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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Suggest treatment for severe seizures after decreasing Fentanyl dosage

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Dr. Eris Ranxha

Neurologist

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 686 Questions

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Posted on Sat, 23 Aug 2014 in Headache and Migraines
Question: My grandson, 24, has had petit mal seizures since age 2 and taken Dilantin and others medications over the years. A VNS was implanted several years ago. It helped but doesn't seem to be as effective at this time. He also has severe disc problems in his back. To treat the increasing back pain they have gradually increased his medication until he is now on 100 mcgrm patches (every three days) of Fentynal, plus Methadone, Oxycontin, Oxycodin, Klonipin, Gaba something, and more. They then decided to reduce his pain meds so he could have another back surgery (this would be the 4th one) His seizures changed within hours of the reduction and immediately started to increase in severity. They are now like partial seizures from what I have read. The Psychiatrist said she thinks they are Psycho-genic non epileptic seizures but other doctors don't think so. She wants him to transition to other drugs and get off the Opioids. With the back issue the jerking motion of the seizures greatly increases the back pain. They say he has 3 ruptured discs in his back but can't do an MRI due to the VNS. In the last 2 weeks he has been in Memorial Hospital in L.B. for 3 days and released with the instructions to increase Fentynal to 150 and Cedars Siani in L.A. for 5 days with a not so sure what we should do decision. If you have ANY suggestions for us please send them. We are getting desperate.
Thank you for all you do,
XXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Eris Ranxha 53 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Increase fentanyl

Detailed Answer:
Dear XXXXXXX
I am sorry for the symptoms your grandson.is suffering
As you may know fentanyl is both effective in controlling the pain and avoiding epileptic seizures
So in this situation where you are increasing fentanyl is the only option you have.
As soon as the child is seizure free you can go for back surgery
You can try gabapentin too till 600 mg as it has both effects, pain killer and antiepileptics
Hope my answer will help you
Don't hesitate to contact me for further questions
Best regards
Dr Eris Ranxha
Neurologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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