Skip Navigation Links



    Learn More     Subscribe    
Join Now!      Login
America's Worst Enemy Quiz
What is the leading cause of death in the United States?
hat Doctors Don't Tell You
More harm from epilepsy medication

© What Doctors Don't Tell You (Volume 14, Issue 4)

New studies suggest that many of the available antiepileptic drugs, especially the older ones, can have other negative effects besides worsening seizures. A range of epilepsy drugs can cause serious skin disorders, such as the potentially fatal Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis (severe skin loss due to skin cell death). Short-term skin disorders have been reported in as many as 21 per cent of those taking older drugs such as phenobarbital, phenytoin, carbamazepine, valproic acid and lamotrigine (Lancet, 1999; 353: 2190-4). In addition, the antiepileptic drug vigabatrin caused vision problems in 73 per cent of participants in one small British study (BMJ, 1998; 317: 206). But most disturbing are the other adverse effects on the brain, including a decline in mental function and memory. Although these effects are usually modest, they can be clinically significant for some patients (Epilepsia, 1986; 27: 760-8).

Phenobarbital appears to produce the most reports of mental dysfunction (Neurology, 1995; 45: 1494-9), but drugs like carbamazepine, phenytoin, valproate and benzodiazepines can also have this effect (Epilepsia, 1999; 40: 1279-85).

Recently, researchers have turned their attention to the possible effects of a newer drug, topiramate, on cognition and memory. In one trial, it induced a drop of almost 50 per cent in word-learning performance (Neurology, 1999; 52: 321-7). Other studies of topiramate in patients with epilepsy have shown similar, more modest, but nevertheless significant, effects (Epilepsia, 1998; 39 [Suppl 6]: 188-9; Epilepsia, 2001; 42 [Suppl 2]: 75).

Some doctors reason that the trade off is a fair one - control of seizures for a small loss of memory. But what constitutes a small loss for one person may be intolerable for another. For some patients, putting up with the occasional seizure is preferable to purchasing seizure freedom at the price of mental slowing.

Add your comment      
About The Author
What Doctors Don’t Tell You is one of the few publications in the world that can justifiably claim to solve people's health problems - and even save lives. Our monthly newsletter gives you the facts you won't read anywhere else about what works, what doesn't work and what may harm you in both orthodox and alternative medicine. We'll also tell you how you can prevent illness.......more
Related Articles
Share   Facebook   Buzz   Delicious   Digg   Twitter  
From Our Sponsor
Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training
     September 16-December 16, 2014
     Teleclass, CA USA
Additional Calendar Links
Wellness, Intimacy, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us

Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.