My son has new problems

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/26/2005 4:45 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm new to this board having looked so many places for some suggestions.
My son is 19 and has been on dilantin since he was 4. It completely controls his seizures thank God.  The problem is now we are in another round of neuro visits and tests because my son has had cognitive and tiredness problems for the last few months.  We've been through countless blood tests and a few doctors.  Tomorrow he has an eeg and friday an mri.
My question is, can this be epilespy related all of a sudden?  He started college about the time this started.  Stress maybe?  He says he feels too tired to do much and kind of "hazy".  Anyone have a similar experience or suggestion where to go from here?  I hate seeing him miss out at this time of his life.  It's so hard not getting a straight answer.  Thanks.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 668
   Posted 4/26/2005 9:16 PM (GMT -7)   


I've been on dilantin for 26 years and it has kept my seizures under control.He might have to have the doseage changed or sometimes if the dilantin level is off, the dilantin can go toxic. This can cause you to be tired and drowsie. 

Jennifer is right, dilantin is very hard on the liver, get his liver checked (I think that can be done through a blood test)

In my case I have my blood and liver tested each month. Hope your son gets it straightened out.


Diagnosed with epilepsy and ulcerative colitis in 1979,
Been on meds ever since.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 4/26/2005 9:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I think the above comments are true. Also, if he has had recent growth spurt, or just developing a tolerance to the medication, it might be contributing. But, he should get a full physical. For instance, it could be something different, mononucleosis (common for teenagers and college age) or something like that.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 585
   Posted 4/27/2005 8:49 AM (GMT -7)   
I am so sorry he is having more trouble. Yes, I would say that some underlying seizure problem can crop up suddenly. The stress of starting college sure could bring that out.
I am glad he has an MRI and EEG coming up. Hopefully that will show if things have changed with his seizures. Subclinical events are possible that would drain him, but not be easy to detect from outside.
Glad he has the full blood work to see if it is Dilantin related, too.
Hope the doctors will start talking straight to you and give you answers!

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 241
   Posted 4/27/2005 10:43 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Maggiesmom-

I agree with the others that the testing is a good idea given his fatigue and hazy feeling.  It's rough to be a teenager and having the stress of starting college, let alone having the additional stressors like the Dilantin and epilepsy itself to deal with.    If all the tests check out ok, does he have a primary care doctor that can check him over for anything else that may be causing problems (as suggested by ShakinMommy)?  If he has a lot of stress with school right now, maybe the best thing in the world will be the end of the semester (!)  Is there something going on in his life causing emotional stress that could account for his cognitive/ fatigue problems?  Who can he talk to when something really bothers him?

It's got to be stressful for you too.  Many people on this Forum can tell you about their experiences with declining cognitive, memory function as well as the endless battle with fatigue.   If it is determined that it is indeed the epilepsy causing the cognitive problems, then, keeping a sharp mind and lowering the stress is the best thing he can do.  It will also help you too to pamper yourself by reducing stress whereever YOU can! 

Good Luck to you and your son, Hang in there... Glenda  :-)   

complex partial seizures since 22
lamictal 200mg 2x/d
zonegran 150mg 3/d

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