For those who suffer with fibromyalgia, the pain can sometimes be intense. There have been situations in which those who have intense pain suffer from mild seizures.
For these people, the effect of the illness on the immune system is what causes the body to go into a seizure. To be clear, fibromyalgia does not cause seizures. It is the effect of fibromyalgia on the immune system that could lead to seizure like activity for the sufferer.
What Type of Seizures Can a Person Have?
For those select few who have immune system related seizures, they are going to find that the seizure is not what you would expect with a “seizure”.
Most people do not go into convulsing, they simply space out. These are referred to as absence seizures. The older term for the seizure is petit mal seizures. What happens when this occurs?
Most people will simply have a lapse in awareness and stare straight ahead. They will not respond to those who are talking to them until they snap out of this. These can be relatively short.
In fact, the majority of people who have these types of seizures are going to find that they or others may not even notice these. The person may simply look as though they are daydreaming.
Other signs of this is that the person may turn their eyes upward or they may have fluttering eyelids. In most cases, the seizure may last for less than ten seconds.
Why Do These Happen?
A lowered immune system is often the leading reason for these absence seizures. When a person has a lowered immune system, their body is often working overtime in order to ensure the person stays healthy.
There can be times in which the immune system simply needs a break. As a result of this, the brain may shut off for a few seconds, causing the seizure. As those who suffer with fibromyalgia know, it greatly affects the immune system.
The reason for this is that the person is usually in a constant state of pain. This pain wreaks havoc on the immune system. Therefore, many of those who suffer with fibromyalgia are more likely to get colds and flus during the year when they are going around.
Can Seizures Be Prevented?
It is important to note that not everyone who has fibromyalgia will suffer with a seizure. In many cases, those who do have seizures are dealing with more than just one illness.
In order to prevent these seizures from happening, most of those who suffer with fibromyalgia are going to do whatever they can in order to keep their immune system in top notch shape. They may take Vitamin C on a daily basis in hope of boosting this immune system.
In severe cases in which seizures are still happening, a medication specifically to help this is usually the course of treatment. There are several of these medications on the market, however, the one that most people are interested in is Keppra.
What is Keppra?
Keppra is the brand name of levetiracetam. It was mainly designed to give to children who are also taking other medications in order to treat epilepsy and other types of seizures. It was also found to be rather helpful for those who are suffering with what is called tonic-clonic seizures.
This medication works by moderating the transmission of nerves signals in the brain. In turn, the person is going to have less and less seizures. It was approved by the FDA in 1999. However, there are some safety and warning labels that need to be taken into consideration before using this.
Warnings and Side Effects with Keppra
There is a huge risk for those who take Keppra to develop aggressive behavior, along with feeling angry, anxious, depressed and apathetic.
It can make the person seem as though they have developed a new personality, which does happen to many who are surprised at this warning.
There can also be serious dermatological issues that happen such as the skin starting to peel off in sheets, and developed Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
For young children, this medication has been known to increase blood pressure. However, for most of those who are taking this who do have fibromyalgia this is not something in which they must worry about.
There are also a small number of people who have reported having suicidal thoughts and actions while they are using this medication.
It is advised that if you are taking this medication that you call your doctor if you find that you have changes in your behavior that include:
- Problems sleeping
- Panic attacks
- Restless feeling or agitated
- Aggression or acting out the violence that you feel
- Having dangerous impulses and acting out on these
Those who are prescribed this medication need to mention to their doctor if they want to stop this. Those who simply stop taking this without the help of a doctor may find that they have non-stop seizures due to stopping this suddenly.
The common side effects of this medication that are not considered life threatening include:
- Nasal congestion
- Decreased appetite
- Feeling tired
Most doctors find that these side effects last for the first four weeks of taking this medication then subside or disappear altogether.
For those who are diagnosed with fibromyalgia, Keppra may be given to them after their symptoms are not responding to other medications on the market.
There are still several studies being done to determine just how much Keppra could help a patient with fibromyalgia. However, those who have been taken this medication find that it can ease or completely erase the burning pain that they have throughout their bodies.