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Seizure disorder.

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When travelling with us after a family wedding about 6 hours away my son had a severe medical issue. We were called to his hotel room at midnight and found him shaking badly. He also had a rapid, erratic pulse and was clammy/sweating and felt nauseous (but didn't vomit). He didn't want us to call a doctor because he had a panic attack about 10 years ago with some of the symptoms (but not the shaking) and recovered OK. Thinking it was a panic attack we gave him a Zanax tablet plus a beta blocker tablet that we had with us. This helped after about 5 hours and the next day he was weak but very tired. We are not sure what caused this attack. In the week prior to the wedding he had some late nights partying with friends (alcohol was consumed but no illegal drugs were involved) and the wedding environment was similar. He was therefore very run down after the wedding. He was also very anxious at the wedding finding the stress and formality of the wedding difficult to handle. He had consumed a lot of alcohol and had little sleep the night before the wedding but consumed no alcohol on the day he had the attack. He did take a Zyrtec antihistamine for hayfever about 8 hours prior to the attack. We need to get an idea of what happened in case it happens again.

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
 25 Doctors Online


Thank you for asking your query at DoctorSpring.

I understand your concern and will try my best to help you. This episode you have described here does NOT appear to be Panic attack. This is more suggestive of either a seizure episode or drug withdrawal. Seizure occurs when there is an abnormal electrical activity in the brain. This can occur due to a lot of causes - unusual medications, drugs, fasting (hypoglycaemia), sudden withdrawal of drugs, too much alcohol all can cause seizures.

As you have mentioned it is possible that your son had one or more of the risk factor mentioned above. In addition seizure can occur as a part of epilepsy. So I recommend a baseline evaluation (which includes a blood test) and a complete Neurological examination. An MRI brain might be needed in some cases (depending on the Neurological exam findings). Meanwhile do avoid high risk activities. In case the episode occurs, it is better not to give any drugs. Make him lie on his side to prevent any aspiration of food / food particle. Do not let him drive / operate heavy machinery within 24 hours of the episode. Get medical help asap.

Hope this helps
Please feel free to ask followp questions.

Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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