IF you or someone you care for has epilepsy, you may be wondering about the specific risks associated with coronavirus infection and COVID-19 vaccines.
COVID-19 and people with epilepsy
Are people with epilepsy more likely to get COVID-19 or have complications?
Coronaviruses, like SARS-CoV-2, are known to attack the nervous system. A retrospective study from 2020 notes that 36.4% of participants with COVID-19 had neurological manifestations, including seizures. Additionally, there is a risk, albeit small, that seizures will worsen for most people with epilepsy if they become infected with SARS-CoV-2. This is possible because illness, especially with fever, can stress the body and increase the risk and frequency of seizures. COVID-19 can also cause symptoms, including fever, lack of sleep, and fatigue, which can trigger seizures and lengthen them. and more intense. However, a 2020 review suggests the risk of having COVID-19-related seizures is low unless a person is critically ill or terminally ill. , long-term COVID-19, or complications,” however, seizure disorders can coexist with other health conditions. A weakened immune system or other conditions such as lung disease, obesity, advanced age, diabetes and heart disease can put people at increased risk of coronavirus infection and more serious cases of coronavirus. COVID-19. Some people with these risk factors also have seizures.
A 2019 study found that critically ill patients have seizures. These individuals may experience severe symptoms such as low blood oxygen levels, shock, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, metabolic and electrolyte imbalance, and multi-organ damage, which may cause seizures in those affected or not epilepsy. A 2021 study also indicates that inflammation of the brain or the membranes around it — known as encephalitis and meningitis, respectively — is the most common neurological complication of COVID-19. The second most common symptom of this complication is seizures.
Can epileptic seizures get worse during or after coronavirus infection?
“Although considered a rare event, high fever and infections may lower the seizure threshold, leading to increased seizure frequency,” “This typically occurs in a small subset of patients.”
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for people with epilepsy?
Yes, based on currently available information, the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for people with epilepsy. Although the data is limited, so far there is no evidence that patients with epilepsy are at higher risk of adverse complications after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. , seizure medications do not increase the risk of contracting COVID-19. there is no evidence that taking anti-epileptic drugs increases your risk of being infected with the coronavirus. Can COVID-19 treatments interfere with anti-epileptic drugs? Generally, no, COVID-19 treatments do not interact with anti-epileptic drugs, but it may depend on what the patient is taking. Husari says that some of the older generation anti-epileptic drugs (such as phenytoin, valproate, carbamazepine, or phenobarbital) have a higher risk of potential drug interactions with some of the drugs used in patients with cases. moderate to severe illness from COVID-19. Patients with epilepsy who are being treated for COVID-19 should ensure that their physicians know about all medications they are taking to avoid potentially harmful interactions.
Like many other vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine can cause some side effects, including:
- Pain around the area where you were injected
- Be sick
- Feeling tired
- Have a high temperature for a few hours
This last side effect could be a concern for people whose seizures are affected by high temperatures. If you’ve noticed you have seizures when you have a fever, it’s worth speaking with your epilepsy specialist to prepare for this. You might also want to work on a crisis management plan. One study suggests taking medications such as acetaminophen to help lower your temperature for 48 hours after your vaccination. This can reduce the chances of epileptic seizures. It is also worth checking if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. If you have had an allergic reaction to any medicine or vaccine before, you should tell the staff at the vaccination center.
Interaction between epilepsy drugs and COVID vaccine
If you take anti-epileptic drugs to control your seizures, you may be wondering if vaccination could affect the effectiveness of your anti-epileptic drugs. According to scientists, there is no reason to believe that the vaccine will reduce the effectiveness of your anti-epileptic drugs.
Conclusions: The data suggest that vaccination against COVID-19 appears to be well tolerated in patients, supporting the recommendation for vaccination in PWE.
About the NPMC Neurology and Pain Management Clinic
NPMC Neurology and Pain Management Clinic
E164/1 Kamla Nagar Delhi