Antidepressants may lead to fewer seizures in people with epilepsy
Research is preliminary, but could encourage more people with depression and epilepsy to try meds.
(HealthDay)—Besides helping to boost mood, antidepressants may also reduce seizure frequency for people with epilepsy, a new study suggests.
The study, to be presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society in San Diego, included patients who were prescribed one of two types of antidepressants—selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). These types include drugs such as Celexa, Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft, among others.
Researchers led by Dr. Ramses Ribot, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, tracked changes in mood and anxiety levels for 100 people with epilepsy at three and six months after the start of antidepressant therapy.
Improvement or remission of symptoms was seen in 86 percent of patients, the investigators found.
The antidepressants tested "do not appear to worsen seizure frequency and yield a good therapeutic response independently of seizure frequency," Ribot said in a society news release. "Our studies also suggest these antidepressants may actually have an anti-seizure effect in patients with frequent seizures," he added.
The researchers said the findings should be of interest to doctors who treat people with epilepsy, but the results need to be confirmed in further studies.
One epilepsy expert said the findings are reassuring for doctors and patients.
"This study provides additional support for the safety and effectiveness of antidepressant medications in patients with epilepsy and comorbid [co-existing] depression," said Dr. Orrin Devinsky, director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.
He explained that, in rare cases in the past, SSRIs and SSNIs have been linked to a lowering of the threshold at which epileptic seizures might occur.
"This has unfortunately led many psychiatrists and neurologists to avoid the use of these medications in epilepsy patients," Devinsky said. "However, the findings of Ribot and colleagues provide clear support that depressed patients with epilepsy should be treated with effective doses of these medications. Further, these medications can improve depression and quality of life and, in many patients, reduce seizure frequency."
While the study found an association between antidepressant use and reduced seizure activity, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
Findings presented at medical meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
More information: The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about epilepsy.
Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
- Treatment-resistant epilepsy common in idiopathic autism Apr 19, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Study finds it generally safe to withdraw anti-seizure medication in children with epilepsy Dec 07, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Surprising results from study of non-epileptic seizures Dec 02, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Newer antidepressants not necessarily safest for older people Aug 03, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Expert calls for awareness, research of sudden death in patients with epilepsy Nov 10, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
Marie Curie's leukemia
May 13, 2013 Does anyone know what might be the cause of Marie Curie's cancer
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
A new report suggests that improved health care and significant reductions in drug costs might be attained by breaking up the age-old relationship between physicians and drug company representatives who promote the newest, ...
Medications 19 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Federal health regulators say an experimental insomnia drug from Merck can help patients fall asleep, but it also carries worrisome side effects, including daytime drowsiness and suicidal thinking.
Medications 20 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(AP)—Former Navy Secretary Richard J. Danzig, who has served as a bio-warfare adviser to the president, the Pentagon, and the Department of Homeland Security, urged the government to stockpile an anti-anthrax drug while ...
Medications May 20, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Europe's medicines watchdog said Friday the benefits of acne drug Diane-35, also widely used as a contraceptive, outweigh the risk of developing blood clots in the veins—when correctly prescribed.
Medications May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and Switzerland's Cytos Biotechnology AG today announced that the first healthy volunteer has been dosed in a Phase 1 clinical trial with their ...
Medications May 17, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 1
(HealthDay)—Injections of a sugar solution appear to help relieve knee pain and stiffness related to osteoarthritis, a new study suggests.
27 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Scientists at the School of Medicine have shown that their previously identified therapeutic approach to fight cancer via immune cells called macrophages also prompts the disease-fighting killer T cells ...
35 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Over the past few decades, scientists have developed many devices that can reopen clogged arteries, including angioplasty balloons and metallic stents. While generally effective, each of these treatments ...
30 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(HealthDay)—Obese and overweight men and women who suffer from heartburn often report relief when they lose weight, a new study shows.
17 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(HealthDay)—When it comes to the care of your children's teeth, dentists aren't the only experts who can help.
37 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—For patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), prolonged prone positioning during mechanical ventilation is associated with significantly reduced mortality at 28 and 90 days, ...
57 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0