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What causes seizures while on Focalin?

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Posted on Mon, 7 Nov 2016
Question: My 22-year-old son has had three seizures in the last 3 1/2 years and has never had one before. Each one, more than a year apart. The last one was in Nov 2015. He (finally) got to see a Neurologist in July of 2016. Before seeing the Neurologist, he had an MRI and an EEG. The Neurologist could not identify a cause. He prescribed Keppra for my son. My son has not been taking the Keppra because he suffers from depression, at times, and he is afraid it will make it worse. He has been seizure free for ten months.
Question 1, Should he take the Keppra? Question 2, If he does take the Keppra, how will we know if it is doing anything since his seizures are so rare and how long will he have to take it?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Keppra isn't working.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and thanks for using HCM.

I have read your question and understand your concerns.

Since seizures happened even when your son was taking Keppra, it means that Keppra isn't controlling the seizures, so, in my opinion, Keppra shouldn't be used anymore.

In my opinion, if seizures will appear again, you should discuss with your son's Neurologist about starting a new antiepileptic drug.

For example, valproate ( depakine ) should improve depression symptoms too, besides controlling the seizures, if there will be other seizures too.

Depakine may be used long term if will be needed.

Hope you found the answer helpful.

Let me know if I can assist you further.

Greetings.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Veerisetty Shyamkumar
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Follow up: Dr. Erion Spaho (12 hours later)
Thank you for your reply. Just to clarify, My son has never taken the Keppra. His seizures have been so few and far between that there really is no pattern and he may never have another one. If he takes the Keppra, we will never really know if it works or not.
After doing a lot of research, and because there were no abnormalities in his tests, I believe his seizures may have been caused by dehydration, poor nutrition, staying up all night, and the stress of work and college.
He is now taking better care of himself and has not had a seizure since November of 2015.

I also should mention that he was taking Focalin for ADHD more than a year ago. He had discontinued taking it before his last seizure but I read that Focalin can cause seizures even after discontinuing it.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho (34 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
At the moment no need for antiseizure drugs.

Detailed Answer:
Welcome back.

Since your son didn't took the Keppra, then Keppra remains a good alternative to control seizures if they will reappear.

So, if at all, there will be another seizure, Keppra should be started.

It is true that Focalin side effects include seizures, factors you describe may trigger a seizure, or decrease the seizure threshold, but can't cause it.

Since there were no abnormalities in tests, probably seizures were caused by Focalin and they should disappear with time.

To conclude, in my opinion there is no need to use antiseizure drugs for the moment.

Hope I helped you.

Take care
Regards

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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Follow up: Dr. Erion Spaho (38 minutes later)
Thank you!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho (7 hours later)
Brief Answer:
You are welcome.

Detailed Answer:
Glad I helped.

Feel free to discuss with us if you have any other questions.

Kind regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Veerisetty Shyamkumar
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Answered by
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Dr. Erion Spaho

Neurologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 4132 Questions

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What causes seizures while on Focalin?

Brief Answer: Keppra isn't working. Detailed Answer: Hello and thanks for using HCM. I have read your question and understand your concerns. Since seizures happened even when your son was taking Keppra, it means that Keppra isn't controlling the seizures, so, in my opinion, Keppra shouldn't be used anymore. In my opinion, if seizures will appear again, you should discuss with your son's Neurologist about starting a new antiepileptic drug. For example, valproate ( depakine ) should improve depression symptoms too, besides controlling the seizures, if there will be other seizures too. Depakine may be used long term if will be needed. Hope you found the answer helpful. Let me know if I can assist you further. Greetings.