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Old 04-07-2011, 02:36 PM
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Allergies and epilepsy! Is it safe to take decongestants or prednisone?

I really look forward to your input. I never had a seizure until i was 3 weeks shy of turning 34. I have generalized epilepsy, so not sure why it took 34 years to have my 1st seizure, but thankful nonetheless. I had 3 grand mals, full tonic clonic, which were stopped in the er. I went 2.5 years in between rounds and had my 2nd series of seizures, again 3 grand mals, full tonic clonic, again stopped in the e/r. I only went 8 months this last time in between rounds and i am praying we finally got the meds/dosage right. But this last time i had 4 seizures, but i think the nurse took her time to get my meds in me to stop it! They always wait until they see it with their own eyes, after i have ground up my tongue! I take keppra xr 1000mg in am, 1500mg in pm for 2500mg total. After this last round, my epiliptologist added klonopin because my anxiety was through the roof (because i had just had an eeg in february and was assured we had this under control) and the klonopin was good for seizures and it helped me fall asleep. (i was a night owl, not good for seizures either!) so, i have noticed my major triggers are lack of sleep & stress. I never ever forgot my meds, so we have upped them each time i have another round. (i started off taking dilantin, but changed after my hair began to fall out) my biggest problem is allergies and what meds i can take that won't trigger a seizure because it is just too difficult, i have 2 boys. One is 6, one is 13, with down syndrome. My plate is full, so no driving for 6 months throws a wrench in the program. I am just having the worst year ever with my allergies and had a seizure the night after taking a steroid shot, so my docs shy away from giving me any steroids. But this time, my epileptologist says to take the decongestant, my neurologist says take decongestant and prednisone. Of course i am on allergy shots, i take flonase/nasonex, zyrtec, mucinex to keep the mucus thin, but i cannot breathe, and it is hard to sleep which can cause a seizure! Just wondered if any of you have dealt with allergies and taking decongestants and steroids. Any help would be greatly appreciated! I do have epileptic friends that can take both and wont' have a seizure, but i can't take the chance. But i'm getting close to taking 1/4 pill of the prednisone because i am miserable! Help!!!
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:17 PM
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Hello, and Welcome!

I have allergies too, and am on weekly allergy shots, nasal spray (Astepro 0.15%, 2 sprays in each nostril 2x/day) to keep the nasal swelling down. When I get bronchitis it often means predisone to help prevent pnumonia, which I've had 5 times, despite having the vaccine.

Astepro seems to bother my seizures and the CSF pressure in my head the least. Some, like Fluticasone Propionate, I had a rough time with - I think it increase both the CSF pressure in my head, and my seizures. For nasal swelling I try to just take a local med (spray) that doesn't enter my body as a whole much, so doesn't have as much of a chance to trigger seizures.

I had sinus surgery to make it easier for my nose to drain, which has helped. And it removed the bump on my nose and made it straighter again. Looks much better!

Predisone - it's not a drug anybody takes just to make them feel better. It is to avoid a health crisis or to help heal it. If it is to avoid a serious asthma attack, or heal a tough infection, I kind of think we have to go for it. Or we'll end up with something muh worse than a seizure, or that provokes seizures much more than the prednisone would have in the first place.

Do a cost-benefit analysis for yourself and see if you choice is clear. Mine kinda was.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:52 PM
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Hi amytraweek,

I don't have allergies myself, so no advice to offer I'm afraid, but I wanted to say hi and welcome you to CWE! I also had my first seizures when I was 34, so I can relate to that weirdness. One quick question -- have you been tested for sleep apnea? It sounds like both breathing and sleeping at night are hard for you. There is some connection between sleep apnea and seizures, although it's not entirely clear which comes first.

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allergies, decongestant, prednisone, pseudoephedrine, sudafed

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