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Old 06-19-2009, 02:06 AM
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Alcohol and Epilepsy Medication


I have tried a few epilepsy drugs and all have failed so far. They tend to work for a few months and then seem to have no effect. I like most people try to get out with friends and family for a bite to eat and a drink or two from time to time. My question to other members is:- Do you drink alcohol while on your medication and if so, does it have a greater effect on you?

I like a drink and find that the drugs do not make any difference when it comes to tolerence. I am starting to think that alcohol actually helps me and stops my seizures, as long as I don't drink too much.

Any comments would be appreciated.

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Old 06-19-2009, 02:22 AM
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I find I have a lower resistance to alcohol as I get older though I'm not sure if that's because I rarely drink, because of the meds (tegretol) or both.

I do have the odd glass of wine (or Grande Marnier) a few times a year but only on occasions when I'm in good health, have had very few seizures recently & am not on an empty stomach. Even then I don't take my medication until I've metabolized most the alcohol.

Those things haven't coincided very often recently but otherwise I just don't enjoy the effects of the alcohol.

I would wonder what the alcohol is doing that might lessen your seizures. Could it be raising low blood sugar levels or effecting some other dietary factor that could be helped without alcohol? You might want to do some research.
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:02 AM
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Thanks for the reply, I will do some more research and see what I can find. I am on tegretol and keppra. I am coming off the keppra 2000 mg a day and starting the tegretol 200mg a day and moving up to 600 mg a day within the next 4 weeks.
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:12 AM
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You're welcome


It's always a pleasure to help.

Be careful though if you're starting a new medication. Each med effects us differently & interacts with alcohol differently on different people.

My advice (if you care for it) is to not drink until you've been on your meds at the dosage your doc wants them for a while. That will give you & your body time to get used to the tegretol & its side-effects.
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:40 AM
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As I have only been on the tegretol for 10 days, I have not had anything to drink and don't intend to until on the 600mg. As you say, might have side effects but none as yet
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Old 06-19-2009, 04:45 AM
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Since i had my first tonic clonic last July, I've been avoiding drink. I wasn't on any medication until March this year, and the one time i did go out drinking with my brother i had another one in a nightclub. (november last year)

I haven't been drinking much at all. I'll only have one or two beers if i'm in the house with my family. Well, and the obligatory pint of Guinness when i was home in Ireland last week

If we're going out for the night i'll stick to non-alcoholic beers. They taste just as good, are cheaper, and it's funny to see how daft everyone else acts when they're drunk. Plus there's no hangover.

I'm on Lamotrigine (Lamictal), and when i asked the nurse would i be able to drink, she said that i could, but be prepared to have a seizure if i do. I decided it wasn't worth the risk. At least if i'm at home there's people around who know what to do.
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Old 06-19-2009, 08:51 AM
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I'm on Lamictal too, and alcohol hasn't affected me too much. Except one time when I had way too many and had a tonic clonic. My own fault and it hasn't happened again, no more than 2 beers for me at a time.

My pharmacist and neurologist said that alcohol does not alter the effectiveness of lamictal, but it does increase drowsiness. But I was told that it would lower the effectiveness of tegretol, which I was on before.

Not sure if this is right though. Maybe it's just how it affects me.

It's so hard to turn down a Guinness though... and btw it is MUCH better in Ireland than here in Canada. I had one at the top of the Guinness Storehouse and I haven't had one better since.
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Old 06-19-2009, 08:56 AM
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In general, for most anti-epileptic drugs, the alcohol and the meds reinforce each other -- the med is absorbed more quickly, and so is the alcohol. I'm on Lamictal, and while I don't drink that often, I will have a few glasses of wine when I'm out with friends, and not worry too much about it.
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris515 View Post:
It's so hard to turn down a Guinness though... and btw it is MUCH better in Ireland than here in Canada. I had one at the top of the Guinness Storehouse and I haven't had one better since.
Totally agreed It's cause all the Guinness is made in Dublin (Unless they have somewhere in America that makes it too, which i really can't imagine!) so it has to travel all that way before it gets drunk.

Lovely and fresh here
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Old 06-21-2009, 07:07 AM
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Talking


I don't care much for the taste of alcohol so I don't I use to go out with my sisters when I was younger and had mixed drinks 1 maybe 2 never brought on a seizure. A mixed drink was all I could stand to drink.
I stick with coke and sprite now for my drink.

Belinda
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Old 06-21-2009, 07:51 AM
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I take 500mg of Lamictal daily and I do drink alcohol regularly, I have never been advised not too. So until I am, I will continue to drink. The alcohol in my system does make my meds less effective and I do seize more then normal the next day. But you really need to speak to your neurologist to get advise about the interaction of your medication and alcohol.
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Old 06-22-2009, 05:08 AM
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When I ask my neurologist about drinking at the time, he said make sure it's been at least 4 hrs since your last dose of medication before I drink.
That' all that's ever been said to me about drinking

Belinda
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Old 06-22-2009, 07:38 AM
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dehydration


One thing we need to avoid is dehydration.
One thing alcohol does is to dehydrate you, hence the hang-over.
As you can see from the posts, we have reduced or eliminated our alcohol, or we just seize more the next day.
In all honesty, talk to your specialist.
Is alcohol or other drug the cause of your seizures, btw?
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