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son with epilepsy after taking medication ritalin

HI, I'm new to this site and i just had some questions and some concerns.Im going to try to make this short but my son is 6 he will be 7 in a few days.In November we started him on ritalin because of his school teacher saying he was not doing good in school and she told us along with other school staff that he had adhd.We didnt think he did but i didnt know what else to do and didnt want him to fail.the doctor said i could just let it be a school thing and he didnt have to take it at home or on the weekends, when he got out for christmas break i wasnt giving it to him 3 days before christmas which was thursday he had his first seizure,friday he had 2 which were bad.we were taking him to e.r.after the first and second one then they scheduled us with an neurologist and they done an eeg which they said came back abnormal and they say he has epilepsy.i never started him back on the ritalin and now he is taking a liquid medication called depakene for his epilepsy.since then he has had 1 more seizure while they were trying to get the dose right on his med.i am convinced that the ritalin has caused this since he has always been a healthy boy with no problems and started taking ritalin and was only on it for a month if that and now he has this problem.if you can help me in anyway let me know. i dont know what to do i am very mad and upset.


I went through a divorce from

I went through a divorce from a wife who had rated psychological issues from childhood to adult. My issues were as a child hyperactivity and Grandmal till mid teens in which I supposed was cured. Now after being away from my children. I am finding out my Son Brandon Finch has seizures. I was deliberately kept  from knowing about Seizures.  I questioned him being put on Ritalin around 5-6 year old by mother Esther. The Court Representatives in Fresno Calif told me - I had no case to worry just give him meds against Physicians Desk Reference that his Firebaugh elementary school, His mother, and some unknown doctor prescribed (not his pediatrician)  I suspect “Ritalin” I DO CARE even if I am estranged from my children because of The Court not listening and a Mother who committed liable to get a divorce again I Suspect RITALIN 

Re: son with epilepsy after taking medication ritalin

First off I know this thread is old but does anyone still read it? I am 25 Y.O. and ive been having temporal lobe seizures since i was 10 and this was a year after being put on ritalin. ive stopped taking ritalin since i was 16 but from about 12-16 i was taking 20mg 3 times a day. which honestly helped allot with school but if ritalin has anything to do with my seizures i would be very upset because i still have them today at the age of 25 and one of the medications i am on is a new one called vimpat which seems to do the best out of the many ive tried over the years. except without insurance this vimpat is $1,800/month no lie. with insurance i am paying $110. I just wanted to add my thoughts to this thread as i have no family history of having seizures until myself after a year of ritalin.

Re: son with epilepsy after taking medication ritalin

After my first seizure (age 9) and an EEG test showing I would continue having temporal lobe seizures, Ritalin was prescribed (with Dilantin and Meberal).  When I converted to adult epilepsy at age 16 and Meberal was replaced with Mysoline, I began to read about these medications and then spoke to my new neurologist (the first one approaching retirement).  "Dr. Sanders, I read that I am using both a stimulant and a barbituate.  One speeds me up, one slows me down.  I don't understand that.  I don't know medicine like you, but I do know that 2 plus a negative 2 equals zero.  Could you explain that?"  After asking the question three times, Dr. Sanders (unable to explain that?) simply said "Stop using Ritalin."  And I did.

I expect that Ritalin is helpful to a few people, I would suggest to parents to ask "How is Ritalin going to help my child?" or "... Could you explain that?" and, unless convinced with some evidence that it is appropriate, stay away from it.      

Yeah it can lower the seizure

Yeah it can lower the seizure threshold but I wonder what the long term effects on the thalamus are/ I started taking Ritalin when  was in 3rd Grade and took it with several other piggy back drugs until I was in high school when I started having Gran Mal Seizures. I quit taking Ritalin but the seizures remained making me wonder if the effects on the brain especially the Thalamus were permanent , I doubt there will ever be any link between these cases and the pharmaceutical companies drug but I think the real problem was giving to young children while the brain was still IN DEVELOPMENT STAGES. My seizures have morphed into wondering seizures now and I fell at work this year nearly breaking my neck. I was forced to resign my position do to insurance reasons and wen I tried to go back to work my employer told me "this is a right to work state". Without work and a federal government worth nothing 'm close to suicide now. Thanks Ritalin!

A seizure is actually one of

A seizure is actually one of the side effects of ritalin. 

Re: son with epilepsy after taking medication ritalin

Hi there

I just read your story about your son at school. I am so sorry to hear he is not well and it must be a terrible worry for you. I think personally that your son's tutor had a nerve saying to you that he has adhd. There can be numerous reasons why he wasn't getting along with his school work. It could be just he finds something difficult to learn at the moment or he just feels unhappy there. (their just examples) If I was you I would make a complaint to the headteacher about the tutor. She had no right in making such a suggestion when she is not a health expert. I have no time anymore for ignorant people like her through my own experiences. I hope you find the cause soon so that your son can be well again.

All the best


Re: son with epilepsy after taking medication ritalin

There has been enough proof that Ritalin not only causes some cases of epilepsy, but children diagnosed with ADHD or ADD,who are put on Ritalin that already have epilepsy, have died from it.

There are hundreds of stories, that are all the same: "My child was diagnosed with ADHD...put on Ritalin...died a month later from a heart attack..."

Children with Epilepsy are at a serious risk when given Ritalin. Ritalin will not only accelerates their heart beat, but it triggers epileptic centers, causing them to seize and to go into coronary failure. Coronary failure is just another fancy term for a HEART ATTACK. Hundreds of children with epilepsy, who were diagnosed with ADHD or ADD and prescribed for Ritalin, have DIED because of it!

If your child has epilepsy, and is diagnosed with ADD or ADHD and prescribed for Ritalin, DO NOT allow your physician to make that choice. Fact: ALL MEDICAL OFFICIALS and DRUG COMPANIES DENY THE EFFECTS OF RITALIN ON EPILEPSY.

Here is just one of hundreds of cases:

Here to Help - Alyssa

Re: son with epilepsy after taking medication ritalin

I am so sorry for this terrible problem happening out of the blue. Ritalin can lower the threshold in patients who HAVE seizures. Could it be that he was having them only at night and you didnt know it? It could be possible he was having complex seizure or absent seizures during school and that is why he was not doing so well. Check for eye twitching during the day.

take care

Re: son with epilepsy after taking medication ritalin

Glad to have you on the site, but sorry to hear of all you have been through. Unfortunately, sorting out seizures and attention problems, and the role of medicines is not very easy. Sometimes seizures aren't picked up easily until one with motor features or other symptoms occurs. Sometimes attention problems and seizures occur together in kids. Take a look at some of the information on seizures and learning issues on the home page and see if it helps as you start to read up on all this. Take a list of questions to the doctor treating the seizures. Talk to him about the school problems - sometimes testing is helpful to sort out effects of seizures or other problems on learning/attention/behavior.

Hope some of this helps.
Best wishes, Resource Specialist

Re: son with epilepsy after taking medication ritalin

hi i am in similiar situation with my son .he is also 7yrs . i am knew @ this and very stressed son has been on ritalin since he was 4 for adhd. 1st seizure on jan4th/06 on an airplane while sleeping. plane went back to calg. & we went to child. hosp.,he was given catscan,showed nothing,was told by e.r.phy.&e.r.neuor.that ritalin was not to be blamed.....2nd seiz 2 wks ago,3rd 5days ago,went to e.m on 3rd as still had no diagnosis,neurologist put him on valproic acid,eeg in 2 wks:but is being treated for epilepsy.have researched at great lengths about ritalin ,spoken to docs & pharmacists ,none see a problem........since i have started researching ep. on internet i am finding that there is alot of hyperactivity in kids assoc. with epilepsy,plus lots of developmental depays,learning disorders etc....which my son has had[speech,etc]my son seizures seem to be forming a pattern as they are happening 1-2 hrs before he wakes up! i find them frightening ,& have not slept thru nite in wks! he is in bed with me ,so i can hear them,but i find myself waiting for them to happen! i am s.a.d....scared,angry depressed,same as you son was born with a congen.heart defect asd that was reapaired when he was 11mon old,as if he hasn't had enough already!i don't feel really great about the ritalin we live in canada where tests take forever! please write back & god bless

Ritalin and Epilepsy

I read your posts and it is actaully funny how "professionals" or so they call themselves like to intimidate us as the parents, I have PROOF it is Ritalin causing the epilepsy.

Robert now 10 had a scan at 3 yrs old before he ever took Ritalin, the scan was clean, then he had another scan at 7 WITH EPILEPSY after being on Ritalin for 6 months. And yes I too was told Ritalin is not to be blamed, I took him of the Ritalin and after 6 months ALL signs of Epilepsy had dissapeared.

I put him on Ritalin Again at age 9 otherwise he was not allowed to attend school. Again the same nonsense started, I have now finally told them I told you so and that I am wasting my money on this. I have taken him off and after just 3 months I can see the epilepsy going away slowly once again......

People we are killing our poor kids.... teachers should learn to deal with these new age ADHD kids.... they get paid to do their jobs.

Re: Ritalin and Epilepsy

Hello, I to am new to this, but I will tell I you am not new to seizures.  I was put on ritalin when I was in high school for fear of failing.  I am not sure of the date or year, but I think I stopped taking it when I was probably a junior/early senior.  When I was 18, I had a night job at a local hotel, and worked 11-7.  I do not remember the drive home.  All I know is I came home and went to bed and then a few hours later woke up to go to the bathroom.  That's where I collapsed on the floor.  I woke up in the hospital.  I do not remember any details from the time I got off work that day.  There were definately angels with me that day. I am now 28 years old, and have been on carbamezipene and dilantin for 10 years.  I do not know for sure, but my husband and I both believe ritalin was a key factor in my seizures.  I would love to know for sure myself if our beliefs are right.  I am so sorry this is happening to your very young son.  You all wil be in my prayers and thoughts.

Re: Ritalin and Epilepsy

Hi Everyone. I'd like to share with you the impact that ritalin has had on my life. I was diagnosed with ADD when I was 11, (I am 34 years old) and took ritalin until I was in college. I trusted my parents, teachers, and doctors, and believed what they said about my need for the drug. In college, I realized I didn't need the ritalin anymore. In fact, I don't think I EVER needed it. Being on ritalin is like being on speed. It made me feel as though I had ingested 12 cups of coffee and sometimes my body would shake with all the adrenaline.

Two years ago, although I have been off ritalin for about 13 years, I had my first seizures and was told that I have epilepsy. I am sure that ritalin played a role in this.

Ritalin is extremely dangerous, and I think that as parents we need to be very discerning, and careful about not letting doctors prey on our fear, and intimidate us into drugging our children. Children are SUPPOSED to be hyperactive. They are full of life and energy, especially compared to the depressed and sedate adults that attempt to school them. If a child is not able to "focus" on what is going on in the classroom, it is not the child's fault. In my case, I was a sensitive and anxious child who needed to learn in a different format. I was just trying to survive from day to day, and that is why I missed most of what was going on in grade school. It had nothing to do with a learning disability.

If a child really is "hyperactive," more so than normal child-like behavior, I've heard that diet plays a significant role.

I hope that this helps anyone looking for validation for their doubts about ritalin.

Love and peace,

Re: Re: son with epilepsy after taking medication ritalin

well i understand everything your going through,my son was started on ritalin also and wasn't on it a month before his seizures started.he also has been in speech class since kindergarden.i know in my heart that the ritalin has caused this but i will never find a doctor that will agree,they all stick together if you know what i's just funny that my son never had any problems until starting they say he has epilepsy.they put him on depakene and its not working they keep increasing the dose and all its doing is making him have more seizures and more often,i am in the process of trying to get them to do something else.i am now thinking about getting him homebound for the rest of this year since they are happening so often like at school and on the school you,his first and second seizure happened when he had just woke up going to go hunting around 5 am then they went to 5pm,then he had a couple at night around 10pm,now they are happening at school around 2pm and on school bus,which was yesterday and this morning had another one waiting on the they use to be like on a schedule now they are happening different times all the time,and they are always different.he has had them with convulsions,vomiting,and just like starts out staring sometimes.i am so angry and concerned because i am hearing the more he has the more of a chance to do damage.i am sorry this is so long,i just have alot to far as the ritalin i stopped it when he had his first seizure.i am going to the doctor tommorow to find out more.if you have any more questions or concerns feel free to write or email me at we will keep each other informed and up to date.i am so sorry that you and your son are going through this,it's just awful.

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