plus assorted interesting stuff about Keppra (levetiracetam) your doctor won’t tell you
Copyright, Citing and License information Published online 04 October, 2011
I Forgot Why I Cake Topamax
Anyone who uses this page, or any other short list of pros and cons, as the only sources of information in deciding which med to take for their condition is a complete idiot and/or crazier than they or anyone else suspects. Although far less stupid and/or crazy than those who choose meds based only on side effects or the recommendations of random people on sites like ask.yahoo.com.
- Low side effect profile. How low?
- As in fewer side effects than the placebos in several of the clinical trials.
- As in trying to kill yourself with Keppra will just make you a little loopy. Seriously. This guy took 126 500mg tablets and all he had was blurry vision and ataxia. Both his red and white blood cell counts were low for about two months, but that was it.
- Much less chance of your flipping out on it when compared to other anticonvulsants (E.g. Keppra: 10% of epileptics with previous histories of psychiatric or serious epileptic flippage had issues. Topamax: 24% of similar people had issues.)
- Tends to make people smarter, not dumber like most anticonvulsants.
- Even people starting with learning disabilities can get a bit of a boost.
- Also, unlike many anticonvulsants (or any type of prescription medication in general) it’s so easy on your liver you can take it after a freaking liver transplant!
- It starts working right away,
- and many people can start at or near the therapeutic dose if required-it was designed that way.
- One researcher describes it as having, “close to ideal pharmacokinetic properties.”
- A lot of the side effects it DOES have are psychiatric.
- Reports from the field (a.k.a. anecdotal evidence) suggest the most common are the deep, sometimes suicidal depression. At least you can’t kill yourself with Keppra.
- Another favorite is the Keppra rage, although this one seems to be overhyped, and the XR version may have dealt with that for many people in any event.
- Far less frequent, but still reported, are hallucinations - one woman I know with epilepsy had deep philosophical conversations with a ghost every night.
- And there’s this case report of a kid getting a bit psychotic on Keppra. Those kind of suck-especially when no one bothers to warn you that they might happen.
Doctors don’t have the time to tell you everything about a drug. Patient information leaflets leave out a lot. Even if the PI sheet covers everything the language is so dense and obtuse that the good stuff is often lost in information overload. Most meds have something interesting about them.1
Interesting Stuff Your Doctor Probably won’t Tell You about Keppra (levetiracetam)
- Keppra doesn’t mess with, like, ANYTHING. In that it has practically no drug-drug interactions. That in and of itself is pretty interesting.
- Girls get more bang for their buck than boys with Keppra. Per the PI sheet women absorb 20% more of Keppra than men do.
- Keppra is by far The. Worst-Tasting. Pill. on the market. Everyone who whines about how bad Lamictal tastes should lick a split Keppra. Then a split Topamax - but only if you have one left over from a prescription you no longer use, or is a 25mg tablet that is part of a larger dose. Topamax’s taste warrants a mention in its medication guide. It turns out you’re not supposed to split Topamax because that hoses its rate of absorption, and isn’t really about the taste, so you don’t want to screw around with something like that just for a taste test.
- If you take Keppra, Tegretol may not work as well for you if you try it later. But if you take Tegretol, it will have no effect on how well Keppra will work. At least, that’s the case for rats.
- The super interesting stuff is really geeky and can be found on the Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics pages. Like the reason there aren’t any drug-drug interactions with any crazy meds is because it’s metabolized in a way that very few meds are, and most of them are cancer meds. Which may also explain why it works so well for brain tumor-induced epilepsy, or could be just a weird coincidence.
Most drugs are known for something. Whenever Viagra or Cialis are mentioned what do you think of first? How effective either one is for erectile dysfunction? The pros and cons of each? Viagra’s weird side effect of cyanopsia (where everything you see is tinted blue)? Or that a hard-on can last over four hours, and that if it does you’re supposed to call Dr. Buzzkill about it to see if you may need a surgical happy ending?2
Crazy meds are no different. Most of them are notorious for some reason. Lamictal is best known for “The Rash” (or “The Lamictal Rash”), but it’s also the best drug on the planet to treat Bipolar II. Topamax is also known as Dopamax and Stupamax, and here at Crazymeds we coined the term “supermodel drugs” to describe Topamax and Zonegran, because they can make you skinny and stupid. Yet Topamax is also a Godsend for a lot of people with migraines and/or various forms of epilepsy, and is the first thing a lot of neurologists will prescribe.
Drugs can sometimes have lesser-known traits and effects that make them unique, such as Keppra’s ability to stop mania immediately as if it were an antipsychotic as well as killing brain cancer. Some are good, some are bad, some are just weird. Some might be helpful for you to know about in order to make the best use a med, or to help it suck less. Others are meaningful only to pharmacology geeks.
What Keppra (levetiracetam) is Best Known for
Being the AED that will either fix you when nothing else can - even if you’re taking it for something other than epilepsy, or kill you because it’ll make you suicidally depressed and/or so enraged at the world that you’ll die because half-a-dozen cops had to tase you.
Noted Traits & Effects
That under normal circumstances (i.e. special snowflakes aren’t taking it), Keppra has no pharmacokinetic drug-drug interaction. It doesn’t even interact with warfarin, and warfarin interacts with practically every drug on the planet.
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Contains up-close and personal pictures of rather bloody thigh and penis surgery. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
1 Interesting to me at any rate.
2 Fun facts: The cause of that never-ending boner (priapism) is often a blood clot, which can work its way loose, make its way to your brain or heart, and kill you. So it's not so much about the inconvenience of a tent pole that can never be unpitched, it's about a potentially fatal side effect of ED drugs that they never say is POTENTIALLY FATAL in the TV ads. Viagra and Cialis are as, if not more likely to kill you than an antidepressant, but is Tom Cruise jumping up and down on a couch screaming about that? Maybe Scientology alone couldn't help him with that issue. As for the surgery that might be required, see Erectile function and dysfunction following low flow priapism: a comparison of distal and proximal shunts for the gory details, with pictures that will make you lose a few inches.
If you have any questions not answered here, please see the Crazymeds Keppra discussion board. We welcome criticisms of the articles, notifications of bad links, site problems, consumer experiences with medications, etc. I’m not always able to write back. Hence I never answer questions about meds via e-mail that are answered by this or other articles. Especially if they have been repeatedly asked on the forum. That’s why we write these damn things. Questions about which meds are best for your condition should also be asked on the forum; because this is a free site, so the price of admission is making things easier for somebody else searching for the same answer. We don’t deal with children on the forum or in private because after doing this for ten years I don’t have the emotional stamina to deal with kids who have brain cooties. How to contact Crazymeds. — Jerod Poore, CME, Publisher Crazymeds (crazymeds.us)
|Last modified on Sunday, 17 April, 2016 at 18:58:03 by JerodPoore||Page Authors , Jerod Poore||Date created Tuesday, 04 October 2011 at 11:12:28|
|“Keppra (levetiracetam): a Review for the Educated Consumer” by is copyright © 2011||Published online 2011/10/04|
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Keppra, and all other drug names on this page and used throughout the site, are a trademark of someone else. Keppra’s PI Sheet will probably have the name of the manufacturer and trademark owner (they’re not always the same company) at or near the very bottom. Or ask Google who the owner is. The way pharmaceutical companies buy each other and swap products like Monopoly™ real estate, the ownership of the trademark may have changed without my noticing. It may of changed hands by the time you finished reading this article.
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Almost all of the material on this site is by Jerod Poore and is copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Jerod Poore. Except, of course, the PI sheets - those are the property of the drug companies who developed the drugs the sheets are about - and any documents that are written by other people which may be posted to this site will remain the property of the original authors. You cannot reproduce this page or any other material on this site outside of the boundaries of fair use copying without the express permission of the copyright holder. That’s usually me, so just ask first. That means if want to print out a few pages to take to your doctor, therapist, counselor, support group, non-understanding family members or something like that - then that’s OK to just do. Go for it! Please. As long as you include this copyright notice and something along the lines of following disclaimer, I’m usually cool with it.
All rights reserved. No warranty is expressed or implied in this information. Consult one or more doctors and/or pharmacists before taking, or changing how you take any neurological and/or psychiatric medication. Your mileage may vary. What happened to us won’t necessarily happen to you. If you still have questions about a medication or condition that were not answered on any of the pages you read, please ask them on Crazy Talk: the Crazymeds Forum.
The information on Crazymeds pertains to and is intended for adults. While some information about children and adolescents is occasionally presented (e.g. US FDA approvals), pediatric-specific data such as dosages, side effects, off-label applications, etc. are rarely included in the articles on drugs or discussed on the forum. If you are looking for information regarding meds for children you’ll have to go somewhere else. Plus we are big pottymouths and talk about S-E-X a lot.
Know your sources!
Nobody on this site is a doctor, a therapist, or a pharmacist. We don’t portray them either here or on TV. Only doctors can diagnose and treat an illness. While it’s not as bad as it used to be, some doctors still get pissed off by patients who know too much about medications, so tread lightly when and where appropriate. Diagnosing yourself from a website is like defending yourself in court, you suddenly have a fool for a doctor. Don’t be a cyberchondriac, thinking you have every disease you see a website about, or that you’ll get every side effect from every medication1. Self-prescribing is as dangerous as buying meds from fraudulent online pharmacies that promise you medications without prescriptions.
All information on this site has been obtained from the medications’ product information / summary of product characteristic (PI/SPC) sheets and/or medication guides - which is all you get from sites like WebMD, RxList,
NAMBLA NAMI, etc., the sources that are referenced throughout the site, our personal experience and the experiences family, friends, and what people have reported on various reputable sites all over teh intergoogles. As such the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for real medical advice from your real doctor, just a compliment to it. You should never, ever, replace what a real doctor tells you with something from a website on the Internet. The farthest you should ever take it is getting a second opinion from another real doctor. Educate yourself - always read the PI/SPC sheet or medication guide/patient information leaflet (PIL) that comes with your medications and never ever throw them away. OK, you can throw away duplicate copies, but keep at least one, as that’s your proof of purchase of having taken a med in case a doctor doubts your medical history. Plus they take up less space than a bottle, although keeping one inside of a pill bottle is even better.
Crazymeds is not responsible for the content of sites we provide links to. We like them, or they’re paid advertisements, or they’re something else we think you should read to help you make an informed decision about a particular med. Sometimes they’re more than one of those things. But what’s on those sites is their business, not ours.
Crazymeds is optimized for ridiculously large screens and browsers that don’t block ads. I use Firefox and Chrome, running under Windows 72. On a computer that sits on top of my desk. With a 23 inch monitor. Hey, at least you can make the text larger or smaller by clicking on the + or - buttons in the upper right hand corner. If you have Java enabled. Like 99% of the websites on the planet, Crazymeds is hosted on domain running an open source operating system with a variety of open source applications, including the software used to display what you’ve been reading. As such Crazymeds is not responsible for whatever weird shit your browser does or does not do when you read this site3.
Crazymeds now uses a secure server, but it is not so secure that you can discuss anything having to do with nuclear power facilities, air traffic control systems, aircraft navigation systems, weapons control systems, or any other system requiring failsafe operation whose failure could lead to injury, death or environmental damage. Just so you know. So if you’re mentally interesting and have a job that deals with that sort of thing, talk about said job elsewhere. Otherwise feel free to discuss your meds and brain cooties.
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‘Everything is true, nothing is permitted.’ - Jerod Poore
1 While there are plenty of books to help you with hypochondria, for some reason there’s not much in the way of websites. Then again, staying off of the Internet is a large part of curing/managing the disorder.
2 Remember kids, Microsloth operating systems are like TOS Star Trek movies with in that every other one sucks way, way more. With TOS Star Trek movies you don’t want to bother watching the odd-numbered ones. With Microsloth OS you don’t want to buy and install the even-numbered ones. Anyone who remembers ME and Vista knows what I mean.
3 Have I mentioned how open source operating systems for commercial applications is one of the dumbest ideas in the history of dumb ideas?* I don’t even need my big-ass rant any more. Heartbleed has made my case for me. And that’s just the one that got all the media attention. The very nature of an open source operating system makes security as much of an illusion as anonymity on teh Intergoogles. Before you flip out too much: the domain Crazymeds is hosted on uses a version of SSL that is not affected by the Heartbleed bug. That’s one of the many reasons why I pay a lot of money and keep this site on Lunarpages.
* Yes, I know I’m using open source browsers. I also test the site using the now-defunct IE and Safari browsers. Their popularity - and superiority - killed IE and Safari, so that’s why I rely on the open source browsers. It’s like brand vs. generic meds. Sometimes the generic is better than the brand.