Saturday, December 29, 2007

A man's victory over seizures disorder

As told by Mark Ashby

In 1981, I was an 18-year-old active duty U.S. Marine when I suffered from several grand mal seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy. My Marine Corps career ended abruptly because of the diagnosis and I was medically discharged.

Right after my diagnosis, my life was a tough road. I first began treatment with a medication that had significant side effects, and I felt like I was at the bottom of the bottom. The effects of the medication impacted my lifestyle and I was no longer able to physically train as I had in the Marines. At one point, I stopped taking my medication, deciding I would rather have seizures than deal with the side effects. The fact that I considered seizures the better option was a frightening reality!

As technology and medicine improved over the years, my doctor switched me over to a medication that had fewer side effects. But I still didn’t feel like my old self. In 2003, however, my doctor suggested I try Carbatrol because he had seen positive results with other patients on the medication and felt that I also might benefit from this treatment. I tried it, and I finally felt like me again! Since my doctor prescribed Carbatrol for me, I have not experienced a seizure when I have taken my twice-daily dose, and I am also side-effect free. The Carbatrol Full Prescribing Information states that the most common side effects are dizziness, drowsiness, unsteadiness, nausea and vomiting.

Since being prescribed Carbatrol, I have been able to enjoy the very active, athletic lifestyle that means so much to me. Because I am confident with Carbatrol, I can now push myself to perform at the highest level without worrying as much about having a seizure.

In fact, I am now doing things I would have never dreamed of back when I was first diagnosed with epilepsy. In the span of seven months in 2005, I completed the Ironman Arizona and the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. These triathlons each combine a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike race and 26.2-mile run. I also completed five half-Ironman triathlons and placed second and third in my age division in two of the competitions.

I realized I have a gift and the perseverance to participate in these events, but I know that I couldn’t do it without regularly taking my medication. I depend on Carbatrol.

This patient testimonial reflects one man's experience with epilepsy and his treatment with Carbatrol. Patients on antiepileptic drugs may experience breakthrough seizures. This information is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Patients are advised to consult with their physician before beginning any medical treatment for epilepsy.


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