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Old 09-09-2008, 10:58 AM   #1
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Epilepsy and donating blood?

I used to like donating blood when I was in high school because it's such an easy way to help other people. But then after I started on anti-seizure meds, I was going to donate blood again, but didn't think of this until I got to the donation place- about my medication and whether it was something they wouldn't want in donated blood. So when I went up to fill out the paperwork and see the nurse, I asked about it, and her concern was actually that it would be dangerous for me because my medication levels would drop and I would be at a higher risk of having a seizure. So I didn't donate that time.
This was a number of years ago, and I'm always bummed out when I hear about a blood drive and I know I can't donate blood.
But I've been thinking about it, and does anyone know if this is true? I mean, you would think the amount of meds leaving your bloodstream is proportionate to the amount of blood leaving your bloodstream, and then by the time your body regenerates more blood, you've probably taken your next dose of meds anyway.

Also, I recently had five vials of blood drawn for testing of my different meds, and other things, and that seems like A LOT of blood. And that didn't affect me at all.

So, does anyone know about this?

Thanks!

Last edited by SentenceDoing; 09-09-2008 at 11:00 AM.

 
Old 09-09-2008, 11:57 AM   #2
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Re: Epilepsy and donating blood?

They told me years ago, the reason wasnt just for my tegretol levels only, but my blood couldnt be donated since it has AEDs that other individuals couldnt take since they werent epileptic or on our meds. I dont know excatly, because even though your seizure free for a year, some places dont take your blood either unless your off the meds. It depends I guess, look it up...

 
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:35 AM   #3
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Re: Epilepsy and donating blood?

In my state (PA) when I asked about it they told me that I could donate but I had to be sez free for 6 months. They said that taking the meds wouldn't be a problem. I don't know if this changes from state to state or not

You could also try contacting the Red Cross, they might know better about it than the people who are in the donating office. You could probably find a number on their web site. I would look for calling the main number and not one that goes to a local office.

Last edited by valeriedl; 09-10-2008 at 07:37 AM.

 
Old 09-16-2008, 11:16 AM   #4
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Re: Epilepsy and donating blood?

Ditto to what valerie said! I just attempted to donate here in NC during a big blood drive but I called first. I was directed to The Red Cross and the lady told me that I had to be seizure-free for six months. Since I had just had a dang complex partial two weeks before, well, someone went without my A+ blood!
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Old 09-16-2008, 12:35 PM   #5
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Re: Epilepsy and donating blood?

Thanks, everyone.
The funny thing is that yesterday, I had to have bloodwork done for Lyme Disease and co-infections and a bunch of other stuff and they drew 20 VIALS OF BLOOD! I felt like I was actually donating blood, they took so much of it!

 
Old 09-26-2008, 10:13 AM   #6
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Re: Epilepsy and donating blood?

I believe the claim of being siezure free for six months should have absolutey nothing to do with the donation of blood. Possibly they mean that you have to be off of medication for six months.

The problem with the donation of blood by people taking anti seizure medication is that the drug levels in your system can have significant health ramifications to the recipient of your blood.

Toxic reactions can occur and cause irrepairable damage to vital organs, even cause death in some recipients.

I tried to donate blood many years ago. They could not accept my blood. I was and still am on drug therapy.

 
Old 09-26-2008, 10:18 AM   #7
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Re: Epilepsy and donating blood?

What has happened to the threads for temporal lobe surgery and wada test? All of the replys are locked and/or closed.

 
Old 09-30-2008, 01:40 PM   #8
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Re: Epilepsy and donating blood?

<<I believe the claim of being siezure free for six months should have absolutey nothing to do with the donation of blood. Possibly they mean that you have to be off of medication for six months.

The problem with the donation of blood by people taking anti seizure medication is that the drug levels in your system can have significant health ramifications to the recipient of your blood.

Toxic reactions can occur and cause irrepairable damage to vital organs, even cause death in some recipients.>>


Perhaps they want you to be seizure-free for six months is because they're concerned that maybe you'll have a seizure while you're donating blood and they just don't want to deal with it or something?

I don't think receipients can really have a toxic reaction to our meds. However, when I was on the phone with forEVA with the Red Cross, constantly being put on hold... "How many mgs of Keppra are you taking?" she would ask...then, "And how much Zonegran do you take daily?" then I would be put back on hold.

Finally she gave me the answer, No. They want me to be seizure-free for six months before I donate blood. I got the feeling it was more to cover their own hiney's if I were to seize while donating.

So who knows? I don't think our anti-seizure meds would actually cause death in recipients, though. That's a bit extreme. My husband asked my epileptologist point blank at our very first meeting what would happen if a person who didn't have a 'seizure disorder' were to take these meds and he said, with the exception of a few of them, absolutely nothing. The "average person" would not feel the affects.

Which is a bummer, cuz when my DH would make me mad I'd threaten him with a Topamax sandwich in his lunchbag! ha ha! Now he knows my meds won't hurt him.

dangit.
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Last edited by dogmom; 09-30-2008 at 01:44 PM.

 
Old 09-30-2008, 04:24 PM   #9
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Re: Epilepsy and donating blood?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jvmtaz View Post
The problem with the donation of blood by people taking anti seizure medication is that the drug levels in your system can have significant health ramifications to the recipient of your blood.

Toxic reactions can occur and cause irrepairable damage to vital organs, even cause death in some recipients.

I tried to donate blood many years ago. They could not accept my blood. I was and still am on drug therapy.
It's not a problem it's a health/safety issue for people in need of blood!
If you have to be on therapy due to that............

Volunteer your time to your local blood bank.

cherie

 
Old 09-30-2008, 08:10 PM   #10
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Re: Epilepsy and donating blood?

Thanks for your feedback. I love your remark concerning making a topomax sandwhich for your signifigant other.

To make my point, I would suggest researching Depakote and Dilantin. Depakote, even in small amounts, can cause permanent liver damage in some individuals. In such a case death would not necessarily be swift but rather very slow and painful.

My father received a blood trasfusion, one of the units was tainted with hepititas. This did effect his liver to some extent. But the nail in the coffin was his continued use of Dilantin which caused futher damage, resulting in complete liver failure. He suffered a very slow and painful death.

When I tried to donate blood, I was told they could not accept my blood specifically because I was on a regular regimine of Dilantin. I wasn't even asked if I suffered from seizures.

Imagine, if you will, a recipient having an allergic reaction to the drug while under the knife.

Thanks again for your attention and I hope all bodes well for you and yours.

Jim

 
Old 10-01-2008, 02:49 AM   #11
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Re: Epilepsy and donating blood?

Alot of people can't donate their blood due to meds they take-for whatever reason-it stays in your blood stream and can harm the person/people getting it.

 
Old 10-01-2008, 09:43 AM   #12
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Re: Epilepsy and donating blood?

Jim-so sorry about your dad. I am aware about the harmful effects of Dilantin and Depakote. That's why I insisted my doc discontinue prescribing them to me.

As for donating, I think as regular pill-takers, we need to be forthcoming to the Red Cross and let them make the decision as to whether or not they want our blood. Remember, it's not as if our blood is going directly into someone elses' veins...it is tested for HIV (as of the late 80s) as well as Hepatitis now, and hopefully TB and other diseases.

I thought there could possibly be a risk to others, even though my neuro. said that my meds wouldn't hurt the "average Joe," that's why I called the Red Cross before I drove 25 minutes across downtown to donate during the blood drive... just to be sure. The response I received, however, had nothing to do with my meds, it was all about me being seizure-free for six months. So again, who knows?

Either way, I still wish I could donate blood.

And give my hubby a topamax sammie when he ticks me off.

Oh wait, it won't make him tired like it did for me.
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