UA Doctor Creates Medication Database To Help Prevent Seizures In Epileptic Patients

By Matthew Kling
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 - 5:05am
Updated: Monday, February 19, 2018 - 6:53am

Many people who have epilepsy are encouraged to follow a ketogenic diet, which is one that avoids carbohydrates and sugars that could trigger seizures. But certain medications that doctors prescribe in hospitals may be high in carbs and sugars.

Dr. Andrew Muth is a clinical informatics fellow at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix. He helped create a database for doctors at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The database includes medications that may harm epileptic patients.

“We tried to identify as many as we could that were high in sugars and high in carbohydrates,” Muth said. “When a physician tries to go and order these medications, there’s an alert that pops up.”

Muth said that in the database of about 2,600 medications, 72 of those should never be ordered for someone with epilepsy on a ketogenic diet. The diet causes the body to make ketones, or chemicals made from the breakdown of body fat.

Muth said that higher ketone levels in the body lead to improved seizure control.