Melatonin

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Does anybody take or give to their kids, Melatonin while taking anti seizure meds? My son was diagnosed with epilepsy 3 weeks ago, he is on Keppra but it has interfered with his sleep cycle, as result he is tired and irritable, not to mention those are all side effects of Keppra anyway. He is really behind the eight ball because he is missing about 90 minutes of sleep each night. If I could make it easier for him to fall asleep we could try to stay one step ahead. Any suggestions or experience would help, thanks!
 

Nakamova

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Melatonin can be tricky, not just for sleep but for seizure control too. There is some evidence that melatonin at bedtime may reduce the number and length of seizures in children with epilepsy. But melatonin should be used with care, because melatonin may also increase the number of seizures in some people.

Below are a few threads that might be of interest.

http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/forums/f23/melatonin-way-prevent-seizures-your-sleep-11485/
http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/forums/f23/melatonin-11352/
http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/forums/f23/sleep-suggestions-5377/

Also,are you are giving your son a B-Complex Vitamin with B6 (which can help with Keppra irritability)? If so, it's better for him to take it in the morning rather than in the evening, since some studies suggest that B vitamins can cause wakefulness.
 

hootie

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Also, if you do try melatonin...

start with the lowest dose (you can give part of a tablet or capsule). Use the minimum dose that works. That way you can always increase if the low dose you are using stops working (this can happen). Many of the caps/tablets are 1 mg or 3 mgs. I would buy the 1 mg (or less if you can find it) and cut it in 1/2 or 1/4 for a start.

Melatonin actually made my son wake up in the middle of the night more. This does not happen to everyone.

I noticed when my son started AEDs and when we increased the dose, he had a few weeks where he had trouble falling asleep. This eventually went away. He is taking Depakote.
 

Dutch mom

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My son gets 6 mg melatonin each night since < 7 years, only the first year combined with AEDs, the last 6 years together with the ketogenic diet. Thanks to the diet his seizures significantlly reduced and we were able to wean off the AEDs. When weaning of clobazam we doubled the dose melatonine from 3 to 6 mg.
 
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Dutch Mom, thanks for the reply about your son. I have given 1 mg sometimes even .5 to my son, but this was before he had seizures, since the seizures I am afraid to give it to him, could the melatonin in some way trigger his epilepsy? I am due to talk to his neurologist next week, but don't know if we can last that long, he is filled with anxiety going to bed and it is taking him over an hour to fall asleep, then he wakes up early, he is having a hard time functioning without proper sleep. I am assuming this is all from the Keppra.
 

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For my son waking up out of sleep was a trigger for seizures, even before he got melatonin for sleeping problems he allways had a seizure when he woke up. Melatonin can have a seizure reducing effect when it creates a better sleep rythm. I never heard of Melatonin triggering/increasing seizures. Many special needs kids have sleeping problems because of a disfunctioning biological clock and in the Netherlands many of them get melatonin for this reason. But they do get a high therapeutic dose, 2,5-3, 5-6 and even 10 mg. Some of them take Circadin, a slow release type of melatonin. My son started on 3 mg when he still was on AEDs and clobazam, we doubled the dose when the meds were being weaned of. Whenever we do forget his melatonin or when he refuses to take it, he has a big problem falling asleep.
 
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My son has nocturnal seizures, at least so far. This is all very new to me, we are only about 4 weeks in and 3 weeks into Keppra. He can't sleep, he is very irritable as well, but has been seizure free since the start of Keppra, so I guess beggers can't be choosers. I am going to give him .5 mg of Melatonin tonight and see what happens, I think at such a low dose it can't have an ill effect, and I will review it with the dr. when we speak this week. He has taken .5 before and it has helped with the anxiety he faces before bed. Thanks for the feedback, I wish you the best of luck with your son and managing all of this!
 
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I gave my son .5 mg's of Melatonin, and it has done wonders, his sleep schedule is still off, he is waking a full hour before he used to but at least now he is falling asleep normally, we give it to him at about 7:30 and by 8:30, which is when we are done with the entire nighttime routine, he is ready and falls right asleep, before this it was close to 10 before he would fall and in that time was a lot of crying and anxiety. Thanks for the help.
 

Nakamova

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That's great to hear! I'm glad it helped.
 
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