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Keppra?


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#1 firedancer

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 06:11 PM

neuro just prescribed this to try for my migraines since nothing else we have tried has worked (see signature for all meds that i have tried) and for the 2 seizures (since labeled - idiopathic) that i had a month ago (today) when stopping lamictal. yes, i know, stupid. and i loved lamictal too until the tummy issues became a real problem (and now it may not have been the lamictal but the lithium...but sorry i digress).

anyone taking keppra for anything? i can't seem to find anyone that is. am i the only one out there? surely not.
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Dx: Bipolar, Intractable Migraines, Social & General Anxiety, Idiopathic Seizures

Current Rx: Lamictal, Xanax, Seroquel XR, Nuvigil, Ambien

Past Rx: Prozac, Paxil/CR, Lexapro, Cymbalta, Ambien/CR, Wellbutrin XL, Effexor/XR, Depakote/ER, Keppra, Topamax, Neurontin, Zonegran, Trazadone, Klonopin, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Lyrica, Trileptal, Risperal, Ablify, Geodon, Lunesta, Skelaxin, Doxepin, Flexiril, Zanaflex, Verapamil, Lithium Carb, amitiptylin, triptans (can't take 'em), pain meds

be yourself because the people that mind don't matter and the people that matter don't mind - dr. seuss



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#2 In_Remission_sirgatsby

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 11:39 PM

It has been an almost perfect med for my migraines. Little side effects at the low dosages at least. Once I got to 1500mg, I started having memory problems - but before that I had nothing.

#3 Sasha

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 10:51 AM

I took Keppra for ... six months ... for bipolar. It was a pretty good, but not great, med for addressing the hypo/mania that's the key feature of my bipolar. On a daily basis, I experienced minimal, if any side effects from it - no cognitive issues, weight gain, etc... - so long as my dosage stayed at or below 1000mg/day. Above 1000mg/day, I experienced the dreaded Keppra depression, which did indeed suck, but dissipated pretty much the second my pdoc and I figured out what was going on and lowered my dosage. Unfortunately, at the lower dosage, I had to be on a gazillion other meds to keep the mania in check, so my pdoc and I decided to try going in another direction, which seems, so far at least, to be working better. But I liked Keppra for awhile there, and I think it's got potential to be a good med for some people, it just wasn't quite the thing for me.
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#4 firedancer

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 01:43 PM

that is why i loved lamictal - i'm bipolar 2 more the depression end of the spectrum and lamictal was great for that. lithium pretty much keeps any hypomania in check (haven't had an episode that has affected me to the point that i really recognized it since march, ie - up all night for days, using my credit card like crazy, etc). so if keppra works for the migraines, then the search will be on for something to control the depression. got an appt with pdoc on wed to discuss all this with him - he does not know i've been taken off lamictal yet (unless he has gotten the notes from my neuro).

today was the first day of 1000mg (500mg 2x day) and lamictal will be bye-bye on saturday. the only side effect that i have noticed is extreme sleepiness a few hours after taking it.
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Please be nice to me, I'm a blood donor (conquering my fear of needles one pint at a time).

Dx: Bipolar, Intractable Migraines, Social & General Anxiety, Idiopathic Seizures

Current Rx: Lamictal, Xanax, Seroquel XR, Nuvigil, Ambien

Past Rx: Prozac, Paxil/CR, Lexapro, Cymbalta, Ambien/CR, Wellbutrin XL, Effexor/XR, Depakote/ER, Keppra, Topamax, Neurontin, Zonegran, Trazadone, Klonopin, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Lyrica, Trileptal, Risperal, Ablify, Geodon, Lunesta, Skelaxin, Doxepin, Flexiril, Zanaflex, Verapamil, Lithium Carb, amitiptylin, triptans (can't take 'em), pain meds

be yourself because the people that mind don't matter and the people that matter don't mind - dr. seuss

#5 Sasha

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 02:16 PM

I forgot about that. The first few days it did make me sleepy right after I took it, but that passed pretty quickly.
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#6 slumlord

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 04:05 AM

im thinking about trying this med for my rapid cycling docs they want me on depakote but i say no, espically because my rapid cycling has started since being on a naked AD. plus the minimal sideffects sound good for a anti-manic drug opposed to seroquel and depakote, i just dont know what anti-whale shit it can team up with. oh well gotta wait tell i see my doc im just excited about asking about it because i hate all meds unless they have a side effect profile like keppra.

Edited by slumlord, 03 September 2007 - 04:07 AM.

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#7 dymphna

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 06:13 AM

im thinking about trying this med for my rapid cycling docs they want me on depakote but i say no, espically because my rapid cycling has started since being on a naked AD. plus the minimal sideffects sound good for a anti-manic drug opposed to seroquel and depakote, i just dont know what anti-whale shit it can team up with. oh well gotta wait tell i see my doc im just excited about asking about it because i hate all meds unless they have a side effect profile like keppra.



So... you hate all drugs that, if given to you at say, 1500mg instead of 1000mg can make you, in your right mind, step in front of a bus?

Have you READ the Keppra pages? I mean REALLY read them? Having taken Depakote, Topamax, Lamictal, Trileptal, Neurontin, Seroquel, Risperdal, and Abilify -- I've got to tell you: Keppra is NOT side effect free. Nothing is.

Is it a great drug at doing what it is designed to do? Yes. Can it drop you into the blackest hole of depression within hours of taking an extra 250mg? Yes. Can it do this to you even if you are batshit manic or have NEVER in your life experienced depression? YES. It is a feature of the drug.

Because of this ability to drop a person so far, so quickly, many Pdocs simply won't prescribe it, and will only condone it's use by epileptics. Even then, it is a tricky line to walk, for it will squash a seizure flat, but the patient won't care any longer, as they're waiting for the bus.

I tell you these things because I had enough knowlege from here to realize intellectually what was happening to me when I started falling down the rabbit hole to hell from my Keppra dose (at that time, 2000mg). And it didn't help me one bit. I knew what was occurring (drug induced depression), I knew what I should be doing (getting ahold of my doctor to lower my dose), and I didn't have the strength to pick up the phone. This drug can be THAT powerful.

Even when I DID get ahold of him, he didn't want to lower it. Why? Because I'm an epileptic, and my seizures had stopped. It took my psychiatrist to convince him it was a bad thing. Dead is dead, be it from SUDEP or a bus. We're doing different things now.

Don't ever choose your drugs based on their side effects: choose them by what works. If 250-500mg of Keppra keeps your mania in check, more power to you; but choose it for THAT reason alone. I am on Keppra because it is the last one on the list that I'm not allergic to.


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#8 slumlord

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 07:00 AM

yah that does sounds really bad, i wouldnt want to go down that far, thanks for the heads up
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#9 firedancer

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 08:48 AM

my neuro put me on it because of migraines and seizures and took me off of lamictal (pdoc prescribed) because he didn't want me on both of them at the same time. my concern was depression. lamictal was the only thing that ever worked for more than a month (even though i was not thinking this when i stopped taking it landing me in the hospital, duh, i am now). so, we upped my lithium to see it that would help with any depression that may occur. and if keppra doesn't work for the migraines - lamictal will be added back.

i don't think that pdoc had ever prescribed it to anyone, so i am like a test case for him (what happens when a bp2 takes keppra and at what doses). so i'm keeping a diary to let him know of any side effects and drops/ups in moods, etc. which is good for him, my neuro and me.

currently i am at 1000mg (500 2x day) and doing ok. sleepiness is going away and my mood is ok. i have got hubby monitoring me for any changes that he may notice.
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Please be nice to me, I'm a blood donor (conquering my fear of needles one pint at a time).

Dx: Bipolar, Intractable Migraines, Social & General Anxiety, Idiopathic Seizures

Current Rx: Lamictal, Xanax, Seroquel XR, Nuvigil, Ambien

Past Rx: Prozac, Paxil/CR, Lexapro, Cymbalta, Ambien/CR, Wellbutrin XL, Effexor/XR, Depakote/ER, Keppra, Topamax, Neurontin, Zonegran, Trazadone, Klonopin, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Lyrica, Trileptal, Risperal, Ablify, Geodon, Lunesta, Skelaxin, Doxepin, Flexiril, Zanaflex, Verapamil, Lithium Carb, amitiptylin, triptans (can't take 'em), pain meds

be yourself because the people that mind don't matter and the people that matter don't mind - dr. seuss

#10 In_Remission_anita

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 01:08 PM

dymphna is correct, IMO. Keppra sent me down that hole and it's a place I never want to see again. Horrifying experience. My kids and everyone else were afraid to be around me. It's called "Keppra rage" for a reason. It also made my seizures and therefore my EEG MUCH worse....but still, that wasn't as bad as the psychological affects. Worst 2 months of my life.

That said, it is said to be a wonder drug for some, as they all can be. You really need to listen to your body and mostly your mind. If anyone says that you've changed or you seem different or people close to you say you're bitchy or depressing...you may want to reconsider. But that goes for any medication.

Anita

#11 In_Remission_Lorelei_Evil

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 09:53 AM

I just weaned off this med, after using it for neuropathic pain since April. I was on a 2000 mg per day dose which after looking about here was probably WAY too high.

Long story short: this was a fiasco for my health. Apparently I seemed to absorb it too well.

I had the Keppra rage in spades, which I couldn't see, but others could. Terrible dreams, unexplained crying jags, and a couple panic attacks. I began having increased difficulty walking with more spasticity in my legs. Then, to top it all off, my "girly equipment" decided to go completely haywire. I'm still dealing with that last issue. My OB suggested I wean off and I was more than happy to comply. My neuro said if I couldn't live with the side effects I should go off the med. Gee, thanks a lot, dude! :mad:

Does anyone know how long it takes your hormones to go back to normal? I'm getting a tad frustrated here.

Thanks.

#12 In_Remission_cliff

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Posted 27 September 2007 - 03:57 PM

dymphna know exactly what your saying on 2000 daily and along with a few others has really helped my seizures the amount of and how i feel after its all done i seem clearer faster than on all the others ive been on been on them all been having seizures for 26 yrs now dont mess the inside of mouth as much

#13 Silver

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 06:15 PM

My psyMD started Keppra almost two weeks ago for significant mania. For renal reasons, my lithium SL is capped at 0.7-0.8. I usually need to be at 1.4 or so when I get going.
We have gone through most options. I won't delineate them all. APs in general do something, but not enough.
AEDs do work. Topamax helps, but it's off the option list per nephrology for now. Unfortunately, I'm hypersensitive to carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, lamotrigine, phenytoin, and, I will assume, phenobarb. By hypersensitive I do not mean "I feel funny on this," but rather "My skin peels off. Would you like to see my graft scar?" VPA leaves me horribly bitterly suicidal at a baby dose. So we have always avoided Keppra until now.

Started at a higher dose (1250 mg) and then went down til I started showing more manic symptoms, landing at 625-750 mg. That was one hell of a smackdown drug. I started sleeping >3h again on the second night.
After about 5 days, as my brain re-gelled and I was tolerable to be around, the SI kicked in, at a lower dose of 750 mg. But it was very cognitively situation-linked SI. It was also my usual high-lethality suicidal idiocy, with a plan, means acquired, etc. My impression at that time was that it was largely driven by the usual post-mania, now-mixed, assessing-the-damage scene.
We reduced the dose to 500 mg. More manic, less SI.
250 mg: yup, spooling up fast. Faint SI.
625 mg: calmer and coherent, and lots of suicidal thoughts.
I finally told my psyMD that I couldn't handle the absence of mania, that racing thoughts and no concentration were preferable to careful thoughts and full painful awareness, and that I needed a break. And that I knew that deliberately removing a mood stabilizer in the hopes of, uh, letting mania come back up was not much different from using booze and coke to avoid discomfort, and that I needed was choosing to do it anyway... and that I'd as soon do it with her management.
Was off it for two days and it was a break. Moderate mixed... and ~3h sleep. And mere hints of SI.
Now I'm restarting it, after a friend and mentor psychiatrically hit me upside the head with a 2x4.

The question (yes, I did have a point) here is how to differentiate between suicidality with a clear-ish life etiology versus drug-induced SI. Not necessarily for me, by the way - just in general. It's an interesting question.
Not that much about this in the literature, actually.

I am still inclined to think that the SI is not drug-induced (?Keppression?) because it was not present at the higher dose before the mania started to clear, and because the SI has been inversely correlated with mania. And, during the two Keppra-free days, there was still a whisper, along with the persisting mild reduction in mania.

Re: the life etiology. Like everyone else with BD, I can screw my life up that significantly when manic, to the point where SI - while not acceptable - is still not an unexpected human response. So let's just stipulate that it's grim and leave it at that. (Yes, I know that nothing would justify suicide and the damage to others. I'm very vested in not killing myself.)

I hope it's the Keppra, of course, b/c I'm going to clear one way or the other, and Keppra is more easily modified than I am.
I don't think it's the Keppra. Nor does psyMD.

Anyway. I still think it's an interesting question. Thoughts?
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#14 dymphna

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 07:10 PM

I think you started too high.

I think that, had you started lower and titrated up (instead of vice versa), you would have had a different experience.

I've never had SI, just the 'Keppression', so I can't comment on that.


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I can find you an answer and I won't blow smoke up your ass.

 

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#15 Silver

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 08:16 PM

Do you mean too high because the high dose induced actual Keppression, or too high in that it was an effective dose and the mania shut down too hard/too fast? (or that some processes slowed down faster than others - which I don't think is the situation here.)

From what I've read, these are separate phenomena, which is why I ask.

Edited by Silver, 01 January 2008 - 08:17 PM.

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#16 dymphna

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 11:11 AM

Do you mean too high because the high dose induced actual Keppression, or too high in that it was an effective dose and the mania shut down too hard/too fast? (or that some processes slowed down faster than others - which I don't think is the situation here.)

From what I've read, these are separate phenomena, which is why I ask.


I mean too high in that ACs are designed to slow brain waves.

Here is the example I was given by my first neuro, who was dual boarded in neurology and psychology (cool guy):

Your brain waves move along like waves in a swimming pool. They have a particular rhythm. Even if that rhythm is considered "off" from normal (different epilepsies, depression, mania, etc.), it is your rhythm. Your brain is accustomed to that rhythm.

The introduction of an anti-convulsant (of any type) disrupts that rhythm. If the dose given is out of sync enough with what actually was needed, the disruption can be great enough to "slosh water out of the pool" (so to speak) and actually lead to greater instability.

Conversely, even if the dose is "dead on", the "shock" of the AC may only put the wave "right" for a brief time before inertia pulls it back to its original pattern.

Ideally, the AC will "shock" the wave into "normal", and then a titration upward of said AC will keep that wave in place.

It is this concept that forms the basis for what is called forced normalization in epileptics (stop the seizures, patient goes manic/psychotic; patient is manic and has no seizures).

In my case, "Keppra Depression" was just that: my brain waves became depressed. I went from having partial seizures with myoclonic jerking (off the drug) to partial generalized seizures with full drops (on the drug). The affective/behavioral side effects of the drug were just an added bonus. Perhaps this is why, though not perfect (I'm only at 125mg thus far), Lamictal is most effective for my seizures. And hey, it rules out Unverricht - Lundborg.


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Yes, my name really is Dymphna.

 

I'm not a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or therapist.

I can find you an answer and I won't blow smoke up your ass.

 

St. Dymphna is the Patron for brain maladies.

 

I'm the Enforcer.

 

eqnmrt.jpg

 


#17 In_Remission_supertina

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 11:13 AM

My boyfriend has epilepsy. He was on Lamictal and Depekote for a long time, but they made his dumb and he started to have seizures again. So they switched him to Keppra almost two years ago. There are little to no side effects, but instead of having a seizure triggered by stress he gets panic attacks.

#18 lostanddelirious

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 07:57 AM

My psyMD started Keppra almost two weeks ago for significant mania. For renal reasons, my lithium SL is capped at 0.7-0.8. I usually need to be at 1.4 or so when I get going.
We have gone through most options. I won't delineate them all. APs in general do something, but not enough.
AEDs do work. Topamax helps, but it's off the option list per nephrology for now. Unfortunately, I'm hypersensitive to carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, lamotrigine, phenytoin, and, I will assume, phenobarb. By hypersensitive I do not mean "I feel funny on this," but rather "My skin peels off. Would you like to see my graft scar?" VPA leaves me horribly bitterly suicidal at a baby dose. So we have always avoided Keppra until now.

Started at a higher dose (1250 mg) and then went down til I started showing more manic symptoms, landing at 625-750 mg. That was one hell of a smackdown drug. I started sleeping >3h again on the second night.
After about 5 days, as my brain re-gelled and I was tolerable to be around, the SI kicked in, at a lower dose of 750 mg. But it was very cognitively situation-linked SI. It was also my usual high-lethality suicidal idiocy, with a plan, means acquired, etc. My impression at that time was that it was largely driven by the usual post-mania, now-mixed, assessing-the-damage scene.
We reduced the dose to 500 mg. More manic, less SI.
250 mg: yup, spooling up fast. Faint SI.
625 mg: calmer and coherent, and lots of suicidal thoughts.
I finally told my psyMD that I couldn't handle the absence of mania, that racing thoughts and no concentration were preferable to careful thoughts and full painful awareness, and that I needed a break. And that I knew that deliberately removing a mood stabilizer in the hopes of, uh, letting mania come back up was not much different from using booze and coke to avoid discomfort, and that I needed was choosing to do it anyway... and that I'd as soon do it with her management.
Was off it for two days and it was a break. Moderate mixed... and ~3h sleep. And mere hints of SI.
Now I'm restarting it, after a friend and mentor psychiatrically hit me upside the head with a 2x4.

The question (yes, I did have a point) here is how to differentiate between suicidality with a clear-ish life etiology versus drug-induced SI. Not necessarily for me, by the way - just in general. It's an interesting question.
Not that much about this in the literature, actually.

I am still inclined to think that the SI is not drug-induced (?Keppression?) because it was not present at the higher dose before the mania started to clear, and because the SI has been inversely correlated with mania. And, during the two Keppra-free days, there was still a whisper, along with the persisting mild reduction in mania.

Re: the life etiology. Like everyone else with BD, I can screw my life up that significantly when manic, to the point where SI - while not acceptable - is still not an unexpected human response. So let's just stipulate that it's grim and leave it at that. (Yes, I know that nothing would justify suicide and the damage to others. I'm very vested in not killing myself.)

I hope it's the Keppra, of course, b/c I'm going to clear one way or the other, and Keppra is more easily modified than I am.
I don't think it's the Keppra. Nor does psyMD.

Anyway. I still think it's an interesting question. Thoughts?



i agree. i dont think it is drug induced. i will explain why. after being on a depakote for years, i was depressed but the depakote contolled it and i didnt like that i had NO emotions. so i switched. i am on keppra (1000mg) and lamictal (500mg). The keppra does started an 500mg and I finally felt emotions. My parents noticed it and blamed it on the keppra becasue they didnt want to be noticed as the blame for my childhood was so screwed up b/c of them. My seizures werent under control on this dose so my epileptologist increased my dose of Keppra. no more rage. just depressed. the lamictal is there but i am still depressed which shows that my depression is not controlled by it. so the keppra, if it was the cause, would have been contradicted by the lamictal.if you knew my history you would also know that i have every right to be depressed.
on depakote, even though i had no ups and downs, my brain still felt the trauma. i was hospitalized for and ED in high school, i tried to commit suicide in college and drank almost every night. every time my parents came to visit, i would started restricting again. Can we say PTSD?! now i had to move home because of certain circumstances after living on my own for years. i am depressed and WILL not speak to my parents. now my brain recognizes that i am depressed. with depakote i wasnt depressed but somehow, physically and mentally, brain decided to internally make me hurt myself. now, without it, emotionally i feel it as well. which is better off that way because on depakote people and myself couldnt understand how i acted happy and had and ED and suicidal tendencies along with being an alcoholic.
i would rather be the way i am now for some reason.
i hope this made sense...but in my mind i know it isnt the meds. its life.
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Current rx: Lamictal-500mg, Keppra-1500mg, Lithium-1200mg, Risperdal-1mg, Ativan-prn, Risperdal-prn, Geodon-20mg

Past rx: Tegretol, Dilantin, Depakote (15 yrs.), Zoloft, Abilify (3 trials), Celexa, Geodon, Topamax, Seroquel, Cogentin

#19 In_Remission_sjackm2

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 02:09 PM

I just started Keppra (literally today).

I don't have regular seizures, sometimes I don't seize at all I just tunnel vision out and faint. But weird thing is I only do it whenever I get hurt or feel pain. No one knows why, been doing it all my life and had every test know to man and tested competley fine. A couple docs just seem to think that's the way my brain is wired to deal with pain is that I just don't and I faint and/or seize.

So anyways, Saturday I got hurt, fainted, and took a pretty good blow to the head and the entire left side of my body when I fell off a stool (a tall one). Swelling went down Sunday, but I still have a major headache (pressure, tingly pain at place of impact) and senative to touch. Not to mention my lack of concentration, crazzzzy dreams, needing to sleep, and being nauseated. I have a concussion.

So worried I called my Neuro today, admitted I stopped the Topomax previously prescribed bc it made me absolulty c-r-a-z-y. Plus I really hated taking the meds since I don't seize often. Only when I get hurt. So now I'm on a low dose of Keppra for the concussion repair. And the adventure continues...

#20 notfred

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 02:31 PM

Plus I really hated taking the meds since I don't seize often. Only when I get hurt. So now I'm on a low dose of Keppra for the concussion repair. And the adventure continues...



So what would happen if you were driving a car or swimming in a pool and had a seizure ?

nf
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I am in full remission (296.36) from Depression. Insomnia, ADHD-PI, Epilepsy, and the Pseudoparkinsonian tremor are well controlled.

 

Psyc Meds: Forfivo XL 450 mg, Abilify 15 mg, Eszopiclone 6 mg, Vyvance 70 mg, Levetiracetam 2,000 mg, Propranolol ER 60 mg
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Supps: Multi-vitamin/mineral, Vitamin D 2,000 IU, Fish oil 7.2 g

Dx: Depression, Insomnia, ADHD-PI, Epilepsy, Dyspraxia, Tremor

I also take allergy and diabetes + it's complications meds.

All doses are a daily total.


#21 lostanddelirious

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 03:19 PM

Keppra is a great drug for me. but i take it for seizures. plus it gave me no appetite. which i liked because i lost weight. after being on depakote and not being able to lose weight at all.
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Current rx: Lamictal-500mg, Keppra-1500mg, Lithium-1200mg, Risperdal-1mg, Ativan-prn, Risperdal-prn, Geodon-20mg

Past rx: Tegretol, Dilantin, Depakote (15 yrs.), Zoloft, Abilify (3 trials), Celexa, Geodon, Topamax, Seroquel, Cogentin

#22 In_Remission_sjackm2

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 10:50 AM

Plus I really hated taking the meds since I don't seize often. Only when I get hurt. So now I'm on a low dose of Keppra for the concussion repair. And the adventure continues...



So what would happen if you were driving a car or swimming in a pool and had a seizure ?

nf



nf - I only faint/seize when I get hurt. Like when I sliced my finger open, or broke a bone, or get blood taken at the dr's office. Pretty much I'm just a wuss when it comes to pain. I've been tested for 20 years, and every test turned out normal so I was never put on epilepsy meds. until the one time I fell and bumped my head. All the docs seem to think I'm okay with out them and I've done fine my whole life! :) I'm just a freak case as my neuro says.

As for the keppra... totally made me feel like a drunk. The headache went away, but I was spinning and dizzy the morning after I took it. A little hard to focus on some things, but the effects are starting to fade.

#23 roxyhead

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 07:17 AM

The drunk feeling can just mean you're at the wrong dose - I think it may have to do with the waves mentioned above.

I have two "sweet spots" on the drug that I can swap between with no drunk/stoned feelings, either 250mg once a day or 500mg twice a day. 250mg twice a day, 500mg once or three times a day, or missing a couple doses if I'm on 500 2x will all make me feel stoned, but absolutely nothing at the first two doses mentioned. It made no sense at all until I saw the post above about the waves, maybe it's a frequency thing. (going straight from nothing to 500 2x also made me feel stoned for the first week)

Haven't tried any higher, the 500mg 3x a day wasn't working for the migraines when they hit so I'm back at the 250mg daily to keep the little background brain cooties away. Haven't had depression or rage at any of the doses I've tried. You may need to talk with your doc about trying a different dosage schedule, even if it seems a bit weird to them.
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I'm not new, I just post less often than the board changes servers. I guess I'm a "C and E" of these boards, I only show up for med changes. So sue me.

Even *I* just call them brain cooties...
(ADHD inattentive, evil headaches NOS (Local marching band and jackhammer squadron, with a bit of Chinese opera thrown in), occasional SAD, suspected simple partial seizures of a suspected temporal lobe variety, ABD IBS)

Asperger's Control Group - MMR vaccine before 1yr, was normal til about 2. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, vax people. Second shot at 10 and didn't get worse.

Ex-meds: Amitriptyline, Maxalt, Relpax, Ritalin/SR, clonazepam, Flexeril, Risperdal, Celexa, Wellbutrin, Effexor, and a whole load of non-psych/headache stuff. Still use Valium and Ativan PRN, trying metoclopramide/aspirin now, too. May try clonidine again.

Cocktail of the day: "I'm With Stupid" - Keppra + Topamax (sorry, not available in liquid, but the taste alone would probably kill you...splitting both pills is bad enough!)


#24 In_Remission_adept

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 02:05 PM

With the exception of Dilantin, to which I had an immediate and massive allergic reaction, Keppra was the worst drug I've tried for seizures. (So far, I've been on Dilantin, Tegretol, Lamictal, Keppra, and Zonegran.) Lamictal was the best, really fabulous...until I developed pseudolymphoma from it.

At a low dose, Keppra had no noticeable side effects, but didn't control the electricity in my brain particularly well. It controlled visible seizures and jerks, so I could drive, but I couldn't read or write or concentrate and when I had a 2-day ambulatory EEG it was evident that it wasn't really doing the job. So my doc increased the dosage to 2000mg/day. At 2000mg/day, I completely lost my ability to think and to censure my bitchiness. I told people *exactly* what I thought of them. I also had chronic insomnia. When I had my next EEG, the seizure activity in my brain was actually worse than it had been at the lower dose.

I was supposed to be doing a slow titration to Zonegran, but I fell into the black Keppra hole before that could happen and am doing an emergency quick-switch with Ativan at hand. Although I've suffered with depression most of my life, I've never, ever been suicidal. I wish I could explain to you the fundamental difference between the two states of mind. I cannot wait until every iota of this drug is out of my body.

#25 lostanddelirious

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 02:53 PM

Plus I really hated taking the meds since I don't seize often. Only when I get hurt. So now I'm on a low dose of Keppra for the concussion repair. And the adventure continues...



So what would happen if you were driving a car or swimming in a pool and had a seizure ?

nf



nf - I only faint/seize when I get hurt. Like when I sliced my finger open, or broke a bone, or get blood taken at the dr's office. Pretty much I'm just a wuss when it comes to pain. I've been tested for 20 years, and every test turned out normal so I was never put on epilepsy meds. until the one time I fell and bumped my head. All the docs seem to think I'm okay with out them and I've done fine my whole life! :mad: I'm just a freak case as my neuro says.

As for the keppra... totally made me feel like a drunk. The headache went away, but I was spinning and dizzy the morning after I took it. A little hard to focus on some things, but the effects are starting to fade.


all my EEGs and MRIs were normal too. but i still CANNOT live without seizure meds. i would FOR SURE not be here writing this. i would either be dead or in a coma. some people just have freak cases i guess. but even with seizure meds i have had over 20 grand mals in 14 years.
Depakote worked the best. but after it became the "worst drug to take", keppra and lamictal (plus ativan) has been stabilizing me so far...

ps. the initial side effects for keppra go away soon
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Current rx: Lamictal-500mg, Keppra-1500mg, Lithium-1200mg, Risperdal-1mg, Ativan-prn, Risperdal-prn, Geodon-20mg

Past rx: Tegretol, Dilantin, Depakote (15 yrs.), Zoloft, Abilify (3 trials), Celexa, Geodon, Topamax, Seroquel, Cogentin

#26 lostanddelirious

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 03:02 PM

With the exception of Dilantin, to which I had an immediate and massive allergic reaction, Keppra was the worst drug I've tried for seizures. (So far, I've been on Dilantin, Tegretol, Lamictal, Keppra, and Zonegran.) Lamictal was the best, really fabulous...until I developed pseudolymphoma from it.

At a low dose, Keppra had no noticeable side effects, but didn't control the electricity in my brain particularly well. It controlled visible seizures and jerks, so I could drive, but I couldn't read or write or concentrate and when I had a 2-day ambulatory EEG it was evident that it wasn't really doing the job. So my doc increased the dosage to 2000mg/day. At 2000mg/day, I completely lost my ability to think and to censure my bitchiness. I told people *exactly* what I thought of them. I also had chronic insomnia. When I had my next EEG, the seizure activity in my brain was actually worse than it had been at the lower dose.

I was supposed to be doing a slow titration to Zonegran, but I fell into the black Keppra hole before that could happen and am doing an emergency quick-switch with Ativan at hand. Although I've suffered with depression most of my life, I've never, ever been suicidal. I wish I could explain to you the fundamental difference between the two states of mind. I cannot wait until every iota of this drug is out of my body.


so, okay...
question for you...
i have always been on depakote for my seizures since i was 13. which i am assuming helped with moods (i was never depressed but i was somewhat suicidal and had panic attacks). i went off of it and onto keppra and lamictal. i became EXTRA depressed, angry, and suicidal.
so how do i differentiate if its from not being on depakote after all these years or if its from the keppra.
if its from the keppra...i am on lamictal as well so i dont know.
and is it a coincidence that i became extra depressed after a huge trauma last year.
so its hard to tell for me.
therapy has helped and i am not irritable anymore but i am always super anxious, etc.

you are probably confused but so am i.... basically, for me, its difficult to tell if it is the keppra or not.
i think its just a combo of ptsd, meds, seizures destroying my brain function,...etc.
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Current rx: Lamictal-500mg, Keppra-1500mg, Lithium-1200mg, Risperdal-1mg, Ativan-prn, Risperdal-prn, Geodon-20mg

Past rx: Tegretol, Dilantin, Depakote (15 yrs.), Zoloft, Abilify (3 trials), Celexa, Geodon, Topamax, Seroquel, Cogentin

#27 In_Remission_adept

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 04:53 PM

i went off of it and onto keppra and lamictal. i became EXTRA depressed, angry, and suicidal.
so how do i differentiate if its from not being on depakote after all these years or if its from the keppra.
if its from the keppra...i am on lamictal as well so i dont know.
and is it a coincidence that i became extra depressed after a huge trauma last year.
so its hard to tell for me.
therapy has helped and i am not irritable anymore but i am always super anxious, etc.

you are probably confused but so am i.... basically, for me, its difficult to tell if it is the keppra or not.
i think its just a combo of ptsd, meds, seizures destroying my brain function,...etc.


I don't know where your depression comes from. Could the Keppra be making it worse? Absolutely. Is it certain that it is making it worse? Nope.

One of the biggest problems with neurological and psychiatric problems is the communication between patients and doctors. For example, you say you were never depressed, but you were somewhat suicidal. I can't even imagine that combination--not depressed but a little suicidal. I've been somewhat depressed all my life (my clinical diagnosis is double depression--always mildly depressed with episodes of deep depression) and some of the darker parts were REALLY dark, but previous to Keppra, I never pictured violently ending my life in graphic detail.

I assume there was a reason for taking you off Depakote. (In fact, I probably read the reason in a previous post, but I've been having memory problems from the seizure activity.) And I assume there were reasons your doctor(s) chose the combination of Keppra and Lamictal. But if they're not working for you, you might want to talk about trying different drugs to control the seizures. There are a variety of drugs out there that control a variety of types of seizures. On the other hand, if that drug combo controls your seizures really well, and you want to stay on it, there may be other ways to control the anxiety, etc.

I have to say that my epileptologist was extremely reluctant to put me on Keppra, so I am kind of surprised you got put on it directly as a first choice right after Depakote without being on Lamictal alone or with Zonegran or something for a while first.

#28 lostanddelirious

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 07:58 PM

Depakote controlled my seizures. Secondarily, my mood was altered in a way that it had me not go down in my moods. I could go up though. If I did get depressed it was for about 10 min. U can be suicidal without being depressed. I quit depakote because it is physically harmful for your body long term.
Lamictal doesn't work for my seizures on its own since I have generlized seizures. So keppra was combined. Personally I like keppra and so have 2 different epileptologists I have been with.
THEN I read about psychological effects which is the LAST thing I need! So something like that affects me hardcore. Do I risk a seizure by going of keppra or do I pay attention to a written side effect warning that may or may not be true for my case.
So do I wonder if the keppra has worsened my depression and go off of it or stay on it and get therapy and go on anti-depressants/anti-psychotics?
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Current rx: Lamictal-500mg, Keppra-1500mg, Lithium-1200mg, Risperdal-1mg, Ativan-prn, Risperdal-prn, Geodon-20mg

Past rx: Tegretol, Dilantin, Depakote (15 yrs.), Zoloft, Abilify (3 trials), Celexa, Geodon, Topamax, Seroquel, Cogentin

#29 In_Remission_adept

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 08:27 AM

All of this sounds like stuff you're reading off a box, though.

Yes, Depakote is bad for you long-term. So is any anti-convulsant. But I know people who've been on Depakote for twenty years, with the only negative physical side effect having been weight gain. So it's a matter of personal biology. You cannot go off a medication because it affects some people badly over the long term, or even because it affects lots of people badly over the long term. You have to examine its affects on you over the long term. That's why you have your own doctors, not just PI sheets from the companies that produce the meds--someone should be tracking your personal physical health. Do you have risk factors for things like heart disease or whatever?

Lamictal controlled my generalized lobe seizures perfectly. Of course, I ended up with pseudolymphoma (definitely not on the PI sheets), so that didn't work out so well, but it absolutely does control generalized seizures in some people.

As to reading about the Keppra side effects and worrying about them, I have a few suggestions:
1) You shouldn't have been reading about them--your doctor should have told you, so you need a better doctor
2) Write out a chronology while you're looking for a new doctor including as much detail as you can (doctors never get this right) about what you've been through in your life and in your meds including the traumatic experiences, life changes, med changes, seizure changes, depression, feelings, dreams, etc.
3) If the chronology itself doesn't make it clear to you whether the depression is from the Keppra, discuss with the new doctor whether it's something you want to think about tweakng.

#30 roxyhead

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 10:34 AM

Keppra certainly doesn't make *everyone* depressed! I've been on it for three years and I haven't gotten depressed on it yet, save for a little the first week I started but I think that was due to something else that happened around the same time. And I've been known to get depressed in the winter to start with. So if you weren't depressed until you read about it as a potential side effect, it's probably not the drug.

I'm not sure if Keppra may be what's lowered my tolerance to things that mess with my serotonin...as in as far as I get the same sort of weird side effects from cough syrup as I do from antidepressants. Maybe it's territorial.
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I'm not new, I just post less often than the board changes servers. I guess I'm a "C and E" of these boards, I only show up for med changes. So sue me.

Even *I* just call them brain cooties...
(ADHD inattentive, evil headaches NOS (Local marching band and jackhammer squadron, with a bit of Chinese opera thrown in), occasional SAD, suspected simple partial seizures of a suspected temporal lobe variety, ABD IBS)

Asperger's Control Group - MMR vaccine before 1yr, was normal til about 2. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, vax people. Second shot at 10 and didn't get worse.

Ex-meds: Amitriptyline, Maxalt, Relpax, Ritalin/SR, clonazepam, Flexeril, Risperdal, Celexa, Wellbutrin, Effexor, and a whole load of non-psych/headache stuff. Still use Valium and Ativan PRN, trying metoclopramide/aspirin now, too. May try clonidine again.

Cocktail of the day: "I'm With Stupid" - Keppra + Topamax (sorry, not available in liquid, but the taste alone would probably kill you...splitting both pills is bad enough!)



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