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ADHD meds and seizures

Hi, Have you seen the new report on ADHD drug warning and increase in seizures? I happened to do a search because my daughter had been on Strattera around the time she had her first noticeable seizure. A Brittish report came out in Feb. 2006, stating there has been a link with Strattera and an increase in seizure activity. So, I dug deeper. In August 2006, the FDA approved to add seizures as a side affect to all ADHD drugs. They recommend that if you have a history of seizures, or uncontrolled seizures, that these drug be used in caution. After seeing my daughter's seizure, I realized she had had them before. The others were before taking Strattera, but she had a really large one and the frequency has increased after Strattera. I don't know if that is what definately caused the increase, but it sure is interesting. Lori


Re: ADHD meds and seizures

There is a connection between seizures and ADD/ADHD meds. I can't believe that a doctor didn't think that there was. Search on (you'll need to register), but I just read an article titled: "Treatment of ADHD in children with seizure disorders" by Martin T. Hoffman, MD. He's the Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Science and the Attending Physician at Women's and Children's Hospital, Buffalo, NY. The study concluded an increased risk of seizures, but a low increase and did not discourage use, outright.

Its not for an antidepressant

Its not for an antidepressant use. I hit the gym regularly as well ☺

Re: ADHD meds and seizures

Regarding ADHD meds and seizures, try to find a copy of the How To (understand) Hyperactivity book (1981) about ADHD / ADHD Inattentive by C. Thomas Wild with Anita Uhl Brothers, M.D. (about paying attention, concentration, focus, processing, memory, modern nutrition, subtle seizures like petit/absence, ADHD Inattentive, auditory processing disorder, dyspraxia, hemiparesis). It's all about the topic you mention. Words: Very short petit, absence seizures vs ADHD Inattentive vs central auditory processing disorder (CAPD). Attention span, short attention span, inattention, sustained attention, medium attention span, long attention span, working memory/short term memory, medium term memory, long term memory, continuity of thought, sequencing, etc. Coffee, caffeine compounds, Ritalin, Dexedrine, Adderall, Tirend, NoDoz, Bonine, Strattera, Dilantin, dopamine, norepinephrine, sugar, sugars, natural sweeteners, artificial sweeteners (like sodium saccharin), tartrazine (FD&C Yellow Food Color No. 5), Red No. 40, soft drinks like regular Pepsi-Cola, Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, diet-versions of soft drinks, and so forth. Brand name med vs brand name med; brand name med vs generic med, etc. Yes, for some persons, meds for ADHD can lower the seizure threshold/change how seizure meds work. There are a number of instances where persons have tried either stimulants for subtle inattention difficulties or tried anticonvulsants for inattention difficulties and the results were quite dramatic, that is, either a stimulant (like Ritalin or caffeine) worked or an epilepsy med worked but not both and certainly not both being used at the same time (polytherapy). For some persons, using both an epilepsy med and a stimulant at the same time led to increased seizures/further difficulties.

Re: ADHD meds and seizures-BEWARE

My grandson was put on straterra a few years ago for adhd.  We didn't feel he was adhd, but the school insisted he be put on medication or they were not going to allow him to continue going to school, as he was acting out of control.  She also said it was illegal for her to say he wouldn't be allowed to go to school and it was illegal for her to insist that he be put on medication, but my son (who is the only parent) didn't know any better so he followed her advice.  It was not too long after beginning the medication  that he began having seizures.  They became more intense and more often.  

Well, in May of 2011, he was a month from graduating high school (in different school district).  He had his class ring, his grad gown, senior pictures were done and everyone was looking forward to the ceremony.  We were all so proud of him as he had struggled so much in his earlier years.  Then one morning I got the dreaded phone call from my son, sobbing uncontrolably;  Adam had died.  He was 18 years old.  Autopsy showed that he died from a seizure.  My son swears that it was the straterra that caused the seizures.  There is apparently some evidence from the medical community that he may be correct.  All I want to convey to the readers is:  BEWARE of straterra.

Re: ADHD meds and seizures

Looking back over my life, I must have had ADHD although never clinically proven. The meds I take presently make me unable to follow instructions well without error and am easily distracted. Cannot complete simple tasks or am obsessed with overdoing task to detail. This affects my strained relationship and the meds make me out as if I couldn't care less. I know that my line of thought does not always follow linear fashion but goes askew frequently. Stress or lack of sleep makes me to have seizures as well.
Anyone else with these ADD/ADHD issues ? Lamictal/Lamotrigene flat out makes me feel helpless and even more depressed.

I am so sorry to hear about

I am so sorry to hear about your job. That is horrible! I read your comment & it really hit home with me because your symptoms sound extraordinarily parallel to those of my teenage daughter. She started having seizures & absence seizures at around age 13. Since about age 7-8, her ADHD has slowly progressed to a higher degree. She is now almost 15 & school work is at an all-time low. Her seizures are under control, & without medication. My worry, like so many others, is how & where in the world to start on controlling her ADHD at this point, without initiating heightened seizure activity. I just found this sight & her Neurologist (again, like many must deal with) is nearly inept. So, I'm basically at the starting point. My husband & I had just really never given much consideration to being able to address her ADHD because of her seizures. I guess what I'm trying to say is this...where do you think we should start? What are some things to avoid at all costs? Anything, I guess! I'm sorry to bother you about this. Your comment sounded as if you had been thru the entirety of these issues so I wanted to pick your brain. But plz do not feel obligated to respond. I'll understand if you do not feel comfortable. Thx for your time!

Re: ADHD meds and seizures

My son has Asperger's Syndrome and ADHD and was treated with several other ADHD meds before finally settling on Strattera, we felt it would be best because it's non stimulant. He is 17 now and has been on Strattera for at least a few years now,and at one time was on Adderall XR and Strattera together. This past year, just two months after he turned 17 he had his first major seizure while he was asleep. He may have had others that we were unaware of because he was having them during the night while everyone was asleep. They did an MRI and EEG and that such, and he was referred to a neuro after all the tests at the hospital. They said they observed seizure activity during the EEG. He was put on Keppra, but kept having seizures and they kept upping the dose, but it was making him very very very aggitated and irritable. They switched him to Zonegran, and he hasn't had a seizure since then which was this past Oct 2010. However, the Zonegran causes him to be so forgetful and confused acting. He was taking welding the semester in high school that he started having seizures so I am not sure if that triggered it or not. He ran out of his strattera and we didn't get it refilled. He goes back to the neuro in a couple of weeks and I'd love to get him off all his meds. The neuro never seemed concerned that he was taking Strattera and never even suggested the possibility of it causing seizures, but I've talked to other moms of Asperger's kids, and ADHD kids who had seizures after taking Strattera.  He graduated May 2011 from high school and since he isn't in school right now I don't see why he needs it anyway. I'm just wondering if Strattera is the reason he started seizing in the first place.

Re: ADHD meds and seizures

Hi Lori,

I was on Strattera for ADD, and my neurologist was happy when I was taken out it. I was taking 40mg, in the morning. I suffer from SP, CP, and T-C seizures. I don't think that she ever saw any connection to the medication, but when taken out the meds regimen, she was extremely happy. For seizures I take Topamax 600mg, and Trileptal 1350mg.
Take care, Jess

Re: ADHD meds and seizures

Hi Lori,

My son takes strattera as well. He started getting seizures around the same time he started taking strattera. (3 years ago) He has BRE, and I wasn't too concerned until last month when he started getting more frequent and intense seizures. His doc doesn't think there's a connection, but I think the strattera may lower the seizure threshold. I use to give my son his 40 mg dose at bedtime (taking it in the morning made him feel tired and sick). Since my son gets seizures only when he fall asleep, I tried giving him the medication at dinnertime rather than bedtime and he has not had a seizure since.

I haven't found anyone else who had any thoughts on this. Let me know if you've tried any changes with the strattera and if it helped.

Take care,

Re: ADHD meds and seizures

My daughter, 10 started Strattera 10 mg 2x a day in December.  Instead of one seizure she would have three about an hour apart.  She has her from sleep also. ( once to twice a month ) We mentioned the increased number at her March appointment but he decided to add Medadate 10 mg in the am and keep the Strattera 10mg in the afternoon/pm The Doctor had mentioned the seizures might increase, but at our appointment today he dismissed it and decided to take her off of it.  We are on to another one for bedtime Lyrica.... I am beginning to feel like we are a test for these different medicine's to see what will work for her. Meanwhile we wait for adolecence to kick in. 

Re: Re: ADHD meds and seizures

My daughter no longer takes medication for ADD. Her neurologist believes the use of these two types of medication is not a good mix. Her previous neurologist however, wanted to start her back on Strattera, but I was not comfortable with it. In the publication, EPILEPSY IN CHILDREN: LEARNING AND SCHOOL PERFORMANCE, it states

"Concerns have been raised that medications used to treat ADHD- which are usually stimulants - may increase the likelihood of seizures in some, but not all, children with epilepsy. At the time, these medications are often used in children with epilepsy. Parents concerned about ADHD and stimulant medications should discuss their concerns with the doctor."

I am in no way trying to make medication decisions for others. However, I would encourage discussing it with your doctor. I feel Strattera, had a big role in increasing my daughter's seizures. THAT IS MY OWN OPINION. I feel she would have seizures even without Strattera, but I do believe it increased the frequency. However, with that said, it is also what brought her epilepsy to the forefront and made us aware of what was really going on. It was a mixed blessing.

Re: Re: Re: ADHD meds and seizures

Hi Lori,

Thanks for your thoughts. Is your neuro concerned with mixing anti-seizure meds with ADHD meds or just the use of ADHD meds alone? My son does not take anti-seizure meds at this point. I did ask his neuro if he thought the strattera had anything to do with the seizures and he said no. At this point, my son is doing fine with taking the strattera at dinnertime so, I'll wait and see what happens.

Thanks again and I hope your daughter is doing well.

Re: Re: Re: Re: ADHD meds and seizures

At the time we were talking about mixing the medications. I really think absence seizures have been her problem all along, and not ADD anyway.
Her school work is improving now since put on AEDs.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ADHD meds and seizures


That's wonderful! I guess it was a blessing to find out what the real problem was.

Hope all continues to improve for your daughter.

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