Medical Specialty >> Endocrinology

Doctors Lounge - Endocrinology Answers

Back to Endocrinology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/17/2017.

Forum Name: Endocrinology Topics

Question: sythenactin test-seizures?

 stargirl - Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:14 am

Hi i am a 21 year old female, ?endocrine disorder.
Past medical history- none
past surgical history- ptosis, squint, epicanthric folds, bone biopsy (fibrous dysplasia)
symptoms- variety non-specific symptoms, tachycardia, loss of peripheral vision, syncopyal attacks,

I was admitted for endocrine workup, had the short sythenactin test. After this test i began to feel much worse and started to have recurrent syncope. Few days later had this feeling like something was not right, then suffered bad tonic-clonic seizures. I had gone into status epilepticus twice, and the last seizure ment that i had to be anaesthnatised and spent time in intensive care. I am now on antiepileptic medication, since then i have had a few more seizures.

Before this sythenactin test i have had no known seizures, could the test have caused then, or could it be a coincidence?
Is this test known to cause seizures?
Please post back, thank you,
 John Kenyon, CNA - Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:54 pm

User avatar Hello --

There is nothing I know of in the literature regarding long-term side effects of the synacthen test, and no clear reason why this should happen because of it. The few potential side effects are felt during or right after the test.

Based on your history, however, it seems likely there is something going on in the area of the pituitary (if not actually in or on it) which is progressing and has begun to cause extrapyramidal effects which have now progressed to wholesale seizures. While the seizure activity is probably coincidental to an extent, it may be indirectly related, either because of some process in the head up around the pituitary gland, or perhaps the brief rush of adrenal stimulation "threw a switch" and helped set off this process without there being a direct link to the synacthen. Hopefully a neurologist is following you intensely for this and the appropriate studies are being done to locate the underlying cause so as to manage it better.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck to you. Please follow up with us here as needed.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us