Our daughter Jane died from SUDEP & possibly from ours and her ignorance. Nearly half of all SUDEP deaths are avoidable. Stay Alive - Read On.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Could drug-induced insomnia increase the risk of SUDEP?

Lamotrigine (Photo credit: Divine Harvester)
One good thing about writing this website is the chances of putting two and two together and proving my Maths degree didn't go entirely to waste.  Now one of the lifestyle "choices" that is supposed to increase the risk of SUDEP is tiredness.  I had always thought that Jane's tiredness was something about her as a person that meant she couldn't sleep.

Now I know that I may have been mistaken.  Until just now I did not study the side-effects of Lamotrigine (traded as Lamactil).  Just a few minutes ago I responded to a question about Lamotrigine and insomnia, "Have you found anything that helps with the difficulty even falling asleep when you are taking Lamictal.   I have been on this for about 10 years now and have super trouble with sleeping."

To try to help find an answer to this question I searched the web and came across some possibly useful advice.  This was to think about taking more of the AED in the morning and less in the evening, and I have read of one person who took their entire dosage in the morning, with a resulting reduction of insomnia.

I cannot speak to the quality of the advice - I don't have epilepsy and I have never taken Lamotrigine.  So before changing drug regime I would ask your doctor before changing any routine.

That said I do know for a fact that on the night of my daughter's death she had trouble sleeping.  I know this because the last thing she did was watch a film, "P.S. I Love You."  And because I know computers I know the probable early morning moment she stopped watching the film.

Do not misunderstand me.  I am not saying Insomnia is going to cause SUDEP.  I have only one instance to go by.  But my advice if you are having trouble sleeping and your are taking a drug with insomnia as one of its side-effects - then  I would strongly advise you asking your doctor if you should take more AED in the morning and less in the evening.

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