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Study Sheds Light on Safety of Driving With Epilepsy

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Dec. 4, 2016 – People with epilepsy who experienced longer seizures during a simulated driving test may face an increased risk for crashes while on the road, a new study suggests. About 75 percent of people with epilepsy use medication to control their seizures and are able to drive. The remainder of patients typically keep a journal of seizures, noting how long they last, and doctors use that information to determine whether patients can drive safely, the study authors explained. The new study included 16 people with epilepsy who used a driving simulator for between one to 10 hours, most for an average of three to four hours. In total, the patients had 20 seizures, seven of which resulted in "crashes." The longer the seizure, the greater the chance of a "crash." Seizures lasted an average of 75 seconds among patients who crashed and 30 seconds among those who didn't crash. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Topamax, Epilepsy, Keppra, Tegretol, Topiramate, Dilantin, Qsymia, Carbamazepine, Seizure Prevention, Levetiracetam, Phenytoin, Tegretol XR, Valproic Acid, Seizure Prophylaxis, Keppra XR, Epitol, Carbatrol, Depakene, West Syndrome

Opioid Painkillers Raise Deadly Heart Risks for Some: Study

Posted 14 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 14, 2016 – While the dangers of overdose among patients prescribed powerful opioid painkillers such as Oxycontin and fentanyl are well known, a new study found unexpected heart risks with the medications. Patients who had just been prescribed an opioid painkiller had a 64 percent higher risk of early death when compared to patients who were given an alternative pain medication. But much of that increased risk was related to the onset of breathing difficulties during sleep, followed by heart rhythm irregularities and other cardiovascular complications. "We were not surprised by the increased risk for overdose deaths, which is well known," noted study author Wayne Ray, from the department of health policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn. "However, the large increase in cardiovascular death risk is a novel finding," Ray said. "[And] it suggests ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Percocet, OxyContin, Gabapentin, Fentanyl, Lyrica, Chronic Pain, Neurontin, Heart Disease, Arrhythmia, Breakthrough Pain, Sciatica, Tegretol, Roxicodone, Pregabalin, Carbamazepine, Endocet, Duragesic

One-a-Day Anti-Seizure Drug Shows Promise for People With Epilepsy

Posted 15 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 14, 2016 – A once-daily epilepsy drug may control seizures just as well as a twice-daily drug, researchers report. Their preliminary study compared the once-a-day drug eslicarbazepine acetate (Aptiom) to the twice-daily drug carbamazepine (Tegretol, Carbatrol) for more than 800 people newly diagnosed with partial seizures, which originate in one area of the brain. After six months, 71 percent of those taking eslicarbazepine and 76 percent of those taking carbamazepine were seizure-free. After one year, 65 percent of those taking eslicarbazepine and 70 percent of those taking carbamazepine were seizure-free, said the team led by Dr. Elinor Ben-Menachem, of Gothenburg University in Sweden. The study was funded by Portuguese drug maker BIAL-Portela & Ca., and will be presented April 19 at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting, in Vancouver. "Seizure control is ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Tegretol, Carbamazepine, Seizure Prevention, Tegretol XR, Seizure Prophylaxis, Epitol, Carbatrol, Aptiom, Equetro, Eslicarbazepine

Epilepsy Drugs in Pregnancy May Affect Infants' Fine Motor Skills

Posted 25 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 25 – Young children exposed to epilepsy drugs in the womb are at increased risk of having impaired fine motor skills, according to a new study. Exposure to the drugs in breast milk, however, does not appear to pose a threat. Researchers looked at data collected from Norwegian mothers about their children's language, behavior, and motor and social skills at the ages of 6 months, 18 months and 36 months. The women also provided information on breast-feeding during the first year for the study, which was published online Sept. 23 in the journal JAMA Neurology. Of the children in the study, 223 were exposed to one or more epilepsy drugs in the womb. At age 6 months, 11.5 percent of infants whose mothers took epilepsy drugs during pregnancy had impaired fine motor skills (which involve small muscle movements) compared with less than 5 percent of those who were not exposed ... Read more

Related support groups: Klonopin, Seizures, Clonazepam, Ativan, Valium, Lyrica, Lamictal, Topamax, Lorazepam, Depakote, Epilepsy, Diazepam, Keppra, Lamotrigine, Tegretol, Topiramate, Dilantin, Trileptal, Pregabalin, Carbamazepine

Epilepsy Drugs in Pregnancy Tied to Developmental Delays in Children

Posted 18 Jul 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 18 – The children of women who take drugs to treat epilepsy during pregnancy may be at increased risk for physical and mental developmental delays early in life, a large, new study finds. Epilepsy is fairly common among women of childbearing age, and the use of antiepileptic drugs by pregnant women ranges from 0.2 to 0.5 percent. In this study, researchers recruited Norwegian mothers at 13 to 17 weeks of pregnancy. For more than 61,000 children, mothers provided details about motor development, language skills, social skills and autistic symptoms at age 18 months. At 36 months, mothers provided that information for more than 44,000 children. The researchers found that 333 of the children were exposed to antiepileptic drugs in the womb. At 18 months of age, these children were more likely to have motor skills problems and traits of autism. At 36 months of age, these ... Read more

Related support groups: Lamictal, Lamotrigine, Tegretol, Carbamazepine, Tegretol XR, Lamictal XR, Valproic Acid, Epitol, Carbatrol, Depakene, Equetro, Lamictal Blue, Stavzor, Lamictal Orange, Lamictal CD, Lamictal ODT, Lamictal Green, Depacon

Prescription Meds Can Put on Unwanted Pounds

Posted 2 Mar 2012 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 2 – Medications taken by millions of Americans for mood disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes and other chronic conditions can have an unhealthy side effect: weight gain. While other choices exist for some types of drugs, adjusting medications is not simply a matter of switching, said Ryan Roux, chief pharmacy officer with the Harris County Hospital District, in Houston. In the late 1990s, Dr. Lawrence Cheskin conducted early research on prescription medicines and obesity. "Some medicines make an early, noticeable difference, causing patients to become ravenously hungry, while changes are subtle for others. A few months taking them and you've gained 10 pounds," said Cheskin, now director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, in Baltimore. To help increase awareness, Roux and his pharmacist group have compiled a list of "weight-promoting" and "weight-neutral or ... Read more

Related support groups: Plan B, Bipolar Disorder, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Gabapentin, Prednisone, Prozac, Mirena, Metformin, Sprintec, NuvaRing, Provera, Nexplanon, Seroquel, Implanon, Depo-Provera, Hypertension, Paxil

New Guidelines Issued for Combining HIV, Seizure Meds

Posted 4 Jan 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 4 – Physicians need to take care when prescribing seizure medication to HIV/AIDS patients to prevent harmful interactions between drugs, experts warn. The cautionary note from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) has led to the issuance of a new AAN guideline, which was developed in consultation with the International League Against Epilepsy. "It is important that patients know exactly which drugs they are taking and provide that information to all prescribing health care providers caring for them," lead guideline author Dr. Gretchen L. Birbeck, of Michigan State University in East Lansing, said in an AAN news release. "Doctors may need to watch and adjust drug doses in people with HIV/AIDS who take seizure drugs," added Birbeck, who is also an AAN fellow. Seizures and related disorders are not uncommon among HIV patients, according to Birbeck and colleagues. It is ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Tegretol, HIV Infection, Dilantin, Carbamazepine, Seizure Prevention, Phenobarbital, Phenytoin, Tegretol XR, Seizure Prophylaxis, Epitol, Carbatrol, Equetro, Phenytoin Sodium, Di-Phen, Luminal, Phenytek, Solfoton

Epilepsy Drugs' Risk of Birth Defects May Be Dose-Dependent

Posted 6 Jun 2011 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, June 5 – Four of the most frequently prescribed epilepsy drugs appear to increase the risk of serious birth defects when taken early in pregnancy, a new study finds. And the higher the dosage, the greater the risk, the international team of researchers reported in the June 6 online edition of The Lancet Neurology. "Our results show that dose selection is as crucial as the choice of drug," the authors said in a journal news release. Their study gives doctors the opportunity to prescribe the safest anti-seizure medication at the safest level for women with epilepsy who want to get pregnant, they said. The drugs studied were carbamazepine (Tegretol, Epitol), lamotrigine (Lamictal), valproic acid (Depakote), and phenobarbital. The rate of birth defects was higher with increased dose for all the drugs, the researchers said, but they emphasized that the vast majority of women in ... Read more

Related support groups: Lamictal, Lamotrigine, Tegretol, Carbamazepine, Phenobarbital, Tegretol XR, Lamictal XR, Valproic Acid, Epitol, Carbatrol, Depakene, Equetro, Stavzor, Lamictal Blue, Lamictal Orange, Lamictal ODT, Lamictal CD, Luminal, Solfoton, Lamictal Green

Epilepsy Drugs May Raise Fracture Risk in Older Adults

Posted 11 Jan 2011 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 11 – Epilepsy drugs increase older adults' risk for bone fractures, a new study shows. Canadian researchers analyzed the medical records of 15,792 people 50 and older who'd had non-traumatic fractures between April 1996 and March 2004. Each person was matched with up to three people who'd never had a fracture, for a total of 47,289 people to serve as controls. The researchers also looked at the participants' use of epilepsy drugs, including carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Tegretol), clonazepam (Klonopin), ethosuximide (Zarontin), gabapentin (Gabarone, Neurontin), phenobarbital (Luminal), phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek) and valproic acid (Depakene, Depakote). All but one of the drugs was associated with an increased risk for fractures. The greatest risk was among people taking phenytoin and carbamazepine. Valproic acid was the only drug not linked with an increased chance ... Read more

Related support groups: Klonopin, Gabapentin, Clonazepam, Neurontin, Tegretol, Dilantin, Carbamazepine, Phenobarbital, Phenytoin, Tegretol XR, Valproic Acid, Epitol, Carbatrol, Klonopin Wafer, Zarontin, Depakene, Equetro, Phenytoin Sodium, Ethosuximide, Stavzor

Common Epilepsy Drug Taken During Pregnancy Might Raise Spina Bifida Risk

Posted 4 Dec 2010 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 3 – Pregnant women with epilepsy who are taking carbamazepine (Tegretol) to control seizures may be at a slightly increased risk of having an infant with spina bifida, a new study finds. Spina bifida is a condition in which the bones of the spine do not close but the spinal cord remains in place, usually with skin covering the defect. Most children will need lifelong treatment for problems arising from damage to the spinal cord and spinal nerves. "For women with epilepsy, seizure control during pregnancy is very important," said lead researcher Lolkje de Jong-van den Berg, from the division of pharmacy at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. "Our study can help in decisions regarding whether carbamazepine should be the drug of choice in pregnancy." However, the best option regarding treatment can be chosen only on an individual basis by the woman and her ... Read more

Related support groups: Tegretol, Carbamazepine, Tegretol XR, Epitol, Carbatrol, Equetro

Women Taking Certain Epilepsy Drugs Can Safely Breast-Feed, Study Suggests

Posted 24 Nov 2010 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 24 – There's encouraging news for women with epilepsy who want to nurse their babies. Children whose mothers took certain anti-seizure medications while breast-feeding don't appear to suffer any negative cognitive effects by age 3, a new study finds. The multi-center study looked at nearly 200 children whose mothers took one of four common antiepileptic drugs, and found no difference in IQ levels at age 3 among those who were breast-fed versus formula-fed. "For women who have epilepsy, this is one less thing that they as new mothers have to worry about," said lead author Dr. Kimford Meador, a professor of neurology at Emory University in Atlanta. The study was published in the Nov. 24 online edition and in the Nov. 30 print issue of the journal Neurology. The findings are part of the Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs study, an ongoing trial looking at ... Read more

Related support groups: Lamictal, Depakote, Epilepsy, Lamotrigine, Tegretol, Dilantin, Carbamazepine, Depakote ER, Phenytoin, Divalproex Sodium, Tegretol XR, Lamictal XR, Valproic Acid, Epitol, Carbatrol, Depakote Sprinkles, Depakene, Equetro, Phenytoin Sodium, Lamictal Blue

Epilepsy Drugs Don't Raise Suicide Risk, Study Shows

Posted 5 Aug 2010 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 4 – In 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration required epilepsy medications to bear a warning label about an increased risk of suicidal behaviors. The move came after an agency review of 199 studies that found patients taking the drugs showed about twice the risk of suicidal behavior. But now a study of more than 5 million patients contradicts the FDA's findings. It suggests that the increased risk of suicide has more to do with the conditions for which these drugs are prescribed than the medications themselves. For the study, researchers in Spain and the United States evaluated the health records of primary care patients in England. They found that people with epilepsy who currently use an antiepileptic drug are at no greater risk of suicide-related events than those who aren't taking the medications. "In our opinion, in the long term, it is not the drugs ... Read more

Related support groups: Gabapentin, Lyrica, Lamictal, Topamax, Neurontin, Depakote, Keppra, Lamotrigine, Tegretol, Topiramate, Trileptal, Pregabalin, Carbamazepine, Depakote ER, Levetiracetam, Oxcarbazepine, Zonisamide, Divalproex Sodium, Tegretol XR, Zonegran

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