is responding to or withdrawing from. In these cases, seizures are called “provoked”. may want to consider keeping a journal or a diary. My Seizure Diary: a great tool for tracking & identifying seizures, setting reminders,managing medications & side effects, recording medical history, moods, behaviors, triggers,and therapies, that may affect seizures and wellness, which can be shared with your healthcare team. Additionally,you may always contact our 24/7 Helpline, where trained information specialists are available to answer your questions, offer help, hope, support, guidance,and access to national and local resources. 1-800-332-1000,or   

Sign Up for Emails

Stay up to date with the latest epilepsy news, stories from the community, and more.