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Posted by Linda H on January 04, 2000 at 11:55:36:

In Reply to: Blood tests. posted by RWJ on January 03, 2000 at 02:38:52:

:I would ask, what are they looking for with the blood tests? Has your weight changed drastically in the six months time? What would the change be, that they need to watch? When my daughter first began with depakote we had to do tests for liver function, but that was at the very start. Now,the Dr. periodically asks for a blood test to check her theraputic level, but I am cautious and I think that if she isn't having seizures, her level must be ok (duh). Then when she has a siezure, I guess we need to think about upping the dose. I go with the sz control not the blood level. Of course this might not apply to you, I don't know about dilantin, and my daughter is still growing so the dose would logically change from time to time. Good luck!
I began taking Dilantin in 1967 and a few years later my doctor added phenobarbitol. After about ten years, lung cancer killed my first doctor. My second doctor continued witht the same medications and dosages. I was having an average of 1 seizure every 3 years and was told that was very good control. Neither my first or second doctors EVER said I needed blood tests. Then my second doctor retired. The third doctor insisted I have a test, even though I told him I just didn't have the money. Still he insisted. Everything was just fine. Two years later he insisted I have another test. Then it went to 18 months, then every year. Then he retired. The first time I saw the fourth doctor, I was told I'd need a test every 6 months, even though every test I had taken in the past was ok. I put up somewhat of an arguement and got the new doctor to go from 6 months to once a year. I have a battle with the bill collectors trying to collect for the tests. I would like to know how often others get tested. Do the makers of Dilantin and phenobarb suggest anything about testing?

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