01 February 2008

Suicide and Epileptic Drugs

Abbott's Depakote (divalproex sodium, 125 mg, sold at Php 14.00 each), Pfizer's Neurontin (gabapentin, 100 mg sold at Php 56.00 each and 300 mg sold at Php 62.00 each), and Jannsen's Topamax (topiramate, 25 mg sold at Php 39.50 and 50 mg sold at Php 78.75 each) are all available and being prescribed in the Philippines, where it is estimated that about 750,000 people affected with the condition. Of this number, only 6 percent or 45,000 patients are receiving treatment.

I think the high cost of epilepsy drugs is one of the major reasons why not so many people with epilepsy get treated. The problem is, for epilepsy to be controlled, a certain amount of the prescribed medicine must be present in the blood, and this is achieved only when the patient is able to take his medicines religiously.

But with news like increased suicidal ideations with those taking epilepsy medicines, it might seem okay if patients are not taking their medicines on a regular basis. I think that is wrong. With epileptic drugs, even with the risk of increased suicidal tendencies, it is still best to take them regularly. Repeated epileptic attacks literally fry the brain and can cause more harm. This is one of those cases when the benefit outweighs the risks involved.

2 reactions:

rolly said...

seems like its more of a case of having to choose which is the lesser evil. I amjust glad I do not have this kind of sickness.

Aice said...

Some medicines really have bad side-effects....

Then again, being suicidal happens more on people having negative thoughts...I guess it is best to always talk with epileptic patients and distract them from such morbid thoughts