We tried ACTH. It FAILED.
I was worried that with the wean of ACTH (actually we switched to Prednisone for the wean) that we would see a steady increase in her seizures. And, at first, we did. But once we got to a higher dose of Zonisamide, the intensity and number of seizures within a cluster started to decrease. She is still having around two clusters a day. Small clusters. Very mild clusters. But seizures they are. On a daily basis.
So we are still fighting. We have Vigabatrin in the waiting (just received the package yesterday) along with the ketogenic diet (our appt is in April). We just increased Zonisamide on Monday night so we will give that a chance and see what happens.
On a good note. Actually...a GREAT note. We have seen improvement with Sophie's behavior. There has been a lot going on with medications since surgery. After surgery, she was on Dilantin and Depakote. Since her latest relapse in seizures we have...weaned Dilantin, started and stopped Vimpat, reintroduced and weaned Dilantin, weaned Depakote, started and stopped ACTH, started and stopped Prednisone and started Zonisamide. So right now, she is only on Zonisamide. With all that said, I think Dilantin was making her aggressive. And I think Zonisamide is making her calmer. She has been playing independently. She LOVES her iPad. She has been singing a lot lately. She has become attached to a few possessions and seeks them out. I have never seen her do that before. She has a Dora doll with Boots in a pouch, a magic wand and a music box. She'll put all three items in this little shopping cart and push them around. Or she'll just want to hold them while watching TV. I think this is a huge developmental milestone.
And speaking of milestones...we had her IEP yesterday. I PROMISE to update very soon with all the progress she continues to make (despite having daily seizures).
*This was the third time we have tried ACTH. And this is the third time it has failed. I just knew it was going to work this time. And why not?!?! She has had the majority of her left hemisphere removed...including her left frontal lobe where all the seizures were originating from (according to the grids that were placed prior to the resection). So, I just knew that ACTH would be powerful enough to stop the seizures from this small remaining area that is still active with seizures. I mean...it was powerful enough to make her gain 6 pounds in less than two weeks, have her face puff up with dark circles under her eyes, have wicked mood swings including roid rage, suppress her immune system, lower her potassium level (she had to be put on a supplement) and so much more ugly stuff. All this for the small sum of $130,000 from a company that has HORRIBLE customer service (and I am just talking about this round of ACTH).