Epilepsy Articles – April 2019

EWCT brings you the latest news on epilepsy-related articles

  1. Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders found in children. Although the origins of epilepsy are quite complex and still poorly understood, there are many genetic factors contributing to disease development.


  2. The term headache disorder encompasses a wide variety of nervous system conditions that cause painful symptoms in the head. Headache disorders include headaches and migraine. Most people experience a headache at one point in their lives. Many people with epilepsy suffer from headaches especially after a seizure. In this article you can learn the different types of headaches and how they differ from migraines.


  3. There is a whole range of seizure alert alarms that you can buy online. Some seizure alarm products can be found here:

    Funding these products does pose a significant barrier to actually owning a potentially life-saving device. Hopefully next year “Enabling Good Lives” will be rolled out throughout New Zealand.  “Enabling Good Lives” may help you to own your own seizure alarm. Please make inquiries now. Other avenues to ask for funding help are: Work and Income Local Rotary/Lions groups CCS Disability Lottery grants.

    Other avenues to ask for funding help are:

    • Work and Income
    • Local Rotary/Lions groups
    • CCS Disability
    • Lottery grants
  4. This is an important notice for those taking lamotrigine for seizure control. PHARMAC has made a decision to approve an agreement with Mylan New Zealand Ltd for the supply of lamotrigine, a treatment used for epilepsy and some mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder. This decision means that:

    From 1 October there will be only one funded brand of lamotrigine 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg dispersible tablets (Logem), rather than three different brands (Lamictal, Arrow-Lamotrigine and Logem) and people will be able to collect a three-month supply of Logem from their community pharmacy; People who are not already using the Logem brand will have five months to change to it; the price and subsidy of Logem will reduce.

    There are no changes to the funding of lamotrigine 2 mg (Lamictal) and 5 mg (Lamictal and Arrow-Lamotrigine) dispersible tablets, except that people will be now be able to collect a three-month supply of these from their community pharmacy.

    The clinical advice PHARMAC received from the Neurological and Mental Health Subcommittees is that, based on the available evidence, there is no pharmacological reason to suggest there would be a clinical problem for people with epilepsy or mental health conditions with changing brands of lamotrigine.

    New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) noted a brand change does not constitute a treatment change for purposes of driving and considered that any risks from changing would be extremely low.

    For more information please follow this link: https://www.pharmac.govt.nz/news/notification-2019-04-11-lamotrigine/

  5. Earlier this month, EWCT held a “ketogenic’ evening with Dr Matt Phillips. By following this link you will be able to see his talk and also read his book chapter on “Ketogenic therapies for adults with epilepsy”.