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Dr. Frank
Dr. Frank, Board Certified Physician
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 9000
Experience:  Board certified general Adult Neurologist, with experience in experimental neuroimaging and neurodiagnostics.
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I am a 39 year old male. I recently ordered a product online

Customer Question

I am a 39 year old male. I recently ordered a product online called Zenapin, which is a blend of vitamins and supplements that is supposed to help people with anxiety. I have not yet taken Zenapin. I have researched all the ingredients that are contained in Zenapin and the only one that concerns me is DMAE, because I have a history of seizures and epilepsy. I had a severe grand mal seizure when I was 8 years old and had to be hospitalized. I have had several petite mal seizures since then. I was on epilepsy medication for about 10 years. I have had seizures after taking certain RX anti-depressants in the past but since getting off all antidepressants, I have not had a full blown grand mal seizure in many years. On average, I have a petite mal seizure once every few years but I have not had one in about 2-3 years. I have not been on seizure meds in many years. The type of epilepsy I had was not the type that was induced by flashing lights. My epilepsy was brought on by a pediatrician who prescribed 2 different medications that were not supposed to be combined, which caused me to have a grand mal seizure and stop breathing.
My concern stems from what I’ve read online while researching info about DMAE on the many medical websites I’ve come across which advises people who have epilepsy or a history of convulsions and/or seizures to avoid DMAE. However, there is no warning on the bottle of Zenaprin about people with epilepsy and the company representative I spoke with on the phone who I called to inquiry about this matter was not aware of any dangers or side effects from taking Zenaprin, however she did advise me to speak with a neurologist.
From what I’ve seen in all of the other DMAE supplements found online and in health stores, the amount of DMAE in Zenaprin seems low, so I'm wondering if a low dose of DMAE is considered safe for epileptics, or not?
Most of the DMAE supplements I’ve seen contain around 100-150 mg of DMAE, whereas Zenaprin only contains 25 mg per capsule. According to the directions on the bottle, the recommended dosage of Zenaprin is 1 to 2 capsules a day. So, my question is, would it be considered safe for someone who has had epilepsy and seizures in the past to take this product which contains 25 mg of DMAE, or 50 mg of DMAE if it was taken twice a day? I would most likely only take it once a day, if I even took it at all.
Thank you for your attention and consideration on this matter
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. Frank replied 1 year ago.

I would not suggest using DMAE from a risk/benefit analysis. There is no scientific data to suggest benefit, nothing recorded in the literature. The makers do not get FDA approval. There is some reports of combining DMAE to VPA (depakote) to improve AED effects, tried in animal studies. I will attach that abstract, but as a neurologist I would stay away from it in your situation. Dr Frank