I have handled a large number of seizure and epilepsy cases over the years as a Social Security lawyer in Tucson. I have gotten pretty good at it and I thought I knew it all. But, a client called today to say that her seizure medication had so weakened her bones that she needs a shoulder replacement.
Seizure Meds Can Weaken Bones
It turns out that some anti-convulsant medications do, indeed, attack and make bones brittle. The older
anti-convulsants, such as phenytoin (Epanutin), phenobarbital, carbamazepine (Tegretal), primidone (Mysoline) and sodium valproate (Epilim) are particularly bad for bones. Interestingly, these drugs release a liver enzyme that destroys Vitamin D. As we all know, Vitamin D is critical for bone strength and health.
New Meds May Be Safer
Doctors are less clear about the effect of new anti-convulsants on human bones. These drugs include gabapentin, lamotrigine, topiramate, and levetiracetam (Keppra). These pharmaceuticals do not produce the Vitamin D killing enzyme, so in theory, they should be safer.
Epileptics More At Risk Of Broken Bones
Loss of bone strength is a notably bad development for people with seizures. This is because
epileptics often flail uncontrollably, hit things, and fall down. Any of these activities may greatly increase the risk of fracture.
Talk To Your Doctor
If you are taking an anti-convulsant drug, talk to your doctor about your bone health. In any event, never discontinue any medication without speaking to a physician first.
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If you have seizures and would like to know more about getting Social Security disability in Tucson, please let me know.