Loss of Vision, Weakness, Confusion: Symptoms or Side Effects?

vision-loss-dizzy-confusionVision problems, speech problems, weakness, loss of coordination, confusion and personality changes are often symptoms of conditions or diseases such as Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML) or stoke, but could also be side effects associated with certain medications. PML itself can be a side effect of the drug Raptiva.

Below is a list of diseases and conditions associated with symptoms like vision problems, speech problems, weakness, loss of coordination, confusion and personality changes, as well as a list of medications related to similar side effects. We are not medical professionals, and these may not be comprehensive lists. Please contact your doctor if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms or side effects, or similar health issues.

Vision Problems, Speech Problems, Weakness, Loss of Coordination, Confusion and Personality Changes Are Symptoms Of

Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy: PML PML is a rare disorder that affects the brain and spinal cord. It is caused by a virus, called JC virus, which destroys myelin, an oily substance that protects nerve cells. JC virus is present in most adults, but only because active if the immune system is severely compromised. People with AIDS are at an elevated risk for developing PML. Several people taking the drug Raptiva have developed PML and died from the disease.

Brain Tumor: Whether cancerous or non-cancerous, a brain tumor can cause vision problems, speech problems, weakness, loss of coordination, confusion and personality changes, as well as other symptoms such as seizures, hearing problems, hormonal problems, and nausea and vomiting.

Stroke: Strokes cause similar symptoms, but it is typical for the symptoms to affect only one side of the body. When a stroke occurs the blood flow to the brain is suddenly interrupted causing oxygen deprivation. Symptoms of stroke include slurred speech, loss of coordination, vision problems, headache, and paralysis or numbness on one side of the body.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Trauma to the brain can cause symptoms including vision problems, speech problems, weakness, loss of coordination, confusion and personality changes as well as seizures, sleep disorders, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and more. TBI can have serious consequences even when there is no loss of consciousness and no direct blow to the head. Whiplash, often thought of as a neck injury, can cause TBI that goes undetected.

Vision Problems, Speech Problems, Weakness, Loss of Coordination, Confusion and Personality Changes Are Side Effects Associated With

Raptiva: Raptiva is used to treat psoriasis. It works by suppressing the immune system. In doing so, it puts users at an elevated risk for life-threatening infections including PML, bacterial sepsis, invasive fungal disease, viral meningitis, and other infections.

Topamax: Topamax is used to treat epilepsy and migraines. It is believed to work by calming nerve cells in the brain. Topamax can have side effects including speech problems, vision problems, loss of coordination, fatigue, respiratory infections, and suicidal thoughts.

Tysabri: Tysabri has been linked to liver damage and an increased risk of developing PML. It is used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS).
Organ Transplant Drugs: Drugs such as CellCept and Myfortic suppress the immune system in organ transplant patients to decrease the risk of rejection. Both can cause birth defects and an elevated risk of developing PML.

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