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View Full Version : Epilepsy medication for a teenager



DancingMaenid
06-24-2016, 07:57 AM
I have a minor factual point that I'm trying to get right. My 17-year-old MC has been diagnosed with epilepsy. She suffers from tonic-clonic seizures. I can be flexible on how long she's had this diagnosis.

What is a likely medication that she would be prescribed? I know there are several different medications that can be used, but would her age affect this?

Thanks!

MaeZe
06-24-2016, 08:16 AM
Best to do a little research rather than just getting a med name.

Overview of Drugs Used For Epilepsy and Seizures, Etiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2912003/)

Table 2, midway through the article, lists first-line drugs. Valproic acid is the most commonly prescribed at the moment.

vsrenard
06-29-2016, 10:23 PM
Epilipsy.com is a great resource, has not just a list of medications (http://www.epilepsy.com/learn/treating-seizures-and-epilepsy/seizure-and-epilepsy-medicines/seizure-medication-list) but forums where people discuss what's worked (http://www.epilepsy.com/connect) and hasn't for their different types of epilepsy.

Anonymouse
06-30-2016, 05:32 PM
I am not a doctor or an epilepsy patient, but I frequent support forums for folks with neurological conditions and have used similar meds in my job as a research scientist.

It feels like you might be overthinking the med issue a little bit. I'm sure there are certain meds (like depakote) that are more commonly prescribed now. But a lot of meds are really an art form in that what works incredibly well for one person works not at all for another.

Age at diagnosis might figure into what med she's on in that if her seizures are controlled well, and she's been on the meds for a while, she might be on an older medication (why rock the boat?).

It might be worth asking the question you asked here of a neurologist or maybe even a pharmacist; they'd be able to give a simple answer regarding medication.

ap123
07-01-2016, 12:44 AM
I am not a doctor, but I am a mom who's been dealing with ped epilepsy for a long time. Valproic acid (depakote) would not be likely to be rx'ed for a 17yo female because of links to PCOS (and I'm pretty sure regular blood draws are needed) unless she's out of med options. If her epilepsy was hard to get under control, or is refractory, she might be on multiple meds, and/or high dosages.

Epilepsy treatment isn't like a lot of other common disorders, where x med is always used for x epilepsy. What doesn't work for one is a miracle for another, one person might find med x effective at low doses, while the next person needs the high end of the range. For a 17 yo character, I might with Keppra, because for some it causes all kinds of mood issues, like depression or "kep-rage." Depends where you want to go with the character and story. :)

DancingMaenid
07-04-2016, 12:04 AM
I am not a doctor, but I am a mom who's been dealing with ped epilepsy for a long time. Valproic acid (depakote) would not be likely to be rx'ed for a 17yo female because of links to PCOS (and I'm pretty sure regular blood draws are needed) unless she's out of med options. If her epilepsy was hard to get under control, or is refractory, she might be on multiple meds, and/or high dosages.

Epilepsy treatment isn't like a lot of other common disorders, where x med is always used for x epilepsy. What doesn't work for one is a miracle for another, one person might find med x effective at low doses, while the next person needs the high end of the range. For a 17 yo character, I might with Keppra, because for some it causes all kinds of mood issues, like depression or "kep-rage." Depends where you want to go with the character and story. :)

Thanks! This helps. I was going to use Depakote, but Keppra could be a good fit since she is very depressed and it might be interesting if people thought her medication might be partly to blame.

I'm pretty familiar with epilepsy in general, including what medications are used for it. But generalized research doesn't help a lot for individual cases. I mainly just need a name of a medication that would sound realistic.

Long story short--her seizures are very hard to get under control and the medication isn't really helping. She also doesn't really have epilepsy--it's an incorrect diagnosis. So how epilepsy actually works is less important here than what a doctor would prescribe based on the fact that her symptoms look like epilepsy.

Kinzel
07-18-2016, 10:09 PM
I have epilepsy and I'm a teenager(16). I take lamotragin (I think that's how it's spelled). In case you're interested it also acts as an anxiety reliever for some people. It all depends. How one person reacts to the medication could be very different from another. But there's a chance someone could get a rash infection that could lead to lots of other problems, so what my neurologist did with me is that over a course of a few months we changed the dosage, moving it up so my body could get used to it. I may have to get back to you on what the infection is exactly, but there's a rare chance it could be deadly. So if you're looking for problems that could arise she could have that. Also, seizures can also be caused by other things that are not epilepsy. For instance an aneurism. Funny enough, while doing MRIs of my head during my several doctor visits for epilepsy, they found a very small one in my head (so small it isn't a problem though, and not in a region that causes seizures so my epilepsy is just a coincidence.) Treatment for aneurisms can be clippings, which is a very invasive procedure, or, if the person's brain fits the requirement, a coil treatment, which qualifies as a non-invasive surgery. There they move a coil through the brain and clog the aneurism. This treatment, however, is not as effective as clipping, but it usually works. If you have any other questions on what a person diagnosed with epilepsy goes through, just ask!

In terms of living with epilepsy, at first I kind of fell into a depressive state, and very fearful of my health (I've accepted it now, and am generally a very happy person) I wasn't allowed to do a lot of the stuff I used to do. I'm not allowed to take drivers ed yet due to state laws. My state requires six months seizure free before someone is allowed to attend drivers ed. This might be a nice addition to the story. The character may need to have her drives license revoked.

Also, I can tell you what it feels like to have a seizure. Before I had my first major seizure I had several myoclonic seizures. They lasted a few seconds and were followed by around 30 seconds of fear and confusion. Stress doesn't help either. Once I had a long myoclonic seizure in the bathroom after a shower. My mom had to unlock the door with a paperclip, and boy my family's reaction was terrifying. My dad asked me what his name was and of course I knew but I couldn't get it out for whatever reason. I kept calling him mom and vise versa despite knowing who they were. And while I was having the seizure, before the anxiety and confusion kicked in, I was very calm, and kind of distracted. I remember there was a picture of a duck in the bathroom, and all I was thinking about was that duck. (I was seeing doubles though) It was as if there was nothing else in the world but me and that duck picture. We think that the hot water in the shower may have caused it. I was still on the process of increasing dosage during that time, so my neurologist went ahead and instructed me to increase the dosage. Now I'm at full dosage and haven't had one since. Except a small one in bed when I was recovering from very bad tooth pain. I think it could also be caused by pain.

My one question is, what are the doctors doing about this diagnosis? Most doctors, like mine, do lots of tests on the brain so they would probably be able to rule out epilepsy within a few months if they find anything.