Epilepsy Talk

Keppra — What People Are Saying | October 15, 2010

To say the word “Keppra,” is to invite instant controversy.  For some people it works, for some it doesn’t and for others, it’s a living nightmare.

Yet two different studies found that clinically significant behavioral consequences of Keppra were eight percent, no higher, and maybe even lower, than those reported for other new antiepileptic drugs.

John Gates, M.D., lead investigator of the adult study, neurologist at Minnesota Epilepsy Group and clinical professor of neurology at the University of Minnesota said: “The efficacy of Keppra in treating seizures, coupled with our findings of its low side-effect profile, makes it an option that should be considered, especially for those who have struggled with other treatments.”

Interestingly, both studies evaluated patients with epilepsy who were proven to be drug resistant to other medications.

When Keppra was approved as an add-on medicine for partial seizures, including partial seizures with secondary generalization, at the time, it was suggested that Keppra might have a universally positive effect on all seizure types.

That’s all fine and good for researchers who aren’t struggling with epilepsy every day.  But here’s a random sampling of what real people – like you and me – have to say…

The Good…

“KEPPRA HAS SAVED MY LIFE, LITERALLY! If you’re not on Keppra, I’d talk to your doc. Ever since I’ve been on Keppra, I’ve had a 96% seizure reduction rate.”

“I took three medications for eleven years before I was finally given Keppra. I have been seizure free for three years now.”

“I have experienced very, very few partial seizures. I have been taking Keppra since two and a half years now without skipping even one day. I have not had even one ‘confirmed’ seizure since I have been on Keppra and I cannot begin to tell you how very happy I am.”

“Studies that I have read state that mood problems, rages, and suicidal thoughts while taking Keppra are increased if the individual has had previous diagnosis of a mood disorder (depression, bipolar, etc…), however, the side-effect is rare if there are no pre-existing mood disorders.  I have had previous issues with anxiety/panic attacks (not seizure related), and I have had no mood side-effects from Keppra.”

“Using Keppra has even helped me to get out of the deep sense of gloominess and uneasiness that I had felt when I was on Depakote all those years.”

“Keppra has been a Godsend drug for me. Seizure meds are a lot like E itself…so different from person to person. It’s important to be aware of side-effects of the drugs so you know what to look for….but don’t let that overcome what the drug could do for you personally.”

The Bad

The list of disturbing side-effects is endless: fatigue, weakness, lack of coordination, mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, hostility, restlessness, agitation, hyperactivity (mentally or physically) and the frightening possibilities of having suicidal thoughts or actions.

“Do not mention the name of Keppra in front of me as I get very annoyed and pissed off. It did nothing to me other than increasing my woes.”

“On Keppra, I was depressed and so fatigued I couldn’t see the point of doing anything, much less living. I couldn’t really remember what day it was.”

“The doctor put me on Keppra which did not work so well with me….I have the funny “electric shock” sensations, terrible memory (and I have an excellent memory) to the point I have to write everything down.”

“I have been on Keppra for the past five weeks and my reactions to this drug are dreadful, taking into consideration that I am by nature a very cool and collected person. When I had Keppra, I suffered mood swings from one extreme to the other. I was getting touchy, short-tempered and even turned pretty violent at times. I also felt very tired and unsteady. I read many reviews on the drug and I had started wondering if I was the only one who suffered such terrible effects, and if so, I was wondering if there was something the matter with me and not the drug. You know I am really glad to know that I am not alone with the Keppra side effects.”

The Ugly

We all know about “Keppra Rage” and the harmful effects it can have both physically and mentally.  Hopefully, you’ll never undergo what these people experienced…

“My husband was prescribed Keppra about five months back and I tell you, they were some of the most terrible days of our lives. It was pretty effective initially and as the dose was increased the reactions became terrible and unbearable. He felt he was always getting funny feelings, like he was beginning to get a spasm and he was, in reality, getting seizures at every fifteen to thirty minute intervals. After many rounds of talks with the doctor they finally stopped Keppra and within a week, my husband was beginning to feel much better. In my opinion, the drug was practically crucifying my husband in gradual doses. I really think that the FDA must stop its circulation and take this drug out of the market.”

“I have seen people before my eyes taking such drastic steps.  How can this drug be good? It drives you crazy and insane, gives you such depression attacks until you decide to end your life. And all this is very much true, you see. I was on anti-seizure drugs before, like Phenobarbital, but nothing felt like Keppra. What use is a drug that makes you end your life? “

“This medication was given to my husband and he had a severe hostile reaction to it. He wound up in jail for family violence. I would recommend a thorough review of all medications and interactions with medications before taking it.”

“I was put on Keppra and it almost killed me. Initially, I started getting terribly despondent as soon as I started the drug and I reached a stage where I was crying uncontrollably all the time the whole month. I became so terribly depressed that I finally reduced around fifteen pounds and turned into a complete nervous wreck. I tried to commit suicide twice and was some how saved in time.”

“Keppra helped with seizure activity, but the personality changes, anger, hostility, irrational judgments, were worse than the seizures. It has been a living hell. I am the mother and it has been a heart crushing, emotionally draining experience.”

“My husband was put on this ‘drug’ while in the hospital. His personality changed so rapidly and violently that he had to be restrained in his hospital bed. He started having tremors of the arms and legs and physically assaulted me and one of the nurses on duty. He had hallucinations and tore the IV out of his arms because he thought that they were spiders crawling up his arms. All the medical staff said that it was because of the Keppra…. this medication turned him into a raving maniac.”

The Worst

The Keppra generic seizure drug – Levetiracetam – is contributing to more seizures, side-effects and even DEATH! 

Patients are experiencing recurring and on-going seizures that did not occur while they were on Keppra. There have been cases of injuries from the drug.  At least 49% of patients noted more severe side-effects such as vomiting and weakness. And, on top of the usual side effects, more intense ones have been documented such as psychotic episodes.


“I get so many emails per day regarding this drug Keppra. So much stuff is written about it that I sometimes wonder how much of it is true and how much is not. You need to have some proof and evidence before you can take the authority of commenting on any drug. In the case of Keppra, I felt that it had diverse reactions on people. Each one had a different opinion. For some it works and for others, it did not. Many of your loved ones may be on this drug, so my only advice to you will be to know the drug properly before making any big decision.”


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Resources: Keppra Patients Themselves



  1. Phylis, was it your husband that had to be restrained or was that an e-mail that you received.

    I am on Keppra. The first prescription, my neuro told me to take Vitamim B Complex once a day. I have and I have not had the bad side effects that others have had.

    It has stopped my seizures dramactically. I am glad that I am on it.


    Comment by Ruth Brown — October 15, 2010 @ 7:32 AM

    • Not to worry Ruth…these were quotes from OTHER people. Good that you’re taking a Vitamin-B complex. That’s the heavy hitter in the vitamin-epilepsy world! Along with your Vitamin D. Even happier that Keppra has had positive effects for you. It’s such a crap shoot with these meds…


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 15, 2010 @ 7:13 PM

      • My daughter, who is 18, has been on Keppra for 13 years. It has been a great med for her. We really haven’t noticed many side affects. (current dose is 1500 mg twice a day). However, recently she started having a burning pain in her feet…she’s had an EMG and a skin biopsy, which were both negative. Her B6 levels came back high, leading the dr to believe she has B6 toxicity, which can cause nerve damage in the extremities. She does not take any B vitamins as supplements (!) Does anyone have any thoughts? Could it be the keppra? Right now we are treating her with gabapentin (300 mg 3x/day). It’s giving her some relief but she’s still in a lot of pain. Any ideas?? Thanks.


        Comment by Lisa Hellinger Manaster — July 15, 2015 @ 11:07 PM

      • Lisa, it sounds like she’s developed neuropathy to me. (Weakness, numbness, and pain from nerve damage, usually in the hands and feet.)

        I’d either go back to your neurologist with the suggestion (and the request for any appropriate meds) or try an orthopedist.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 16, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

      • Hi Phyllis,
        Thank you so much for your response! Yes, she has definitely developed a neuropathy. The question is why? Has anyone ever heard of this being a side effect of Keppra? She’s been on it so long, perhaps its been developing slowly and she finally felt the pain? She’s been to 2 orthopedists, 2 neurologists who specialize in neuropathy and of course, her regular neurologist. They are treating the pain with gabapentin but I’m trying to figure out why it may have happened in the first place! She has not been taken off of the keppra. Thanks, Lisa


        Comment by Lisa Hellinger Manaster — July 20, 2015 @ 12:03 PM

      • “Keppra® has been shown in some open label trials to also be effective for neuropathic pain.” http://www.bellaireneurology.com/seizure/epil_trt_keppra.html

        Go figure.

        My husband has neuropathy for NO reason.

        You might try Lyrica (which he also takes) but it usually causes weight gain. 😦

        I suggest you ask your doc.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 20, 2015 @ 12:23 PM

      • On the internet, type in Keppra side effects. I’m glad to hear that things are going so well for you. My epilepsy is the incurable, and I have already had some of the side effects of Keppra and Lamictal. Until I cut back on both, I was losing balance all the time and had some close calls having accidents. I have some lack of memory as it is, and the Keppra is just making it worse.


        Comment by Karen — January 14, 2018 @ 7:03 PM

      • For those that don’t know, Keppra’s most common side-effects are dizziness, fatigue, insomnia, and memory loss. But the more troublesome problem can be irritability and mood changes. This may occur to some degree in up to a third of those taking the medicine. It’s reported that supplementing with a Vitamin B Complex can lessen the emotional side effects of Keppra.

        See: Anti-Epilepsy Drugs and Their Side-Effects…

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 15, 2018 @ 10:49 AM

      • I have eight brain tumors. Six can be removed surgically. A doctors first obligation to a patient is the hypocratic oath or do the patient no harm. I have been sleeping 12 hours in a 24 period of time. Part of this is from keppra, part the cold winter, part the brain tumors robbing my brain of key nutrients. I violated the 3 no nos to avoid seizures. Little sleep, lack of water, and stress. I was dragged down town one hour in the car each way. A consultation with my neuro surgeon.


        Comment by Rich — January 22, 2018 @ 9:31 PM

      • OMG. I’m so very sorry Rich.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 22, 2018 @ 11:00 PM

      • My first two surgeries and two gamma knife was arranged via phone conference. I got home about
        Six and while walking to my bed room I felt a stabbing pain in my left hand. My left hand curled up I lost all motor control dropped to my knees while my body fell on my bed. I struggled to get up. I took in a massive amount of air. I said out loud oh lord. I prayed to Jesus take me about a minute later I prayed Jesus help me.
        I came to from a five minute seizure which felt like
        An eternity. They bumped me to 1000mg of keppra in the morning and 1500 at night not far from the max.
        Totally unnecessary for someone that needs bed rest.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Rich — January 22, 2018 @ 10:05 PM

      • All I can do is ask “WHY”?


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 22, 2018 @ 11:01 PM

      • 3 seizure no nos lack of sleep, no water, and stress
        Ever tried sitting in a car for over an hour in rush hour traffic with no where to go to the gathering room?


        Comment by Rich — January 22, 2018 @ 11:36 PM

      • Doesn’t exactly sound like a remedy for seizures. 😦


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 22, 2018 @ 11:45 PM

      • Also hospitals are flu magnets this time of year. There
        We’re hundreds of people wearing masks. Conference calls make so much sense. It seems to me that the docs just want to get paid at the patients expense
        My neuro surgeon will make 25,000 on my surgery.
        Enough already


        Comment by Rich — January 22, 2018 @ 11:08 PM

      • Cut, cut, cut. $,$,$.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 22, 2018 @ 11:12 PM

      • All aurora schools closed for one week due to the flu


        Comment by Rich — January 22, 2018 @ 11:30 PM

      • Stay AWAY!

        One more thing you don’t need.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 22, 2018 @ 11:46 PM

      • NO Drug is taking my organs. Since birth, I have been given so many drugs for epilepsy. I refused to take Depakote ER after I got a kidney stone (mixed lemon and lime juice that keeps kidney stones from forming and took it every day.). Got multiple cysts and fatty enlarged liver. GOT OFF of it. Then took Keppra a few days until I learned side effects. GOT OFF! Then got on what they give 👶 babies the old 1914 Phenobarbital. No problem and works Great! Rita McDonald at 985-500-4665


        Comment by Rita McDonald — January 22, 2018 @ 11:02 PM

      • Fabulous Rita. Thanks for the kidney stone tip and info on YOUR experiences. It should be helpful to many.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 22, 2018 @ 11:15 PM

      • I am on 1000 mg keppra in the morning and 1500 mg at night. I sleep For 12 hours at night. I think 3000 mg per day is the max. Jackie Joyner kersey The fastest woman ever died in her slleep from sudep. A seizure that killed her. They never check my keppra levels. I am 242 pounds. Any feed back is welcome.


        Sent from my iPad



        Comment by Rich Hansen — January 23, 2018 @ 4:26 PM

      • I have been seizure free for years. I am on 1000 mg of
        Keppra in the morning and 1500 mg keppra at night.
        I sllep 12 hours at night. I think 3000mg is the max.
        I asked my doc why they cannot give me morphine after the surgery to remove my six tumors. He said the scalp has no pain and with morphine if we cannot wake you we do not know if it is your brain or the morphine. This will be my 3rd surgery and is in humane not to treat pain. If I had a surgical scalpel the
        Night of my first surgery I would have cut my wrists.
        Since I did not I just buried my face into my pillow
        And lay there for hours.


        Comment by Rich — January 23, 2018 @ 4:44 PM

      • What the hell was their reasoning?

        Isn’t the Hippocratic Oath: “First do no pain”.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 23, 2018 @ 7:49 PM

      • Hypocratic oath first do no harm. Includes poisin which
        I think would include chemo


        Comment by Rich — January 23, 2018 @ 8:53 PM

      • Well said! Well done! Brilliant!

        (So, I guess now you know how I feel about chemo.)


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 23, 2018 @ 10:30 PM

    • Admin please help me pass this on.
      I have lived a very terrified life the past 12 years due to the steady distraction caused by tinnitus. I hear a steady, offensive and unending buzzing sound on my left ear, which made me deaf. I worked in a factory for 28 years and i was really much exposed to loud noise, since i retired 15 years ago i have been faced with this, infact it made me deaf. I was fortunate enough to get a medicine from Dr. Joseph that put a final stop to the sound and it has never returned since then. Most doctors might tell you there is no cure but as a survivor of this i will tell you it is curable. To get the medicine for yourself just reach him personally on josephalberteo@gmail.com also for advise and information too.


      Comment by Houston Huffard — October 4, 2016 @ 4:24 AM

    • It sounds to me like a lot of the people in the article above were on too big a dose. Since I started Keppra it reduced my seizures 80%. Completely eliminating my reflex attacks and myoclonic attacks. I had some side effects initially but have reduced the dose since then,12 years ago and am fine now.


      Comment by Michael Collins — May 30, 2018 @ 11:43 AM

  2. I take Keppra (500 mg/2 x day) and Dilantin (400 mg/day). I have developed osteoporosis, so my doc and I are discussing dropping the Dilantin and increasing the Keppra. Anyone have experience with this (has it been successful)? Since going on Keppra a year ago I developed a number of side effects (no appetite, fatigue, loss of balance, mood disorders). The drug does reduce my seizure activity. But I’m wondering if I’m predisposed to having side effects from this drug, especially if the dose is increased. Comments anyone?


    Comment by Tom Waltz — October 15, 2010 @ 10:42 AM

    • Well, good that the Dilantin is going. None of us — man or woman — can afford bone loss. But I would question increasing the dose of Keppra.

      You’ve already been on Keppra for a year and had these side-effects. Maybe having it as a monotherapy will improve things. But I doubt it.

      If it was me, I would keep a diary, tracking when you take your meds, when and how the side-effects happen…what exactly each side-effect is…and their duration.

      Then go with the diary to the doc and present your concerns about the Keppra side-effects and surely, you’ll be able to figure out a therapy that works for you without such miserable consequences…


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 15, 2010 @ 7:24 PM

    • I’m on Keppra Twice a day 1000mg and I take a prenatal Vitamin. Plus B12 twice a day. With no side effects. A small seizure once or twice a month. No other side effects.


      Comment by d — December 13, 2012 @ 10:20 PM

    • I take 1500 mg of keppra twice a day and with my Vns implant I have less siezure activity but them I also take valium as a aura reducer
      With no side effects at all


      Comment by Roberto Zapata — September 15, 2013 @ 11:17 PM

    • Keppra causes depression and anxiety and even i cant smile and feel like doing nothing even those i used to love .. but after i started taking vitamin b complex .. life is turning to be good again .. mood is getting much better from the 1st day , am taking neurimax it includes many vitamins :b1 , b2 , b6 ,b12 also vitamin A , C , E… zinc , selenium and folic acid … its really good
      Dont loose hope with this awful medicine called keppra .. we can find a way to cope with its side effect 
      Also try meditating and stretching … it helps alot


      Comment by epileptic14yrs — June 14, 2015 @ 4:46 PM

      • B Complex Vitamins are, without a question, the star of all vitamins. In sufficient quantities, especially those that combine B6, B12, folic acid, thiamine and biotin, are vital to the production of numerous brain chemicals. Like the neurotransmitters which serve as the chemical message bearers between your nervous system and brain. The most efficient way to make use of this “brain food,” is to take it in a B complex form, since this contains all the vitamins in the B group. And when combined, they work synergistically together.

        Take a single B-50 B complex tablet twice a day with food. Each dose should contain 50 micrograms of vitamin B12 and biotin, 400 micrograms of folic acid, and 50 milligrams each of all the other B vitamins.

        (If you feel stressed, you’ll probably do best with a higher intake of a B complex. A daily dosage of 100-200mg. may be required, split into doses 2 or 3 times a day. Take this extra dose for a short time until you find that you are fairly relaxed, and then cut down the amount.)

        And I’m a big believer in Complementary Alternative Medicine. (CAM) As for meditation, one small study of adults with epilepsy who practiced meditation for 20 minutes per day for a year, found that they had fewer, shorter seizures and a change in EEG patterns.

        The patients in the control group didn’t show significant changes.

        There are many ways the relaxation that comes with meditation can be helpful in managing stress and improving the quality of life. And while it can’t replace meds, it can help you deal with those nasty effects of Keppra.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 14, 2015 @ 5:59 PM

    • Tom Walts,I do have seizures, was taking Dilantin, 3 times a day 100 mg per cap.since the age of 12,had bad seizures off an on.Had a very bad seizure, which landed me in hospital, for a few days,there I was introduced, to another neo.and she Li Ling,recommended,she start me on keppra 1000mg twice daily,for me it’s a great drug ,an a clean drug,dilantin,destroy my gums,possible liver damage.Am happy with keppra,I feel better,about myself, an best of all ,I’ve been sez.free for 5 yrs now


      Comment by Gary Rogers — July 15, 2016 @ 10:18 PM

      • The battle started for me when dr. Batjer removed a 7 cm mengiome tumor, larger than a baseball, from my brain. Jan 5th 2011. After removing 4 more tumors July 19th 2012. I have been on keppra since the first surgery. I tried to go cold turkey off the keppra in Jan 2013 and had a grand mal seizure and fractured my back. So back on the keppra for the rest of my life. My advice is to eat well and make sure you get enough sleep. I think as Americans we try to do too much. I have learned to slow down not do every social activity. Enjoy a good movie or read a good book. Keep in mind that everyone suffers in this life and for me good inspirational material helps. Yes I am tired all the time.
        My dad taught me that when you are feeling down do something good for someone else and it will lift you out of yourself even for a moment.



        Comment by Rich — July 16, 2016 @ 2:43 PM

      • Gary I’ve been on that med for 6 years and it has helped me out a lot I’ve gone a year with out a bad seizure. I do take 4000 mg a day 2 1000mg in morning and at bedtime.


        Comment by Corina — July 17, 2016 @ 10:28 PM

    • I’m same I feel like I’m crezy thanks for your story I go down my 3000 mg plus topamax make me wee wee I can’t sleep i want to fight every one I wander why I’m Christian woman respectful I turned to like this now I know this for this sight and we argue all my daughter and son I don’t have meanstretion for one month I can’t be pregnant I’m alone no bff and partner for 13 years I wander why? I’m 43 I’m too early have menopause


      Comment by Lucy — June 29, 2018 @ 3:54 AM

  3. I tried the keppra did not work for me. I dont remember the did effects but I was taken of them, later to be put on eitheor something. But I did start out with Dilantain no good, lamicatal im on now with depakote not working, will try vitamin D and E. I dont like the side effects of the two mixed drugs, lots Auras, just really weired crazy feeling I did not have until i start taking these crazy drugs. I have nausea, attitude prob, not myself, cant work. Every Med each its on.


    Comment by Emauel Brown — November 12, 2010 @ 7:40 AM

    • KEPPRA AND DILANTIN WERE MY FIRST MEDS. The first vist neuro visit was me, screaming at my husband in first neuro vist after diagnosis. I was also screaming at him at home. I thought my husband was crazy. At the next visit, I brought in those meds and told him I was now non compliant. He gave me Vimpat and I no longer seized. Oh, I had a few seizures, when sleep deprived, or over stressed, but generally less than seasonally. Off to bed. Meesher


      Comment by Michele Sherrod — November 24, 2013 @ 3:09 AM

    • The Keppra almost ended my husband’s life–and I would have killed him. I had the rage. I was taken off of it when I refused to take it. I lost teeth on Dilantin. The Dilantin turned the bottoms of my front teeth black. Finally, Zonigram was added to my other seizure meds and since December 5th, I have not had a seizure. Sure, I have spent thousands of dollars trying to find a medicine combo that would work for my chemically altered brain. Now I have to ask my husband how to spell seemingly simple words, which had not happened in the past. Now I have to trade of spelling for no seizures. DAMN that neuro for not trying it sooner. I read my hospital records and damn him, he said I was bi-polar. And he will not redact it, when I whined. I am starting a cause of action for failing to correctly diagnose and failure to give a correct medicine combo. Damn him, I have been in a haze for 6 years.


      Comment by meesher@pacbell.net — December 30, 2013 @ 7:28 PM

      • Oh Meesher, you’ve been through so much.

        However, it has NOT dampened your sharp mind. NOTHING could. Or would.

        I’ve seen your intelligent advice and observations elsewhere.

        (Who cares about spelling? I’m right there, too.)


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — December 30, 2013 @ 8:18 PM

      • I started to have fits back in October 2012 and was tried on a number of drugs where I had a physical reaction i.e. rashes, itchiness, swelling etc.
        Eventually I was prescribed Keppra (April 2013) initially I had no physical symptoms but felt tired all the time. Then the mental issues started. I became very intolerant and very aggressive. On 3 occasions I lost my temper and became very violent. If it was not for the quick footed and quick wittedness of my son I believe my temper was so violent I would of killed him if I had caught him. I have not lost my temper uncontrollably since I was 2 years old so at the age of 59 I found this extremely frightening. The trouble was I did not know if my problems were due to the underlining illness or the drugs I was taking to fix the problem. The professionals were having the same problem.
        I was prescribed another drug and most of the aggressive, intolerant behaviour has stopped. I am now behaving more like a grumpy old 60 year old whereas 2 years ago I was more like a pleasant 45 year old. (I am am now 60).
        The conclusion I have come to is that Keppra works for most people but not for all. When it does not work the professionals have trouble accepting it. The symptoms are very similar to underlying cause of the problem in the first case or they see the patient as a mental patient not as someone who is having side effects of a mind bending drug.
        It is only with hindsight am I aware how much of my depression and general mental health was affected by this drug .


        Comment by David — December 30, 2013 @ 8:47 PM

  4. For me, Dilantin was a nightmare. After many tries, I found Lamictal and, combined with Klonopin, that has been the mix for me.

    As for vitamins, try taking 500 MG of Magnesium to help absorb the Vitamin D.

    I hope the Lamictal works as well for you as it has for me! 🙂


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 12, 2010 @ 7:58 AM

    • I too am taking Lamicatal and Klonopin (both generic). I want to stop the Klonopin because I want to have another baby and frankly got tire of being exhausted all the time. Problem is I had another seizure after being seizure free for a long time (about 3 years) after trying to reduce the Klonopin. The new doc added a small dose of Keppra to help stop the seizures. the inital dizziness is going away but I’m still pretty tired. I’m hoping the new doc can help get to the bottom of the problem. I don’t feel like I’ve had definite answers to what is going on.


      Comment by Tennille — November 30, 2010 @ 11:07 AM

      • Who would you recommend to go to for vitamin therapy. I would like a holistic doctor to analyze my blood and prescribe the needed vitamins and doses. Risa


        Comment by Risa — March 9, 2014 @ 9:29 AM

  5. Since August of this year I have been on seizure meds resulting from a severe concussion I got while attacked two and a half years ago. I had my first seizure, which they told me was a complex partial seizure. Initially I was given Dilantin. I didn’t have seizures, but it made me feel like a zombie, and it made me very clumsy. I have since started taking Keppra, or rather the generic version. 500mg 2x a day. It has been really good for me. No more seizures. The only side effects that I have noticed are a bit of a decreased appetite, and what could only be described as “phantom vibrations.” It’s like I feel parts of my body vibrating at times very slightly. Almost, like a cell phone set to vibrate. Other than that, it’s been all good, and I plan on staying on it.


    Comment by radstuffforall — November 13, 2010 @ 6:10 AM

    • I was a zombie on Dilantin also. And it took me a LONG time to find my “magic med mix.”

      For me, that turned out to be Lamictal and Klonopin, but I didn’t have a severe head injury.

      I’m real glad the Keppra is working for you!

      For an interesting on brain injury and seizures, go to:


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 13, 2010 @ 7:17 AM

    • The phantom vibrating mentioned has been a side effect (among others) I experience too (right at my waist line). First I thought it was my cell phone on my belt. When I went to answer it, there was no phone.


      Comment by Tom Waltz — November 13, 2010 @ 10:00 AM

      • I too have had tingling in the legs related to Keppra; neuro thought it was RLS, but am pretty sure it’s a side effect. Hope/pray it has not lasting effect on synapses or molecular activity…


        Comment by keefer — April 5, 2013 @ 1:26 PM

  6. […] Keppra – What People Are Saying… | October 15, 2010 […]


    Pingback by Keppra – What People Are Saying… « Epilepsy Talk | Radstuffforall's Blog — November 13, 2010 @ 6:19 AM

  7. Phylis,I have a question about Keppra? Since I have been on Keppra, I have noticed that I am having bone fractures. Would you please do research to see if it causes fractures?


    Comment by ruth brown — January 16, 2011 @ 1:14 AM

  8. According to http://www.ehealthme.com/ds/keppra/osteoporosis

    “On Jan, 14, 2011: 12,275 people reported to have side effects when taking Keppra. Among them, 34 people (0.28%) have Osteoporosis.

    Time on Keppra when people have Osteoporosis most often appears to be between months 1-6 and then again from years 1-5.”

    That was the only info I could find. How long have you been on Keppra, Ruth?


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 16, 2011 @ 3:16 AM

    • For those who like me are not epileptic and by chance are taking either one of these two poisons, read this.

      I just had a minor scare of a convulsion, that resulted in no meninges inflammation and then abducted illegally in a Hospital for 15 days.

      Just take Vitamins B6, D and K. Your central nervous system is gonna be grateful 4 ever. Do not take the B-complex. That combination takes away all the properties and effectiveness of B6 and B12.

      Take care all.


      Comment by Peter Meca — May 13, 2011 @ 1:38 PM

  9. Wow Peter, that experience sounds really scary.

    On the other hand, thanks for the valuable vitamin info. It’s definitely “news we can use!” 🙂


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 13, 2011 @ 1:53 PM

  10. My mother-inlaw has partials then tonic clinic and keppra works well for her. No seizures for 5 years.

    Me, not so lucky. I’ve been on keppra, neurontin and vitamin B for 9 months now and truely have all those side effects you mentioned. I have lost 30 lbs. I’m 5’4″ and now weigh 98 lbs.

    My husband has threatened to leave me many times. My kids are afraid of me. No one knows when I will “go off” And the guilt afterward is when the “bad” thoughts start. We live in a rural area and do have shotguns, my husband has taken them away in fear that I might use them.

    Without any meds I have 20 – 30 seizures a day. With the meds I’m on now I’ve been having 15 – 20 a day. These are simple and complex partials. I still can’t drive or work so I don’t see why I should put up with the bad for a very slight bit of good. I’m usually a happy person! No history of depression.

    My doc is aware and concerned. However, I don’t have health ins and get my meda through PAP so it’s a long process to change


    Comment by cmaclean44 — July 7, 2011 @ 5:07 PM

  11. I don’t know what PAP medical coverage is but clearly you need to change meds, PRONTO!

    Here’s a link that may help you…

    No-Cost & Low-Cost Health Insurance


    And maybe this can help, too…

    FREE Prescription Drugs



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 7, 2011 @ 7:36 PM

  12. I’m on the max dose of Keppra. I know the Keppra rage, so I take anxiety meds along with it. Works for me. My problem is if I miss a dose I end up in the e.r. or jail. It reduces my brain pain to such a level That I dont want to stop taking it. I tried titrating to topamax and thought my brain would explode!


    Comment by Beth ONeil — September 9, 2011 @ 2:09 PM

  13. Ending up in the ER or jail is a pretty heavy price to pay! Have you considered Lamictal or Klonpin to calm you down?

    At its lowest rate, Lamictal is an anti-depressant. At its next level, it’s both an anti-depressant AND an anti-seizure med. And at its highest level, it’s for bipolar people.

    Klonopin is basically an anti-anxiety drug that’s pretty long acting.

    Hope this helps…


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 9, 2011 @ 4:09 PM

  14. I am taking 3,250 MG of Keppra per day, (1,250 0600, 750 1200, and 1,250 1800hrs). Lamictal 450 MG per day (150 0600, 100 1200, 100 1800, and 100 2300hrs.
    I am still having seizures after over 2 years. Sometimes nothing for 5 months but then they will come back. I am going crazy, please someone help me, the doctors are alwyays guessing, I need good info that can help me. Thank you.


    Comment by Ingeborg m. Di Ciccio — September 12, 2011 @ 7:37 AM

  15. Sounds like your docs are taking the easy way out. Just pile them up with pills. Perhaps further testing is needed to pin down the exact area of your seizures.

    This article might help: “Beyond EEGs…Diagnostic Tools for Epilepsy”

    And, if you live in the U.S. here’s a “Newly Updated Comprehensive List of GOOD Neurologists…Epileptologists…Neurosurgeons…and Pediatric Doctors”

    I hope this helps. Please let me know how do and any other way we can help you.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 13, 2011 @ 12:55 PM

  16. I have been taking Keppra for 11 yrs. My concern is poor memory it bothers me a lot not being able to remember small things and I used to sing but cannot remember a whole song. Also I have depression and at times it can get overwhelming I take celexa 20 mg but at times my outlook is still very bleak. And I have osteo arthritis. Any suggestions?



    Comment by Jodi — October 17, 2011 @ 1:12 AM

    • Jodi, there are so many add-on meds available, there’s no reason why you should suffer.

      Even though no two people are alike, I take Klonopin and sometimes Xanax and it works like a dream.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 17, 2011 @ 2:30 PM

  17. I take 1500 mg keppra 2x per day, is that a lot? I feel suicidal 2 or 3 times a week, always tired. I think I had a seizure of being catatonic for about 50 minutes a week ago, is that possible? I’m getting a new epileptologist in Nov., so I’ll ask her, but I would like to hear what others think. I just discovered this site, it’s great, thank you.


    Comment by Steve — October 17, 2011 @ 7:19 AM

    • Partial Onset Seizures

      Adults 16 Years And Older

      In clinical trials, daily doses of 1000 mg, 2000 mg, and 3000 mg, given as twice-daily dosing, were shown to be effective. Although in some studies there was a tendency toward greater response with higher dose (see CLINICAL STUDIES), a consistent increase in response with increased dose has not been shown.

      Treatment should be initiated with a daily dose of 1000 mg/day, given as twice-daily dosing (500 mg BID). Additional dosing increments may be given (1000 mg/day additional every 2 weeks) to a maximum recommended daily dose of 3000 mg. Doses greater than 3000 mg/day have been used in open-label studies for periods of 6 months and longer. There is no evidence that doses greater than 3000 mg/day confer additional benefit.


      Nonetheless, feeling suicidal is NOT great.

      Try keeping a daily seizure diary, noting sleep patterns, what you eat, your daily activities (including upsetting ones), how you feel before a seizure (triggers? auras?), during a seizure, the duration of the seizure and how you feel afterwards.

      This will at least give a clue to the new doc of what you’re going through…

      Good luck!!!


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 17, 2011 @ 2:26 PM

  18. I have taken Keppra for years now and am on the maximum amount 4000 mg of Keppra each morning, 400 mg of Lamictal morning and night, and 100 mg of Zoloft each morning…it has greatly reduced my seizures, but not completely, I haven’t had any side effects…I would love to get off of some of the meds, I have taken litterally EVERYTHING out there and it never worked until this…I even have the VNS and it has helped a little, I’ve not even had it a year though so we have to experiment on the voltage and frequency…I would LOVE to get off or reduce the Keppra, but if I miss one pill I am garaunteed to have a grand mal within an hour or two…


    Comment by Laura — October 17, 2011 @ 3:32 PM

    • Perhaps you should consider:

      Continuous Video EEG Monitoring – studies the brain waves over time. This can be accomplished through continuous Video EEG Monitoring, where a patient stays in a special unit for at least 24 hours. Antiepileptic medication is stopped for the duration of this test, since the objective is for seizures to occur so the abnormal brain waves they produce can be recorded.

      A video camera connected to the EEG provides constant monitoring, enabling the medical team to pinpoint the area where a seizure occurs and track the patient’s physiological response to the seizure. Continuous monitoring can also help distinguish between epilepsy and other conditions. It can characterize the seizure type for more precise medication adjustments and locate the originating area of seizures within the brain.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 17, 2011 @ 4:07 PM

  19. my son is on keppra and 4 other meds but he is really disabled but i dont think he has any side affects but we just found out his hip is out of place not sure if its from the meds he is on.


    Comment by kelly solly — October 17, 2011 @ 8:21 PM

  20. I’m not a doc, but I don’t think so…


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 17, 2011 @ 10:29 PM

  21. My 16 y/o son was on Keppra in addition to Tegretol, Tripleptal, Epilim & Respiridone. His seizures increased by probably 90% within days. He had approx 12 drop seizures per day – and the resulting injuries from that alone were just awful… skin off knees, elbows, hand & face constantly. He wasn’t having too many t/c seizures before this, but after starting on it he was having follow on seizures so there was never just one. He is now off Keppra with an Epilim increase which has side affect (I believe anyway) of constant dribbling.


    Comment by Rachelle — November 28, 2011 @ 8:59 AM

  22. I’m no doc, but with or without Keppra, it sounds like he’s on an awful lot of drugs.

    Has he had his blood levels checked regularly?


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 28, 2011 @ 12:51 PM

  23. hi! had a seizure at 38 years, 46 years and now at 48 years old..what we have noticed now is these 3 times my period lasted more then 12 days…docs are going the hormone route to see if there is a connection and they think its premenopausal syndrome-great!
    right now i’m taking 1 keppra(750) and 2 dilantins in the a.m.(100each) nightime 1,000 of keppra…however docs feel there is a a connection with long menstruations and seizures…


    Comment by Marge — December 2, 2011 @ 8:49 PM

  24. marge again– just want to reiterate…if i skip a period then bleed heavily the next month i have to be extra careful…i think docs are getting closer to my problem…


    Comment by Marge — December 2, 2011 @ 8:54 PM

    • It could be hormonal…have you had a full hormone screening done? (The thorough kind that an endocrinologist gives.)

      This hormone blood test for women evaluates hormonal balance in both pre-and post-menopausal women, using a single blood sample. It looks at:

      •Three estrogens – The balance of estrone, estradiol, and estriol.

      •Progesterone – This hormone rises and falls during the menstrual cycle, influencing fertility and PMS, and after menopause it modulates the effects of estrogens

      •Two androgens – Both testosterone and DHEA affect sexual function, body composition, and cognition

      •Estrogen metabolites.

      Another possibility is Catamenial Epilepsy.

      Catamenial epilepsy refers to a pattern of seizure clustering that is related to the menstrual cycle. It does not describe a seizure localization, seizure type, or epilepsy syndrome. Catamenial seizure clusters have been described with every seizure type and epilepsy syndrome.

      The definition of catamenial epilepsy has varied among investigators. The most accepted criterion requires a doubling of a baseline seizure frequency during a specific phase of the menstrual cycle.

      Take a look at Catamenial Epilepsy – Do You Have It?

      I hope this helps you rather than confusing you!


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — December 2, 2011 @ 9:45 PM

  25. My son had a brain tumor removed with msjor seizures. His doctor has increased Keppra from 1000mg daily to 2000mg a day. Tonight was the worst. I have not been able to work and am self employed and not paid if I don’t work. I worked all day today for the 1st time since surgery (1 month) and left him with supervision all day.I came home he blew up said he was going to run away, I cared more about work than taking care of him, he has been in his room. I have to keep utilities on and his dad us a dead beat dad. I blamed myself then I found this website. Someone please give me advise I’m so scared he’s 15 but still my baby.


    Comment by Sherri — January 14, 2012 @ 8:04 AM

    • I also had a brain tumor, the size of a baseball, i was on keppra first and to me i thought it made my seizures worse. Now i have them once every month or 2 and i’m on Gabapentin. Maybe switch to some other meds, would be my recommendation, but i’m not a doc.

      Good luck


      Comment by Zolt — June 6, 2014 @ 3:05 PM

  26. Welcome Sherri,

    First of all, hormones aren’t helping his situation any.

    But that being said, the brain surgery should have been more successful that that.

    There’s a man on this website (who’s wonderful) who had botched brain surgery about 14 years ago and then very successful brain surgery (at NYU) 2 years ago.

    I know Charlie takes Phenobarbital, but I don’t remember the other med he takes for stability. (Dilantin?)

    But I’ve just emailed him for advice.

    It’s clear your son isn’t on the correct med regime and your neuro must be a block head not to see that.

    Is your neuro connected to your neurosurgeon? If not, perhaps someone else should be consulted about your son.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 14, 2012 @ 2:48 PM

  27. Sherri, I just spoke to Charlie and here’s what he said:

    I was on Keppra before surgery and my wife says I was explosive. When I started seeing Dr Pacia in NYC he immediately weaned me off it. I was taking 3500 mg.

    He also took me off 3 other meds. The only drug I take now is lamictal (600mg) and a little (90mg) of Phenobarbitol.

    Please tell her not to give up and hang in there. (Who knows,maybe it’s the Dr that’s the problem and not the meds)


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 14, 2012 @ 8:33 PM

  28. […] To find out what others think and have to say about Keppra, go to: Keppra — What People Are Saying https://epilepsytalk.com/2010/10/15/keppra-%E2%80%93-what-people-are-saying%E2%80%A6-2/ […]


    Pingback by Keppra Generic Seizure Drug Contributing to More Seizures, Side Effects and Death « Epilepsy Talk — July 13, 2012 @ 10:18 AM

    • I’ve been S free for 6 years now but the specialist tried to slowly wean me off the Keepra 2 years ago, I had a seizure after going down to 500mg and then she said I was on the meds for too long and that I had to stay on them. She released me from seeing her. She said there was nothing more she could do? It makes me mad, I’m the one who has to pay for meds. Is there a treatment center that can help you wean off seizure medication? 🙄 After reading what people are going through, I guess I have to live with it in my body, it’s saddening though.


      Comment by Molly — April 3, 2017 @ 7:13 PM

  29. […] https://epilepsytalk.com/2010/10/15/keppra-%E2%80%93-what-people-are-saying%E2%80%A6-2/ Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]


    Pingback by Keppra – What People Are Saying… « epilepsyconnection — July 28, 2012 @ 11:41 AM

  30. HI was wondering if you could adivse me please my daughter is 4 she started keppra a week ago 1ml x twice aday then on saturday she went 2ml x twice aday shes noe started wetting her self all day were as before the keppra had stopped her wetting herself when she has a seizure.


    Comment by sarah — August 12, 2012 @ 2:45 PM

  31. Perhaps you should call your neuro and ask if you could go back to the previous level.

    Here are some moms with similar problems. One switched to Lamictal (which is VERY different from Keppra).


    Apparently urinary incontinence is one of the side effects. The question is, at what dose? (I suspect it’s individual for each child.)


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 12, 2012 @ 5:25 PM

  32. I can relate well to anyone who has had bad side effects with Keppra. I was placed on it 18months ago while I was waiting for major brain surgery. I was also taking 1000mg Tegretol. My seizures were occuring about 10 times a month – complex partial seizures – and the keppra didn’t make any difference to that side of things. BUT my personality was completely altered to the point where my 4 children were scared of me because of my mood swings. I also knew what I was doing when I was angry but there was nothing I could do to change the way I felt. When I told this to my neurologist he changed my medication to lamictal and I felt an immediate change in how I felt. I was one of the fortunate people who had evidence of a scar in a part of my brain that could be operated on. I had the surgery last October 2011. Now I am only taking 50mg of tegretol and I have not had a seizure for 11 months.


    Comment by Ruth — September 5, 2012 @ 4:04 AM

    • Congrats on the great success Ruth. I also had a scar on my right temperal lobe, and had it removed in 2001. Seizure free since surgery. Unless of course there during my sleep which I would have no idea. Medical procedures, these days, are amazing!!!

      Take care all……David


      Comment by David Greco — April 7, 2014 @ 6:01 PM

    • I’m same I’m with keppra for 5 years the first years they put me in 1 after 1nd half after 2 that’s in the morning and night it’s don’t work after put me now in 3am 3 pm and I feel so bad I hit the table I cry I feel I’m crezy I can’t understand what to do I’m tired I can’t explain my mood soon bad I got no friend I’m so angry I can’t understand my period one moth off I don’t have bff for 13 years now I don’t know why stop


      Comment by Lucy — June 29, 2018 @ 3:38 AM

      • I wouldn’t put it past those nasty hormones.

        Combined with Keppra it can be a real doozie.

        Some people find relief from the side-effects of Keppra taking a Vitamin B Complex.

        B Complex Vitamins without a question, are the star of all vitamins.

        In sufficient quantities, especially those that combine B6, B12, folic acid, thiamine and biotin, they are vital to the production of numerous brain chemicals.

        Like the neurotransmitters which serve as the chemical message bearers between your nervous system and brain.

        The most efficient way to make use of this “brain food,” is to take it in a B complex form, since this contains all the vitamins in the B group.

        And when combined, they work synergistically together.

        Take a single B-50 B complex tablet twice a day with food.

        Each dose should contain 50 micrograms of vitamin B12 and biotin, 400 micrograms of folic acid, and 50 milligrams each of all the other B vitamins.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 29, 2018 @ 8:52 AM

  33. Hurray for you…and your recovery! I’ve never been on Keppra, but I AM on Lamictal and for me, it’s been a life saver.

    Luckily, no side-effects, just good results.

    Did you know that Lamictal acts as an anti anxiety med as well as an AED? That’s one of the beauties of it.

    Here’s to a seizure free life! I wish the best for you…


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 5, 2012 @ 10:43 AM

  34. Abby, have you told your doctor this? If not, I would suggest you keep a daily seizure diary, noting when you take the Keppra, the timing of your seizures, their duration, plus an exact description of what your reactions to the Keppra are and how long they last (if not always).

    I think if you can document your reactions, your doc may get a better idea of what other med(s) might be more appropriate.

    AEDs are really a crap shoot. Sometimes, it takes a while to find what’s right for you.

    I know that I kissed many frogs, before I found my “magical med mix”. (Lamictal and Klonopin, and now I’m a happy camper, with NO side-effects.)


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 30, 2012 @ 6:14 PM

  35. I have been on Keppra for over 2 years and all this time I have never had any problems with it . I have never been on the generic brand ever. In past years I have had problems with other generic brand drugs that I had been on for siezures like Tegretol, Depakote. While being on Keppra I have had a siezure once in awhile but not to often. I’m also on another med beside this and it is called Banzel. I have noticed a few problems with this one at times. Its a name brand that I take,I don’t think they have come out with one yet for this kind yet. I do let my doctor know when I do have problems with it.


    Comment by Corina — October 2, 2012 @ 5:01 PM

  36. Corina, you might be interested in this article:




    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 2, 2012 @ 6:26 PM

  37. To be honest, i take Keppra for my epilepsy and ive been taking it for nearly a year and no it hasnt stopped my fits but none of the other treatments are working either but Keppra is working a hell of a lot better than the original tablets. Even though my tablets have not stopped my seizures they have decreased, they have also stopped happening in the day time, inwhich i found embarrassing being only 16, they happen in the night time. My mum thinks my seizures occure because of my period and i agree with her, my dad thinks they occure because of stress i also agree with him!! I feel sorry for anyone with epilepsy and i wish them the best, because i know what it is like to be epileptic and not being able to fix it, but Keppra effects people differently so never give up and try different medication as long as it is doctor prescribed because one day it could work! x


    Comment by Elly — November 8, 2012 @ 7:13 AM

    • Sounds to me like you could have “Catamenial Epilepsy.”

      Catamenial epilepsy happens when your seizures worsen just before your period…or during the first few days…or at mid-cycle.

      It’s basically a hormone sensitive seizure — a tendency for increased seizures related to your menstrual cycle.

      The causes of catamenial epilepsy are not totally understood. It could be an imbalance between your two female sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone, or you may not be producing enough progesterone during the second half of your menstrual cycle.

      It is also possible that the amount of antiepileptic drug (AED) circulating in your bloodstream may decrease before menstruation.

      You can read more about it at:

      Catamenial Epilepsy – Do You Have It?



      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 8, 2012 @ 10:07 AM

  38. Also Elly, if Keppra isn’t entirely working for you, perhaps you should try a med or a combination of two different meds.

    This is anecdotal, but I spoke to someone yesrterday who was very disappointed in Keppra.

    She ended up changing to Lamictal and Vimpat and, so far, so good.

    And please DO consider keeping a daily seizure diary, noting your sleeping patterns, what you eat and when, every day events (including emotional upsets), the onset of your period, occurance of seizures, how you feel afterwards and, if you can, the duration.

    This will be helpful in both diagnosing catamenial epilepsy and the effeciveness of the Kepra you are taking.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 8, 2012 @ 10:16 AM

  39. I was on a perfect combination of keppra XR & Lamictal XR. I was able to miss a few doses & not have any seizures.. It worked great together because I have Generalized tonic-clonic (grand mals), absence, myoclonic & Atonic seizures. Then they changed my keppra for the generic ‘levetirecetam.’ If i miss a single dose of it, I’ll have myoclonic & absence seizures for the entire next day. I notice a huge difference.


    Comment by Jennifer — January 24, 2013 @ 3:14 PM

  40. I think it’s really important to be consistent with what you take.

    Which isn’t as easy as it seems in the world of generics. Because pharmaceutical companies don’t all have the same formularies or they change.

    Plus, if I didn’t say it above, generics only have 20% of the prescribed drug in them. The rest can be “filler” of any kind.

    The American Academy of Neurology reports: “The AAN opposes generic substitution of anticonvulsant drugs for the treatment of epilepsy without the attending physician’s approval.

    The FDA has allowed for significant differences between name-brand and generic drugs. This variation can be highly problematic for patients with epilepsy.

    Even minor differences in the composition of generic and name-brand anticonvulsant drugs for the treatment of epilepsy can result in breakthrough seizures.”



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 24, 2013 @ 4:00 PM

  41. Thanks for sharing. My thought is…who changed your prescription to a generic? My insurance company has tried and my pharmacy has as well. In both cases I had to make it clear that changing my Rx (either from a brand name to a generic, or from a generic to a brand name) could result in a break through seizure.


    Comment by Tom — January 24, 2013 @ 8:37 PM

  42. Prevent Medication Changes…


    This letter has been created by the Epilepsy Foundation to make explicitly sure that no substitutions are made to your prescription without full consent by you and your doctor. You might want to make a copy of it for your files…


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 25, 2013 @ 8:47 AM

  43. My daughter just recently been prescribed keppra. She is 21 months old. NOT EVEN TWO YEARS OLD YET. i feel very strongly about medication as a whole, even more so when our comes to my baby daughter. I wanted other opinions from parents who had top deal with similar situations. I’m taking this very hard. But I’m planning on starting hee on it within the next few days. Please help me with youre opinions.

    It’d be greatly appreciated.


    Comment by Tamara — January 25, 2013 @ 9:15 PM

  44. I think you need to talk to your neuro about possible alternatives.

    There are so many meds and add-on meds out there that it really is a crap shoot.

    I spoke to the guru of Neurology, Orrin Devinsky, and asked why so many people are prescribed Keepra.

    He simply said: “Because it works.”

    These days, it seems to be at the forefront of anti-epilepsy drug treatment.

    But that doesn’t mean it’s right for your little girl.

    You might want to go to the parent’s forum at epilepsy.com where a lot of concerned parents are discussing similar issues. It’s an excellent, reliable resource.

    Topic: Living With Epilepsy – Youth


    I hope this helps…


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 26, 2013 @ 11:24 AM

  45. […] to try and figure out when keppra (my seizure medicine) originally came out, and i stumbled across this interesting little bit from a couple of years ago.  there was nothing necessarily revelatory about it– i knew that […]


    Pingback by … so you found a girl who thinks really deep thoughts what’s so amazing about really deep thoughts… « kvetchnik — February 1, 2013 @ 11:57 PM

  46. By the way, I saw this article that says Keppra is no more effective than the older AEDs at preventing bone loss. I mention it, simply because that is the rationale given for moving people off of the older AEDs and over to Keppra in the first place.



    Comment by Doug — February 5, 2013 @ 6:03 PM

    • BRILLIANT! Although I did have a little difficulty “joining” the website. But some people say that about us. 😦

      How did you find it? What a terrific resource.

      I appoint you KING FOR THE DAY. (Or week!)


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 5, 2013 @ 7:49 PM

      • Strange…. it used to allow you to view the article without joining.. and now you can’t//


        Comment by Doug — February 5, 2013 @ 11:46 PM

  47. i have benign essential tremour followed up with myoclonic jerk,when medications that family dr. prescribed no longer was effective was referred to a neurologist, am now taking prophanalol with levetiracetam which stopped the tremours that had somewhat come back,then after a couple of years jerking came back mostly in the evening when trying to relaxe,i stew abt things constanly,dr. increased the levetiracetam to 1 in morning and 2 at night helped somewhat but still had jerks in evening,have been going thru biofeedback for allergies since the week crude oil came upon and they balanced that out jerking has stopped excerpt for a mild occurance once in awhile i have always been a stewer but when i t hink back it has been worse ,am wondering if levetiracetam could be involved with this or what


    Comment by Beverly — February 14, 2013 @ 10:23 AM

  48. According to the Epilepsy Center at NYU, anxiety
    nervousness, and decreased ability to cope with daily life events are side-effects of Keppra. So, it could very well be the culprit.


    Another resource says: “Keppra (levetiracetam) is a medication used to treat epilepsy and does list anxiety and nervousness as possible side effects.”


    And yet another resource said: “According to Drugs.com, Keppra can cause serious changes in your personality. You may become anxious, agitated, hostile, restless or hyperactive.”



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 14, 2013 @ 10:52 AM

  49. Anyone ever heard of a periodic “spaciness or light dizziness” from Keppra? I know dizziness is listed as a side effect, but what I’m talking about seems more transient.

    I’ll be home and seem fine, and then I get out and among others and realized that I feel a little “out of it.” Sometimes if there is alot of busy action around (like with my sisters 3 boys running around) it almost feels like things are happening too fast for me to handle.

    Nothing comes of it, and it usually goes away, and I don’t think its an aura or anything (at least not like I’ve had before), but it got me wondering if it were the keppra, would the feeling be all the time or could it come and go?

    Sometimes, if I drink a caffeinated beverage it seems to help, but that may just be in my own mind..


    Comment by Doug — February 17, 2013 @ 4:01 PM

    • I do tend to “think” many of our reactions could be a bit of our own fears–it’s easy enough to blame Keppra or one of the others since nothing 100% has been discovered yet and you would think that it would have been by now–but they don’t have any trouble charging those ridiculous amounts–do they?


      Comment by Sharon — February 14, 2014 @ 1:19 PM

  50. Doug, there’s this fabulous page that I found where people are talking about their experiences with Keppra on all sorts of levels: doses, effectiveness, comparision to other meds, side effects.


    They speak of fatigue and confusion but not directly about any spaciness or time distortion.

    Could something else be contributing to that feeling? Or are you on mono therapy?


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 17, 2013 @ 7:41 PM

  51. I’m on Keppra monotherapy. My aura is an extreme lightheadedness where I can’t comprehend when people are talking to me. I just stare at them and then realize 10 secs after they say something that they are talking to me, so its a very specific feeling.

    Of course anytime I feel spacey for any reason, I always double check myself to make sure its not aura-like, but I don’t think this is an aura. Also, like I said, previously, this feeling comes and goes, and I never get to the point where I’m totally out of it, as when an aura is occuring.


    Comment by Doug — February 17, 2013 @ 11:50 PM

  52. I thought that Keppra was OK until my neurologist increased the dose 2 weeks ago! It has been a nightmare with sudden bursts of rage, poor balance, exhaustion and just general vacant feeling? I have now reduced again to see if things improve, I would rather just change meds.


    Comment by mickcgorman — March 3, 2013 @ 1:54 PM

    • I say –go for it! Enough of this added nonsense–
      Why pay more for this crap–sorry you Keppra manufacturers but I’ve got a $50000 hospital bill …


      Comment by Sharon — February 14, 2014 @ 1:27 PM

  53. Perhaps you should talk to your doc before you reduce it. Was there some reason he increased your dose? Or was he just titrating you up?

    Also, it might be helpful to keep a diary, noting times of dose, your behavior, reactions, emotions, etc. throughout the day.

    Perhaps then he/she can get a better idea of what you’re going through.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 3, 2013 @ 2:56 PM

    • I did call the doctor, it was her idea to reduce slightly, I was still being titrated up.


      Comment by mickcgorman — March 3, 2013 @ 3:41 PM

      • I’m confused. Are you now in the process of LOWERING your dose?

        If so, what effect has it had on you?

        Positive or negative in terms of seizures vs. emotions and behavior?


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 3, 2013 @ 5:20 PM

  54. I had just increased and then I had a few episodes of unexplained rage which worried me, I called the doctor who said to cut back a little and call again after 2 weeks to see if things improve. I must confess that things don’t feel normal yet, a little edgy and odd but I only reduced again 5 days ago. I did have a seizure on the day of the first rage episode? this is all new to me so may be more scary than it needs to be?


    Comment by mickcgorman — March 3, 2013 @ 6:41 PM

  55. I think you were very pro-active in calling the doc immediately and not being a victim and thinking “Oh well, I guess this just comes with the territory.”

    Yes, it could be scary, but if you feel you have things in control — both with your seizures and your emotions — give the reduced dose some more time and see how you feel. Unless it becomes unbearable, again. (Still?)

    Then, do what you did before. Be pro-active and call the doc.

    Hats off to you for taking control of what could have been a very nasty situation.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 4, 2013 @ 10:27 AM

  56. Hi, my daughter who is 14 years old is in the process of changing her current meds which were epilim and frisium to Keppra. She is still on her full dose of Epilim and a half dose of Keppra. Since starting the Keppra her behaviour has been totally off the wall and she just can not be reasoned with. She is also in Concerta as she has ADHA. She has only been on Keppra for a two weeks but her dose is about to double. Is it possible that this is a side effect of the Keppra (reading the bloggs made me start to wonder) and is it possible this might settle down once she has been on it for a bit longer?


    Comment by Nicky — March 17, 2013 @ 8:51 PM

    • MY ADVIECE IS TO MAKE HER STOP TAKEING KEPPRA! it will do her no good.


      Comment by anonimuss — May 6, 2013 @ 5:58 AM

    • Absolutely! Do not buy it–a wonder drug does not exist–sounds those messy hormones have a thing or two aggravating things for her


      Comment by Sharon — February 14, 2014 @ 1:37 PM

  57. Well, time will tell, although I’m not very optimistic.

    Here’s what other people have said:

    February 11, 2011 by Brenda H

    I have not heard of using Keppra for ADHD. It is supposed to be very effective for mania, although some patients who take it will develop psychotic sx. My ds 16 took it a few years ago and we did not have good results.

    February 11, 2011 by jaime

    My dd has been taking Keppra for a few months. Hasn’t helped ADHD symptoms at all. It seems to be helping keep her moods stable. She is very, very sensitive to the sedation SE, which makes her extremely irritable. We were able to cut her Keppra to 500mg. In the past she usually needed fairly high doses to keep manic symptoms at bay. I am not sure how much is the Lithium, the Seroquel, or the Keppra. She is actually only taking 150 of Lithium. Her blood level is low, only 0.2, but we were using it to boost her other meds.

    She is unable to tolerate stims and is taking the Amantadine for her ADHD. It is actually an anti-viral but seems to be helping fairly well. Her teacher can tell if she misses it and when we were doing it at night for a while her grades dropped signifcantly. It helps with both the hyperactive and fidgity part and the inattention/lack of focus half.

    And, here’s an interesting real world study of ADHD among people who take Keppra. It is created by eHealthMe based on 8 reports from the FDA. In total 17,926 Keppra users are studied.


    I hope this helps…


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 17, 2013 @ 10:30 PM

  58. Generic keppra has different inactive agredients, i.e. aspartic acid (aspertame). TEVA pharmaceuticals did not. I purchase my husband’s generic keppra from there. It works for him, Mylan and others do not. Have to search pharmacies to find which ones can purchase from TEVA Lab. Aspertame and caffeine sets off his epileptic seizures within minutes of consumption.


    Comment by Terry Garlitz — March 28, 2013 @ 1:20 PM

    • That’s fabulous and very useful information Terry!

      THANK YOU for sharing this treasure.

      For those who want to know more about TEVA Pharmaceuticals, here’s what they have to say — “Your smart resource for information about generic drugs!

      Learn more about generics, find alternatives to your current medications, and receive alerts on new Teva generics and tips for safeguarding your family’s health.”



      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 28, 2013 @ 3:21 PM

  59. I have been taking Keppra for 43 years & it never effected me like discribed. All drugs have side effects. Different people are effected in different ways by different drugs.


    Comment by Lorraine Konesni — March 28, 2013 @ 2:05 PM

  60. You sure are right, Lorraine!

    Different bodies, different chemistries, and different reactions.

    Sometimes we lose sight of that…


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 28, 2013 @ 3:25 PM

  61. Terry,

    Here’s an article you might find interesting:

    The Scandal of Aspartame



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 28, 2013 @ 3:28 PM

  62. Well Tom, good question!

    I spent an hour rooting around and I could not find any evidence of generic Keppra containing aspartame.

    Plenty of complaints about Keppra, the same for aspartame, but it doesn’t seem that aspartame is a component of generic or brand-name Keppra.

    But Terry had some brilliant information. (See #8 above.)

    Terry: “Generic Keppra has different inactive ingredients, i.e. Aspartic Acid (Aspartame).

    TEVA pharmaceuticals did not.

    I purchase my husband’s generic Keppra from there. It works for him, Mylan and others do not.

    Have to search pharmacies to find which ones can purchase from TEVA Lab. Aspartame and caffeine sets off his epileptic seizures within minutes of consumption.”

    PFJ: For those who want to know more about TEVA Pharmaceuticals, here’s what they have to say — “Learn more about generics, find alternatives to your current medications, and receive alerts on new Teva generics and tips for safeguarding your family’s health.”


    So, I would suggest you email them (with your zip code included) and ask where you can find their brand of generic Keppra, or if you can just purchase it directly from them.

    Good luck!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 29, 2013 @ 5:43 PM

  63. I’m new to all of this and still trying to figure stuff out. I’ve had auras since I was 16 when I started birth control. I would get a feeling of deja vu and it would follow with a few minutes of confusion. It was weird, but at that time I just thought I was teenager with lots of changes going on and thought this would eventually go away. Well it didn’t. December before last I was home alone and the last thing I remember doing was cooking dinner when I woke up and found myself in the bathroom floor and had no idea what happened. I told my mom and we went to our family doctor who sent me to a neurologist. I had CT scans, MRI scans, and a 3 day EEG that gave me zero answers. Then last July I had two seizures two weeks apart while at work and was sent to the ER. I was then sent to another neurologist who prescribed me to Keppra. I have NO IDEA what is causing this. My doctor refuses to believe it has anything to do with birth control; although, I’ve read estrogen can provoke seizures. Keppra has made the frequent auras dissipate, but I still get them every now and then. I just had that feeling a few minutes ago, and I still feel very anxious. I’m now 21 and really want to figure what is causing this. I hate not knowing if it’s going to happen again and where I’ll be if it does happen. I wish this would just go away I know live every day not knowing if it will happen while I’m driving to work and am very worried. Keppra has made me very fatigued and have a bad memory. I’ve also gained about 15 pounds. Ughhh


    Comment by Ashley Wickware — April 3, 2013 @ 11:11 AM

  64. Ashley, what I think you’re describing is Catamenial Epilepsy.

    Catamenial Epilepsy – Do You Have It?


    One of the main theories is that seizures around periods may be due to fluctuations in the two major reproductive hormones, estrogen and progesterone, which rise and fall in the menstrual cycle.

    (Love those hormones!)

    The effects of those hormones on brain excitability are at the root of this theory.

    Estrogen seems to be the “bad guy,” lowering seizure threshold, while progesterone is the “good guy,” offering more protection against seizures and increasing seizure threshold.

    Unfortunately, most male neurologists are kind of dense about Catamenial Epilepsy and some don’t even believe it exists.

    (Not to be sexist, but a lot of women prefer either having a female neurologist or at least a woman GYN to be more alert to the possibilities.)

    Another question. What kind of birth control are you are on?

    Many women prefer Depo-Provera.

    “An advantage of taking Depo-Provera is decreased incidence of seizures in women with epilepsy.

    And also, unlike most other hormonal contraceptives, Depo-Provera’s contraceptive effectiveness is not affected by enzyme-inducing antiepileptic drugs.”


    Also noted in:


    Then, on the on the other side of the coin, here’s a thread from women who had INCREASED seizures with Depo-Provera…


    I also found:

    “The NIH states that while uncommon, some users of Depo-Provera start having seizures.”


    If I were you (which I’m not), I would keep a menstrual/seizure diary and take it both to your GYN and neuro.

    Find out if there IS a connection between your periods and your seizures and proceed from there.

    (In other words, I don’t think Keppra is the culprit.)

    Also, keep in mind that stress is number #1 on the seizure trigger parade.

    I hope this helps…


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — April 3, 2013 @ 11:44 AM

  65. Thank you for replying so fast! I have since switched birth control to nexaplanon (sp?) which is progesterone. I was hoping that would fix everything, but I’ve had a couple mild episodes of those strange feelings I get. I’m not sure if it will take awhile to get rid of 5 years of my estrogen birth control. I switched in December and at the time can’t track my cycle, as I’ve been continually going for 4 months. But I am pretty convinced birth control has played a role, since the first time I remember having these feelings was after I started birth control.

    On the stress topic, I’m sure this plays a huge part in my problems. I’ve never dealt with stress well and can feel it inside when it’s building up. Sometimes I feel like I’m going to explode and don’t know how to release that anxious feeling.

    I’ve got a lot of factors that could play into this, so hopefully I can get everything sorted out soon.


    Comment by Ashley Wickware — April 3, 2013 @ 11:54 AM

  66. Do you have any recommendations for a good female neurologist in the Dallas, Tx area?


    Comment by Ashley Wickware — April 3, 2013 @ 3:43 PM

    • These docs were all recommended based on eforum members’ positive personal experiences. Sorry there are no women on the list. 😦


      Dr. Mark Agostini, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX

      Dr. Jose Cavazos, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX

      Dr. Peyton Delaney, San Antonio, TX

      Dr. Stasha Gominak, Tyler, TX

      Dr. Robert Leroy, Medical City, Dallas, TX

      Dr. Michael Newmark, Houston, TX

      Dr. Padraig O’Suilleabhain, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX

      Dr. Jeremy Slater, Texas Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at University of Texas, TX

      Dr. Charles A. Szabo, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX — Epileptologist

      Dr. Richard Ulrich, Tyler, TX

      Dr. Paul Van Ness, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX

      NOTE: Dr. Charles Szabo has been highly recommended by both women and men.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — April 4, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

  67. I have been taking generic Keppra 3000mg daily,Vimpat 400mg daily& clonazepam 1mg daily, I do still have seziures had one last night G-mal although they seem less dramatic for lack of better word! Oh I have been on meds for 2 1/2 yrs, I have petite mal seziures as well I would say 70percent of the time, I’m unable to speak a lot,memory loss, coordination problems bout overall I do feel better most of the time, my only complaint is I get sleepy most days around 1 and must sleep. What can I do to have more energy? And should I be taking something like a vitamins for long term problems I’m a 36 yr old woman


    Comment by Jaime Balbas — April 3, 2013 @ 9:51 PM

  68. I’m being treated for migraines and generalized bilateral epilepsy, or that’s what my neurologist THINKS it is. I’ve been taking it since January of 2011 and I used to be a little unstable with my emotions. For the past two years, I’ve been completely drained with depression, anxiety, angst, hate, anger, and just about everything. I feel like most of my high school career was ruined from this drug as I took one in the morning and two at night 500mg each as a total of 1500mg a day. I’m seeing a new neurologist to get a reevaluation of my epilepsy and now slowly stopping my pills. I believe I was treated with the wrong medication and I already feel somewhat better after only four days of taking two pills a day. There were no happy thoughts in my head anymore, only suicidal thoughts, pessimism, and hate. I’m glad to finally find out why I’ve had such major depression from nowhere that couldn’t be effectively treated.


    Comment by Andrea — April 7, 2013 @ 11:00 AM

  69. This article was very helpful in learning more about the new medication my foster son has been prescribed. Even though I am new to dealing with an epileptic, I have made it a point to learn about each of the meds he is on, and be totally aware of their side effects.

    James has been on Keppra for one week, and so far the only seizure he has had was my own fault because I missed a dose of meds and he was 4 hours late. On that side of things, I am fortunate that we have found a pill that is working to stop seizures.

    Unfortunately, it has been an interesting week in terms of dealing with his changes in mood and spells of aggression, as I have outlined here: http://mrscotto.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/keppra-the-follow-up/

    I have been monitoring the side effects closely. Today was a good day with no outbursts, but we will be taking this one day at a time.


    Comment by Scott Oosterom — April 10, 2013 @ 12:41 AM

  70. I read your post, and unfortunately aggressive and abusive behavior can be one of the “side-effects” of Keppra. (As you’ve learned yourself.)

    And it could get worse as he titrates up to a stronger dose.

    Scott, I think you’re doing the right thing.

    Now, try to document his outbursts (and any causes you can figure out — other than the Keppra) so you have something to show the doc and hopefully, he/she can get a better idea of what’s going on.

    He may need a second med to offset the Keppra aggression or as you said, Keppra may not be for him.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — April 10, 2013 @ 9:19 AM

  71. Hi, I have just started keppra as an addition to my epilem medication as the epilem wasn’t controlling my seizures anymore.

    I was just wondering at what dosage and how soon after people had started taking this medication did they begin to see the any side effects.

    Thanks for your help


    Comment by Mel — May 5, 2013 @ 10:25 PM

  72. hi world,
    Im on keppra for a year or so.
    before takeing it I use to get GS once in two years. now that has been changed to 8 or more times in only one year. for the time Im takeing this “thing” (keppra)it doest end just with that. Side effects are more fun. Its feels like nothing have sence any more in my life. Im trying to hide that from others (home,work,friends ect.). Most times, while doing so, it ends as if Im histericly happy. Keppra is not helping me in any way exept for neverending hiper inteligent toughts that comes to my mind, from time to time. Im finishing my master at university with ease. After I do that I will stop takeing keppra , no more fun I guess 🙂


    Comment by anonimuss — May 6, 2013 @ 5:47 AM

    • That’s interesting that you blame Keppra for those intelligent thoughts–so that’s why I’m good at Scrabble (just another joke) we just have to deal with the multitude of crap attached to this


      Comment by Sharon — February 14, 2014 @ 1:44 PM

  73. Why not stop taking it now?


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 6, 2013 @ 6:33 PM

  74. I am so glad I found this site, I know now that its not just me but the Keppra I started just one week ago that has made me go into a deep depression and hostile personality. Last night I was very suicidal and cried all day today. I will call my doctor tomorrow and get my medicine switched before it cost me my life. I literally feel like I am going crazy!


    Comment by tlanclos — May 8, 2013 @ 3:12 AM

  75. Oh I feel so awful for you and what you must be going through.

    But the good news is that you recognized the symptoms early and are being proactive about it.

    And I’m grateful that the article was of help to you.

    That makes MY day.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 8, 2013 @ 10:29 AM

  76. I have been on Keppra for 2 months, and I am always tired, and the world seems like a haze. My coordination is no longer there, and I can’t think straight. I had 1 seizure in my life and I want to tell the doctors to shove all these drugs! I can’t walk through life like this. I am 45 years old, never had issues until my seizure a few months ago. I truly can not take this lifestyle change.


    Comment by RK — May 12, 2013 @ 8:30 PM

  77. Either dump the doc or dump the Keppra. Either way, call him/her immediately.

    There’s absolutely no reason why you should suffer these side-effects.

    If you decide to seek another opinion, or another doctor, this link may be helpful…

    2013 Comprehensive List of GOOD Neurologists…Epileptologists…Neurosurgeons…and Pediatric Doctors


    I’m sorry you’re going through this, but you DON’T have to.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 13, 2013 @ 7:16 AM

  78. Obviously Keppra is known for causing some people to experience physical fatigue and “run down” feelings. However, has anyone seen this effects get worse over time? I feel like I’ve always had fatigue from Keppra, but I’ve forced myself to exercise and get out anyway. Lately (the last few months), it has been worse, and MUCH harder to have any stamina. Also, my sleeping has been worse (although never good on Keppra, it has also gotten worse).

    When I asked my neuro about this, he said that he didn’t think it was Keppra, as the fatigue would be pretty constant from the beginning and would not have gotten worse. Same for the sleep issues. Of course I heard this before with regard to delayed onset rashes from tegretol (told that couldnt happen either) and that turned out not to be true. So, I just wondered if anyone has experienced worsening fatigue and sleep issues after having taken Keppra for a long time?


    Comment by Doug — May 14, 2013 @ 7:08 PM

    • Yes! Although I have only been on it for 6 months or so, I felt there was a build up of sorts going on and I became increasing fatigued and unable to exercise. I was up to 2000mg a day but I am now tapering off.


      Comment by Jeanne Adams — June 7, 2013 @ 2:37 AM

  79. I take Keppra and it works like a charm and I don’t have seizures


    Comment by razzle51 — May 19, 2013 @ 9:27 AM

    • That’s wonderful news and YES, Keppra does work for some people. It’s all a matter of body chemistry.

      I’m glad to hear you’re one of them for whom it works!


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 19, 2013 @ 9:41 AM

  80. I am currently taking keppra 1500 mg 2x daily. Topamax 300 mg 2xdaily and lamictal 100 mg 2x day . I started having memory issues and depression. I thought it was due to the topamax because it wasa fairly new med.(even though they were both started around the same.)I was an outgoing person, that loved talk with people . Now, I don’t like to leave my house, and don’t talk to very many people. Depression has controlled my life.Anger is an ever day occur acne for me.


    Comment by Tricia — May 28, 2013 @ 9:17 PM

  81. Was the Keppra the newest of the three meds for you? If so, it’s easy to target it as the culprit. Because there’s more than one piece to this puzzle.

    I would definitely write down your mood(s), feelings of anger and isolation, depression and whatever other negative effects you’re feeling and take your list to the doc. (Writing them down beforehand helps organize your thoughts and assures that you don’t forget anything.)

    Tell him what you’re going through (hence, the list) and ask him for an alternative.

    Keppra isn’t for everyone and obviously, it doesn’t seem to be for you.

    But there’s no reason you should suffer in silence!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 29, 2013 @ 9:41 AM

  82. Hi! I’m very pleased to find this site! I have had epilepsy since I was 7 years old, I am now 55. I was on a variety of not very effective drugs as a youngster, I was frequently tired and grumpy. Depakote was introduced to me when I went into college, 1979, and it controlled my seizures beautifully for many years. Then, in 2004, several components combined to make a ‘perfect storm’ and I had a grand mal seizure while driving. Thank god for airbags! I walked away without a scratch and did not do damage to another car or person, (just that fence!) So my Depakote was doubled to 500 mg ER x twice a day. All was well for several years and then I was sent to a new dr, an epileptologist, who did my first mobile EEG. It lasted 3 days, there was practically NO seizure activity on it. I had to point out to him where I thought the one seizure had occurred. It was so short, he thought I had scratched my head and made the lines jump. Anyway, he put me on Keppra in addition to the Depakote. I was taking 2000 mg a day, I think. I felt so profoundly depressed, drugged, drowsy, clumsy, foggy and irritable that I cut way back on driving and have started a disability claim at work until I can get the dose down or stopped completely. I have been taking the generic and have wondered if the brand would be better but I’m over it now. My seizures are so short and minimal I don’t even think I need a second anti-convulsant. But I trust this new doctor since he is a seizure specialist. The doctor that I went to for 30 years or so was a neuro. I have not had any luck yet having the office fill out the Short-term dis paperwork, sure hope they’ll do it!


    Comment by Jeanne Adams — June 7, 2013 @ 2:34 AM

  83. Welcome Jeanne. And welcome to the crashing into inanimate objects club.

    The first 10 days after I got my driver’s license, I smashed into 6 things.

    When I finally went into a cement pillar in the parking garage, I handed my mother the keys and a check to repair the body work. (Yes, I did make it that far.)

    As for your new doc, just because he’s an epileptologist, it doesn’t mean he’s God.

    And I think his actions are conflicting.

    He said he saw no activity on your EEG, yet he put you on a second drug. (Keppra, no less!)

    What is the rationale for that? Have you asked him? I certainly would.

    In my humble opinion, he’s not the doc for you. He sounds like an inattentive pill pusher.

    Can you return to your old neuro?

    If not, here’s a list that might help:

    2013 Comprehensive List of GOOD Neurologists…Epileptologists…Neurosurgeons…and Pediatric Doctors


    Best of luck and I hope you’re back to your “old” self soon!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 7, 2013 @ 8:59 AM

    • Thank you, Phyllis, for your quick response and your input!

      Wouldn’t you know it, his name is on that list! I think he is a good doctor, he based his decision on the fact that I was reporting having some very small/short absence seizures on an almost daily basis.

      I think he thinks they could lead to something bigger. But I have always had them and I don’t think that’s the case. My old neuro shuddered (pun intended) at the word seizure!

      And so it goes…

      Thanks again!


      Comment by Jeanne Adams — June 7, 2013 @ 9:28 AM

  84. I still think you’re over-medicated and you should discuss this with your doc.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 7, 2013 @ 10:18 AM

    • Oh, yes! We are reducing the Keppra now and I may be going off of it completely.

      I wonder if part of the reason for the small percentage of reported side effects of Keppra isn’t that many people with epilepsy are accustomed to feeling fatigued and depressed, anyway. Many may not attribute those feelings to the drug.

      I am very fortunate in that I finally found a good medication for the clinical depression I also have. So when I began having those feelings again because of the Keppra, I knew something wasn’t right.


      Comment by Jeanne Adams — June 7, 2013 @ 11:02 AM

  85. I take Effexor for clinical depression + Lamictal + Keppra.

    I realize no two people are alike, but that my magical med mix!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 7, 2013 @ 11:18 AM

  86. they put my husband on Keppra as a result of slight seizure after a bout with bacterial menigitis . Even while he hasnt had any major seizures he is not the same person and I feel hopeless to change it. he needs it to control any seizures he might get but his personality is totally not him. I cry a lot pray a lot and generally feel hopeless as to what to do. hes mean aggressive everything this nice person always was. I sometimes feel as if I should stay in bed as there is nothing to get up for. So depressed am I


    Comment by peg cheeseman — June 13, 2013 @ 11:52 AM

  87. First of all Peggy, you’re not a member of the “club” until you’ve had two seizures.

    Has your husband had diagnostic testing?

    Beyond EEGs…Diagnostic Tools for Epilepsy


    What’s the reason for Keppra? There are a zillion other meds out there.

    I think you should pay your doc a visit…PREPARED with your questions.

    Secrets to Better Care from Your Doctor


    This sounds horrid and unnecessary. There’s no reason your husband (and you) should have to live like this.

    And if all else fails, perhaps you should get a second opinion or change docs.

    2013 Comprehensive List of GOOD Neurologists…Epileptologists…Neurosurgeons…and Pediatric Doctors


    It’s a compilation by website forum members who have had positive personal experiences with docs over the years.

    Perhaps this can help. Good luck.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 13, 2013 @ 1:54 PM

    • yes he has had more then 2 seizures and yes my daughter and I have talked to the dr. we came away with the knowledge that since he has to be on something for the rest of his life this was the best med out there for him . just dont know what to do, but am so unhappy. thanks for listening


      Comment by peg cheeseman — June 14, 2013 @ 8:35 AM

  88. Keppra DOESN’T have to be that only “something” that works for him or “saves” him!

    Try another drug. Your choice is endless.

    (I personally think this doctor is being lazy. Take a band-aide, patch it up.)

    Has your husband had the diagnostic tests I mentioned above?

    Just don’t take the doc’s word on it on blind faith…



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 14, 2013 @ 11:36 AM

  89. I can only speak of my experience with Keppra. It was terrible, it increased the frequency & intensity of my seizures. I was never suicidal however, I felt all of the other negative side-effects. A Neurosurgeon was enraged to hear I had been prescribed & demanded to know who did it.1 year later I am working again & just taking Epanutin ( my old med) twice a day. Keppra is a wonder drug for many, a nightmare for others. If you were fixing a car or, getting some building work done you wouldn’t just get 1 quotation.Always get a second opinion. You only have one brain. Don’t be a guinea pig. If a cure existed we’d all be cured. The experts still don’t know why seizures occur. Check out the list of famous epileptics, some of the most iconic figures in history.Just because they wear a white coat doesn’t make them smarter than; Isaac Newton, Thomas Edison, Aristotle, Charles Dickens, Leonardo Da Vinci. The list is 100’s long. Take care


    Comment by Josh Garrett — June 18, 2013 @ 8:23 PM

  90. I take 750 mg of Keppra twice a day. Last Saturday I forgot to take my morning dose. This also happened a year ago and I had a seizure. So, when I discovered that I had missed te morning dose later that evening, I took my normal amount (750 mg) plus an extra half dose (375 mg). The next morning I did the same just to be sure my blood level was theraputic. Since then I have felt toxic (dizzy, poor balance, headache, fatigue, foggy headed). Has anyone else experienced this (or something similar)? Does the blood level eventually “self correct” after a few days, or did you find that you needed to reduce a little before going back on your normal dose? This is a little scary and very annoying. Oh, I came up with a way to avoid this in the future…I attach my tooth brush to my pill box using rubber bands. Whatever works, eh.


    Comment by Tom — June 19, 2013 @ 1:11 AM

  91. Its best that you only take your normal amount if you have missed a dose. Not extra especially if its close to time to take your next dose cause that can really throw your levels off. I’ve had that happen to me a few times and my doctor just told me to skip the missed dose and go back to my regular schedule if was close to taking my next dose. If was just a few hours off then it was ok to take my missed dose but not real close to the next dose time.. Hope this help you out.


    Comment by Corina — June 19, 2013 @ 10:34 AM

  92. Corina’s completely right.

    There will still be a enough of the med in your blood stream to carry you through.

    The same thing happened to me with Buspirone.

    I was out of it for 3 days because the insurance company would not “honor” my “early” request.

    In a panic, I asked my pharmacist whether I should slowly titrate up and he explain why it wasn’t necessary.

    If you’re still uncomfortable, call your pharmacist. He knows more than you think!

    Plus, it’s a free consultation!

    Why Your Pharmacist is Your Best Friend


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 19, 2013 @ 10:53 AM

    • Thanks for your feedback. Now, what to do about it since I’m still feeling side effects in the afternoon hours. Any suggestions?


      Comment by Tom — June 19, 2013 @ 7:12 PM

  93. Either call your pharmacist or ride it out. You’re probably a little bit “over dosed”!

    Hope you’re feeling better soon!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 19, 2013 @ 9:32 PM

  94. My name is elijah green it is my first time on keppra and right now i am sleepy week sometimes headace most of the day i had a grand mole seizuer first one dont feel like i am going to hert myself or nobody eles thinking is slow and on insulin fist time i walked in the hospitel i was1375 no joke it was in fargo north dakota i just thank god i am still alive


    Comment by elijah green — June 20, 2013 @ 2:20 PM

  95. I’m sorry that you’ve gone through so much suffering. but I am happy that you’re still alive also!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 20, 2013 @ 2:26 PM

  96. My boyfriend was in a serious motorcycle accident and had cranatomy surgery. He is recovery extremely fast but his main struggle is aphasia, his speech. I’ve been doing research on the drugs he takes. He is on 3 different seizure meds right now, keppra, devokote, and I’m not sure the name of the other one but its taken in 3 little white pills. He takes all these twice a day. He has never had a history of seizures before his accident. He has only experience 3 seizures in the past 3 months. I feel like he is on too many meds, he is always tired and cranky. He can be in a good mood and you do one thing wrong and he snaps, depression, and also suicidal comments. It’s hard to know ex actly how he feels on these drugs because of his aphasia but to me he doesn’t seem very happy. It’s hard to be around him sometimes cause he is so mean and there is no reasoning with him. This is not like him at all. He’s normally very outgoing, loving, and easygoing. It’s hard to say its keppra since he’s on two other meds but I believe he is having the horrible side affects! I want him off these meds! 😦
    We have been together for 5 years and I am only 21, I just want my boyfriend back!


    Comment by Paige — July 5, 2013 @ 12:14 PM

    • I would try to keep a diary of when he takes his Keppra and the behavior following it.

      Then take it to his doc.

      It could most likely be the Keppra.

      But, since it’s difficult for him to communicate, you have to be the observer.

      Then ask the doc if there’s an alternative med he could take, citing your observations.

      Keppra seems to be the first line of prescribing these days.

      But that doesn’t mean there aren’t many other options available also.

      And you know, in a way, your suffering may contribute to his anger and outbursts. Frustration, you know?

      Who’s to say? But for your own sanity, you have to get this problem fixed.

      Here’s an article you might want to read before you go to the doc:

      Secrets to Better Care from Your Doctor


      Good luck…


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 5, 2013 @ 4:31 PM

  97. I am on Keppra xr due to having 8 seizures. I absolutely hate it. I feel
    Drunk all the time. I have muscle spasms and twitches all day, I itch, grind my teeth and my gums are swollen, I’m uncoordinated and have vertigo, pressure around my eyes and ears, my throat feels scratchy and its harder to swallow, I have headaches, anxiety, no strength, can’t function, my memory is horrible, I’m an emotional wreck and cry a lot, very depressed and frustrated, I have a constant shake, disoriented strain to urinate, extremely constipated, very thirsty, no strength in my arms at all, and sharp pains in them and in my arm pits…my heart feels like it beats real fast and has pressure behind it, my hands go numb, left arm tingles, My doctor ignores everything I tell him and just says that’s part of the side effects. I honestly would rather die than feel like this… I just don’t know what to do. Any suggestions????


    Comment by Kristi Hoggatt — July 11, 2013 @ 4:20 PM

    • Kristi,

      Why don’t you start by writing a daily diary of your feelings, symptoms and reactions.

      Then write up a list of questions/issues for your doctor. Most important ones first because who knows how much you’ll have.

      BE prepared!

      Secrets to Better Care from Your Doctor


      And insist on an alternative. There are zillions of meds on the market and there’s no reason you shoud suffer.

      If you don’t have a good relationship with this doctor or you feel he’s not listening to you, then seek a second opinion. You’ve got nothing to lose.

      Please let me know how it works out Kristi. Best of luck to you…


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 12, 2013 @ 6:19 PM

  98. My lil boy is on keppra wit the vitamin pyradoxine and lamictal since starting the keppra he is not the same child e is aggressive and tuned out he is ony 5 shud I ask doctor to take him of this


    Comment by nicola — July 16, 2013 @ 4:42 PM

  99. Definitely. Try to keep a diary of his behaviors to show to the doctor, so he/she knows what’s going on.

    There are zillions of other meds on the market, and there’s no reason why your son should suffer.

    Many times Keppra is the first course of action — because it “works”. But as you can see, it doesn’t work for everyone.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 16, 2013 @ 5:10 PM

  100. Found this article which I felt like had relevance to me. Unable to read it all though… Ever heard of anything like this with Keppra?



    Comment by Doug — July 25, 2013 @ 5:17 PM

  101. PubMed is impossible to read, no less understand.

    But, it’s not just Keppra who’s the culprit.

    Stay tuned. I’ve already written an article on Sex and Epilepsy.

    I just have to edit it and do the formating.

    I’ll try to have it up and published Monday.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 25, 2013 @ 5:36 PM

  102. been taking keppra like for 13 years I am taking a very high dose 1,500 & 1,500 and night……they can’t even raise it even any more. But I never and problems till abut 2 years ago when the very few times I did have a seizure a had a painic attic right after !!! But I do also have bipolar…..


    Comment by Roxanne Olmstead — August 2, 2013 @ 10:43 AM

    • Question…does taking lorazepam affect blood level of keppra (or dilantin)?


      Comment by Tom Waltz — August 3, 2013 @ 11:14 AM

  103. Roxanne, have you had your blood levels checked lately for toxity? (That was a problem I had.)

    Also, Lamical, at it’s highest dose, is both an anti-seizure drug AND an anti-depressant. (Also for bi-polar disorders, when taking a high dose.)


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 2, 2013 @ 11:36 AM

  104. Tom,

    Can Levetiracetam (Keppra) be taken with other medicines?

    “Sometimes one kind of medicine changes the way another kind of medicine works in the body. Taking levetiracetam does not seem to cause this kind of problem. In addition, it does not affect the level of other medicines in the body, and other medicines do not clearly affect levels of levetiracetam.”


    Phenytoin — Dilantin

    After looking at exhausted lists, it seems to indicate that Dilantin does NOT interfere with any drugs you are taking.


    The same goes for Lorazepam (Ativan).


    As for blood levels: Common side effects which often go away are:

    Lorazepam — hypotension, decreased respiratory drive, and cardiac arrhythmias, the risk increases with
    increasingly higher levels of the medication in the blood.


    Levetiracetam — In studies, levetiracetam caused minor changes in blood counts, especially changes in red blood cells and a certain type of white blood cells called neutrophils. This is not expected to cause problems in most people, unless you already have a problem with anemia or other blood disorders.


    Phenytoin can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting.



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 3, 2013 @ 4:04 PM

  105. I have recently started the generic medication of keppra and boy has it done me wrong I’m a ragging phyco! It has caused me so much deppresion and rage and anxiety I can’t even explain! I hate it


    Comment by alisha — August 10, 2013 @ 11:03 PM

  106. Dear Alisha,

    Either dump the meds or dump the doc.

    All docs seem to be resorting to Keppra (generic or not) as the first line of treatment.

    (Personally I woud be loathe to take either.)

    There are 67 other AEDs out there. Why does it have to be Keppra?

    When was the last time you saw your doc?

    Make an appoinment NOW.

    In the meantime, keep a diary of dosage times, effects, and your behavior, etc.

    This, at least, will give him/her an idea of what you’re going through.

    If, after this, a switch is not recommended, demand it. If not after that, seek a second opinon.

    As a last resort, this link might help…

    It’s a compilation by website forum members who have had positive personal experiences with docs over the years.

    2013 Comprehensive List of GOOD Neurologists…Epileptologists…Neurosurgeons…and Pediatric Doctors


    Good luck. And stand your ground!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 10, 2013 @ 11:46 PM

  107. My stepdaughter is ten and is currently on Keppra xr. She apparently missed a few doses when she was out of town and her Mother said the Neuro told her to give an additional increased dosage at a total of 1000 mg in one shot. My question is everything I have read says not to do this, should my husband think about another Neuro? She told us this weekend that they are going to do a Cscan in Jan and if everything checks out she will be off her meds, so i guess it just seems a little much if she may be off of them in Jan. She has complex partial epilepsy


    Comment by Kalli — August 14, 2013 @ 10:46 PM

  108. First of all, has anybody thought of doing blood work to check the drug levels in her bloodstream?

    Take it from what one who knows. When I was on Dilantin 100 years ago, they never thought of that, and I ended up in a coma from toxic levels of the drug.

    I’m not sure about her quitting her drugs (but then again, I’m not a doc), but a second opinion might be a good thing. Because it seems like the advice her neuro is giving is inconsistent.

    I would seek a second opinion and be sure to bring her charts, records, history with you.

    (Or else you’ll be starting from scratch, or shooting in the dark.)

    Here’s a compilation by website forum members who have had positive personal experiences with docs over the years.

    2013 Comprehensive List of GOOD Neurologists…Epileptologists…Neurosurgeons…and Pediatric Doctors


    I hope this helps in some way.

    Let me know…


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 14, 2013 @ 11:46 PM

    • Thank you so much will do 🙂


      Comment by Kalli — August 23, 2013 @ 5:17 PM

  109. After learning that it was the meds including the Keppra that caused the anger ,depression, erritability and other side effects I learned to walk away from issues instead of going off on people. I’m currently in the process of stopping Keppra and we all notice a difference for the better.


    Comment by Tony Murray — August 21, 2013 @ 12:39 AM

    • How are you getting off of it? Are they decreasing your dosage a little at a time? My doctor is scheduling an MRI for me and wants to start taking me off of it as well… The side effects are over whelming and I wouldn’t recommend this medication to anyone…. Just curious what steps your going through to get off of it so I know what to expect..


      Comment by Kristi — August 21, 2013 @ 9:49 AM

    • There also must be some kind of relief in knowing that YOU’RE not “damaged,” Tony. And that the situation CAN be controlled or changed.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 21, 2013 @ 9:53 AM

  110. I took keppra about 7yrs ago and I certainly would not agree with this medication what so ever, the side affects are unbearable and yes it does give you suicide thoughts, I have taken grand mal seizures, I was always a strong person and fighter, but at the age of nearly 50yrs I am getting really tired, knowing that no one can really help the seizures.


    Comment by angela — August 21, 2013 @ 5:12 PM

    • I have to agree I wouldn’t recommend this med to anyone either.. I had them change mine and its time release now. I take it before bedtime and I’ll admit its a lot better now, but still not a big fan!!!!


      Comment by Kristi — August 21, 2013 @ 6:03 PM

  111. Angela, Have you explored other options with your neuro?

    This article may give you some “food for thought”

    From AEDs to Surgery and Beyond…Some Options Explained



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 21, 2013 @ 6:07 PM

  112. I took Keppra for a few months and had no seizures or any physical side effects during this time. I did have a number of mental side effects though. I was irritable, extremely tired for days after a day’s physical activity, easily confused and very forgetful. I also experienced rages where I lost all control and if my son hadn’t been so quick on his feet in getting out of the way I could of done serious harm to him.
    My understanding is that there are a sizable minority of people who get these systems but they are usually quickly detected before any harm is done but the majority benefit from this drug. The medical fraternity need to be much more aware of these side effects and keep a close eye on there patients for the first few months after they first prescribe Keppra and any other of these powerful anti-epilepsy drugs.


    Comment by D Congreve — August 22, 2013 @ 12:51 PM

  113. I couldn’t agree more. But often, the misery occurs unexpectedly, because the warnings, dangers, consequences, etc. have not been disclosed or explained to the patient in full.

    I know, the pills come from the pharmacy with a raft of warning info. About 3 pages long. But honestly, how many people read them?

    Keppra DOES seem to be the first line of treatment these days.

    When I was at a conference in NYC, I asked one of the most famous epileptologists in the world (whom I adore, admire and respect), “Why is everyone in such a hurry to prescribe Keppra?”

    His reply: “Because it works.”

    So there you have it. Take your choice: No seizures and consequences? Or seizures and status-quo?

    Everyone’s chemistry is different and so is their tolerance.

    Many have said they’d rather have the seizures than Keppra. That’s both sad and bad.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 22, 2013 @ 2:31 PM

  114. I have had seizures all my life. Been lucky enough to have been able to raise two beatiful girls. Not lucky enough to escape all the different pills, different side effects, mood swings, behavioral disorders. You name it, i’ve done it. It is now 25 years later, my girls are 24 and 26. I need to know if it is possible for a type of medicine to cause my girls to be sterile. Neither of them can get pregnant, and i feel its my fault.


    Comment by Sandy Pitman — August 23, 2013 @ 1:36 PM

    • I’ve researched for an hour and nowhere does it say that a mother’s AED use affects her childrens’ fertility.

      There are physical malformaties possible, cognitive impairment and other difficulties, but nobody talks about impairment of fertility in either the mother or the children.

      Here’s what the Mayo Clinic had to say and it really does NOT pertain to your situation:

      “Any medication you take during pregnancy can affect your baby.

      Birth defects — including cleft palate, neural tube defects, skeletal abnormalities, and congenital heart and urinary tract defects — are the primary concern with seizure medications.

      In addition, taking certain seizure medications, such as those that contain valproate, or more than one seizure medication during pregnancy can increase the risk that your baby will have impaired cognitive development.

      Valproate products include valproate sodium (Depacon), divalproex sodium (Depakote, Depakote ER) and valproic acid (Depakene, Stavzor).

      Other problems caused by seizure medications might include minor birth defects that affect the baby’s appearance, such as wide-set eyes or a short upper lip — though it isn’t clear whether this is related to the drugs or the disease.”


      Stop beating yourself up.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 23, 2013 @ 3:29 PM

  115. Mechanism of seizure exacerbation by Keppra has been poorly studied.


    Comment by Hisanori Hasegawa, M.D. — August 27, 2013 @ 12:40 PM

  116. I have been on keppra since 2000 I gave birth to a son in 2005. I was also on a zonegran, lovenox, and lopressor my son was diagnosed with mild retardation and adhd just recently. I am feeling so many different emotions from guilt to anger, and plenty more.What do I do from here? Can the makers of keppra be held accountable or other drug makers? I am so confused!


    Comment by Jodi — August 28, 2013 @ 9:13 PM

    • Jodi, the person(s) at fault here are your neuro and / or your GYN.

      According to the Epilepsy Foundation, mothers taking seizure medication, risk birth defects of 4 to 8 percent — compared with 2 to 3 percent for all babies.

      Not much of a difference.

      But the risk seems to be highest when multiple seizure medications are taken.

      Yet, without medication, uncontrolled seizures may deprive the baby of oxygen.

      So, it’s important, as you know, to get the right balance.

      There are no anti-seizure drugs that are 100 per cent without risk of causing birth defects.

      But some anti-seizure medications appear to be more dangerous than others and your doctor may be able to avoid prescribing them.
      Here’s what doctors know so far:

      * Depakote and Depakene seem to carry the highest risk of damage to the baby, particularly neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.

      * Phenobarbital or Depakote during pregnancy may affect future intelligence of the child, but this can occur with other AEDs as well.

      * Dilantin (Phenytoin) and barbiturates can cause cleft lip or palate, or other skull, face, or heart malformations.

      * Depakote (Valproic Acid) and, to a smaller extent Tegretol (Carbamazepine and Carbatrol), are linked to open spine problems.

      * Tegretol can also cause “minor defects,” such as fingernail malformations, or mild facial feature distortions, that often resolve by age five years.

      * Lamictal can also cause breakthrough seizures during pregnancy. That’s because metabolism of Lamictal – as well as other antiepileptic drugs — increases during pregnancy. This can cause a drop in the level of anti-seizure medication in your system. If that level gets too low, you could have a seizure. But if your doctor prescribes a higher dose of Lamictal to make sure that you don’t have breakthrough seizures, there could be a higher risk of damage to your baby.

      So it’s a delicate balance.

      The best rule is to use the single medicine that is most effective in treating your seizures, but with some bias toward the newer FDA category C antiepileptic drugs such as: Neurontin, Topamax, Zonegran, Trileptal, Lyrica, Vimpat and Keppra.

      Sigh. If you were on a cocktail of different meds, that’s not your fault. It’s the doctor’s ignorance or poor judgement.

      So, please don’t beat yourself up about it. And try to find a child developmental specialist.

      Your pediatrician will probably to able to help guide you.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 29, 2013 @ 4:32 PM

  117. I have been on keppra for a week now. . Im very irritated and angry tired restless and uncoordinated. . But in the last two nights I have had very disturbing dreams of suicide. .I don’t know if I want to do what the neurologist wants me to do as I’m on 750 mg right now and he wants me to be on 1500 mgs by next week.I have de ja vu moments dont know what day it is dont know where I am most the time .I was on Dilatin and it wasnt absorbing correctly..I’m just tired of all the side effects. . Please help.


    Comment by Angel — August 29, 2013 @ 10:50 AM

    • Angel, I don’t mean to be negative or disrespectful, but if you’re feeeling this way after one week…it is NOT good news.

      Call your neuro immediately and tell him/her about your reactions and how you’re feeling.

      Demand (not “ask”) for a change of meds or else dump the doc.

      There are too many anti-epilepsy drugs out there and too many good docs for you to suffer like this.

      This link may help. It’s a compilation by website forum members who have had positive personal experiences with docs over the years.

      2013 Comprehensive List of GOOD Neurologists…Epileptologists…Neurosurgeons…and Pediatric Doctors


      I sincerely hope this helps.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 29, 2013 @ 4:55 PM

    • I’m not Phyllis but that does not sound at all good! Deja vu events are actually a form of seizure according to my neurologist. I would call yours asap.


      Comment by Jeanne Adams — August 29, 2013 @ 4:57 PM

  118. I tried speaking with the jerk yesterday but he refused to listen out speak with me. . Im not happy with his manner and he knows this. . And he is the only nuero here in my county that accepts my workman comp since the seizures are caused by a mix of chemicals I use at work the chemicals have fried my brain. . The only thing that was told to me was that he didnt want me off the keppra because he feared for my life. . Well as do I with what all is goin on. I keep fighting with myself since I still have dialarin left to go back to it but I fear a seizure since they happen in the early morning while I was on dialatin and it caused ovarien cysts that at the age of 28 I’m goin to have to have a hysterectomy. . Which im not to happy about goin under a knife ..I appreciate u and the knowledge you have given me can we please continue to talk email me @ vallie_vallie@Yahoo. Com


    Comment by Angel — August 31, 2013 @ 10:27 PM

    • On Aug, 26, 2013: 17,926 people reported to have side effects when taking Keppra. Among them, 32 people (0.18%) had Ovarian Cysts.


      After an hour of research, I could find nothing that indicated that Dilantin causes ovarian cysts.

      And this is information you probably already know…

      According to a study published in the esteemed medical journal Neurology, younger women who are taking the popular anti-seizure medication Dilantin are eight times more likely to develop significant bone loss, including osteoporosis, compared to other pre-menopausal women who do not take Dilantin, or the generic phenytoin.

      According to one doctor involved in the study, the effects of Dilantin on bone health were surprising.

      He also noted that the rate at which Dilantin causes bone loss is significant and that more patients and doctors should be aware of this serious possible risk.

      The study found that women taking Dilantin experienced a loss of 2.6 percent of their bone mineral density in one year, with the greatest loss occurring to the femoral neck of the hip bone.



      In most other cases, a hysterectomy is an elective procedure.

      The operation is done to improve the quality of life: to relieve pain, heavy bleeding or other chronic conditions and discomfort.

      There may be other ways of treating or dealing with these problems.

      Together with your doctor you should weigh all the alternatives and effects of the different choices to help you decide what is right for you.

      Ask Your Doctor

      •Why do I need to have a hysterectomy?
      •What organ or organs will be removed and why?
      •Will my ovaries be left in place? If not, why?
      •Will my cervix be removed? If so, why?
      •Are there alternatives for me besides a hysterectomy?
      •What are the advantages, risks, benefits of each?
      •What will be the physical effects of a hysterectomy?
      •Are these permanent?
      •What will happen to my figure, my weight, my breasts?
      •How will it affect my sex life?
      •Will I experience menopause (change of life)? Can the symptoms of menopause be treated? What are the risks and benefits of such treatment?
      •Will the operation be a vaginal or abdominal hysterectomy? And why?
      •What can I expect in the hospital? pre-operative procedures? length of stay? anesthesia? infection? transfusion? urinary catheter?
      •What kind of care will I need after my hysterectomy?
      •How should I prepare for coming home from the hospital?
      •How soon can I go back to work? Try heavy housework?
      •When can I resume sexual activity?


      I hope this has been helpful…


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 1, 2013 @ 2:53 PM

      • the gyno that i went to said that it was a big factor in the cysts because of the other chemicals that i work with (such as ND 66 strong plumbers acid that is bad enough that it ate threw a pair of my jeans while i was trying to clean out a building line..i work maintenance at a apartment complex and have to be licensed to use some of the chemicals so i take precautions but the night that it ate threw my pants i just didnt take enough) so im not blaming it all on the dialatin but its a possibility is of the mixture is what my gyno is saying.. she really doesnt want to do the surgery because of my age and she has decided that its a last ditch effort to keep me from being in pain… she has done all she can and there are only two things that were different when the cysts started the medication and the chemical..we have gone over all of the questions above i cover everything for fear of ending up like my mother.. they will remove everything.. i know all the side effects that could happen i’m just tired of being in pain and the keppra has also mind me ultra sensitive im in more pain now then i was when i took the dialatin.. im probably rambling and i apologize for that this is just much easier to talk about face to face then it is with me typing and listening to my three year old act a fool and run around.. at this moment though he and my husband are the ones that are keeping me from goin completely crazy.. they are my world 🙂


        Comment by angel — September 1, 2013 @ 8:02 PM

  119. Just saw this article on Keppra and testosterone for men.


    Long and short of it is it says testosterone and free testosterone INCREASE in men on Keppra.

    This is the opposite of what has been going on with me, so now I’m even more confused whether Keppra is the problem or if this is some leftover effect of Dilantin.. or if I should switch back to Dilantin or not?!?


    Comment by Doug — September 1, 2013 @ 12:54 AM

  120. Angel, your problem sounds two pronged.

    First of all, your job definitely seems hazardous to your health in a MAJOR way. Can you find another? ( I know, easier said than done.)

    As for your meds, why can’t you find some other therapy?

    Keppra and Dilantin are not the only meds in the world.

    And there is no reason you should suffer so.

    But, I feel strongly that your job is a major cotributor to your problems.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 2, 2013 @ 11:35 AM

    • I agree with Phylis…your job might be more of a contributor to your problem than you can imagine. After five years of hell at mine (and tonic clonic seizures for the first time in 25 years), I left my job for a lower paying job. I’m happier and healthier; and I’m on keppra anb dilantin. Good luck to you, you’re in my prayers.


      Comment by Tom Waltz — September 3, 2013 @ 12:46 AM

    • Angel If those meds aren’t helping you could you ask your doctor if you could try Banzel or Peganone. I know each med works different in everybody. Like others have said some meds might work for them but different in others. I know over years I had to try different ones before one did finally work for me. I hope this can help you out.


      Comment by Corina — September 3, 2013 @ 10:37 AM

  121. I can’t leave my job my home and everything I have is connected to it. . Management is trying to get me trained for office manager. . The company wants everyone to start at the bottom and workup.. which when I started I was 16 so ive been here for awhile. . But due to the workman comp I had to stop training.. They are very worried about my health and so am I.. as for the meds the drs don’t listen to me They are being paid by work comp. . Im tired of all this. . Today hahas been worse then any other day. . The pain is so intense..I feel like I’m goin to have a seizure. .I just want it to stop.


    Comment by Angel — September 2, 2013 @ 6:33 PM

  122. Well office manager would be a great improvement.

    Why don’t you talk to your boss about it?

    According to the ADA: A new position should be equal in pay and status to your original position, or as close as possible if no equivalent position is available.

    The new position does not have to be a promotion, although you should have the right to compete for promotions just like other employees.

    Title I of the ADA provides that people with disabilities cannot be excluded from employment unless they are unable to perform the essential requirements of the job.

    An employer may not discriminate in:
    Recruitment, advertising, and job application procedures…

    Hiring, upgrading, promotion, demotion, tenure, transfer, layoff, termination, return from layoff, and rehiring…

    Rates of pay or other compensation and changes in compensation…

    Job assignment, job classification, position descriptions, lines of progression, structures and seniority lists…

    Leaves of absence, sick leave, or other leave…

    Fringe benefits, whether or not administered by the employer…

    Selection and financial support for training, including apprenticeships, professional meetings, conferences and other related activities, and selection for leaves of absence to pursue training…

    Also, you can potentially get something from your doctor that says that if you are feeling ill or what have you, you can take off with no repercussions for you. Its called an intermittent leave of absence.



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 2, 2013 @ 7:37 PM

    • At this moment I’ve talked with everyone and they are trying. .I have a nuero app tomorrow and I will be having a nice one sided conversation with the dr. . Well as nice as I can be. When people dont listen I become a bit testy. .I really appreciate all of the advice. I just don’t want to leave the company and since the Desk job is open im gonna take it as soon as everyone releases me from this nightmare. I just know that I’m no longer capable of performing my original jobs tasks. . Is scary to think what could happen if im running a retrival machine and have a seizure I could lose a limb or worse yet be killed. . Im not taking that chance


      Comment by Angel — September 4, 2013 @ 12:54 PM

  123. Well, I could sure see why you’re testy. I wouldn’t even be that restrained!

    Here’s a little advice that might (or might not) help you on Thursday…

    Secrets to Better Care from Your Doctor


    And here’s a wonder “ode” that my friend Sally wrote…

    Ode to a Doctor’s Visit…


    I think you’ll appreciate the wisdom in Sally’s piece!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 4, 2013 @ 7:15 PM

  124. I believe that in severe reaction cases like mine and others i have read are a case of Misdiagnoses in the types of Seizures and causes of them by Doctors that are not as experienced in Neurology than others. In my case I have Multiple Seizure disorder as well as Peripheral Neuropathy and was sent to 2 separate Neurologist.One to treat my Seizures and the other the Neuropathy. I was placed on Keppra after the Gabapentin I was prescribed caused my seizures to spike. Though I was never diagnosed with Epilepsy I was still prescribed Keppra. Both drugs vertually have the same worsened side effects so I was not only having much worse Siezures but violent reactions, severe depression and much much more side effects that have nearly ruined my health and life. Along side the Gabapentin these two drugs have made my life and that of my families a living hell. I’m off of the Gabapentin now and am weaning myself off the Keppra slowly so I don;t throw myself into more seizures as I fear they may cause irreversible brain damage or a stroke or Heart failure. ( As I already have Afib and Heart failure these drugs should have never been prescribed to me. I cannot speak for anyone else, but I do know what has happened to me. My life and world have been turned upside down as a result of this drug. And unless you are relatively healthy, actually do have Epilepsy I would not take this drug..Worst part, I had to find this information myself and in the process I found a New and more experienced Neurologist. Best of luck to everyone..


    Comment by Martha Merson — September 6, 2013 @ 2:34 AM

  125. WHY did they give you Keppra, knowing you were taking Gabapentin? (I guess you wish you knew, too.)

    Why did you have to go to two docs? Wasn’t one competent enough to understand your problem?

    It certainly doesn’t seem the right hand was talking to the left hand.

    Did they ever communicate? Did ANYONE do their homework?

    Even your pharmacist could have picked up on the drug interactions.

    I’m so sorry for all you’ve been through.

    I’m sorry that you were an unwitting victim of their ignorance.

    But I sure am happy you survived all this. (No credit to them!)

    And one suggestion: send each one of them a copy of the Merk Manual!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 6, 2013 @ 9:15 AM

  126. I read this line from Mayo Clinic site about Keppra side effects: “Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.”

    Do you think they just mean talk to your doctor and see what he thinks or do they mean if you have side effects listed after that sentence it is very bad and you must immediately see a doctor? Reason I ask is I had several on the list, and I’ve told my doc about it, but he doesn’t think the ones I have are all that serious. Things like, poor sleep, muscle weakness and fatigue, poor memory, lack of personality, etc.


    Comment by Doug — October 22, 2013 @ 11:46 AM

    • Well, HE might not think it’s that serious, but it’s YOUR body.

      On the other hand, many side-effects are often listed to CYA.

      The personality issue is a real deal breaker though, in my humble opinion.

      Perhaps you should seek a second opinion?

      Although in my experience, most doctors think Keppra is the berries.

      Even my “hero” Orrin Devinsky, when I confronted him about it. 😦


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 22, 2013 @ 1:34 PM

  127. Ive just had Keppra prescribed. I work swing shift, 2pm to 1030pm, I’m trying to decide the best times to take it, which is twice a day-500mg each dose to start progressively up to 1500 in two months. Would I feel the side effects more right after taking or in a few hours? Do the side effects stay with you once you are on the drug or do they diminish before you take your next does?


    Comment by Julie Mayer — October 22, 2013 @ 1:12 PM

  128. I’m sorry Julie, but that’s something you’ll have to ask your doc.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 22, 2013 @ 1:15 PM

    • I’m not asking what the side effects are, I’m simply asking those who have used it what their experiences are so I can try and decide what times will maybe work best for me. The doctor only says to take it twice a day, like morning and night, which for me is a little different. I’m mostly just hoping to avoid being the most tired while at work. If anyone has experiences they’re willing to share, I’d appreciate the feedback. thank you.


      Comment by Julie Mayer — October 22, 2013 @ 1:23 PM

      • Julie, in my experience it makes you tired regardless. It may ease up and not be as bad a few months in, but I am generally always fatigued and weak feeling.

        I’d just take it morning and night like directed, as I don’t think the tired feeling will really wear off.


        Comment by Doug — October 22, 2013 @ 3:44 PM

      • Julia I know I have been on Keppra for awhile now like 3 years and I don’t get sleepy like you said you do. It might be that my body is used to it.I do hope you can figure it out so it doesn’t mess up your schedule.


        Comment by Corina — October 23, 2013 @ 12:52 PM

      • Julie,

        I’m in the waiting room to have my blood drawn for keppra level. I can tell it’s high because of extreme sleepyness. My doc has been working with me to reduce my doseage. I’ve been on keppra for six years.


        Comment by Tom Waltz — October 23, 2013 @ 2:13 PM

      • Thanks for the replies. This is all new to me and I appreciate hearing what experiences others have had.


        Comment by Julie Mayer — October 27, 2013 @ 2:12 AM

  129. How serious is muscle weakness and fatigue when taking keppra? I ask because if you look on any website (drugs.com, mayo, etc) it says “Check with your doctor IMMEDIATELY if you experience any of the following effects..” It then goes on to list muscle weaknees, fatigue, stiffness, and other stuff.

    I have of course mentioned this multiple times to my doc, but he never acts like this is all that serious. But to my mind, this seems to be getting slightly worse. I exercise alot and I can tell a difference.

    I’ve seen two other neuros and they act like its not big deal as well.

    Anyone have thoughts?


    Comment by Doug — October 26, 2013 @ 7:05 PM

    • It could be the effect of taking the drugs over time or just plain old aching joints!

      In other words, the redundancy of using those muscles so much could be causing fatigue, wear and tear, or flare-ups.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 27, 2013 @ 11:11 AM

  130. I would try varying your exercise routine if you have not already done so. Use the same level of exertion but emphasize different body parts. If the muscle weakness moves to the new groups you know it is the workout. Good luck!


    Comment by Jeanne Adams — October 28, 2013 @ 12:51 PM

  131. GREAT idea Jeanne!

    Thank you…


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 28, 2013 @ 3:02 PM

    • Thanks, you were the inspiration! 🙂


      Comment by Jeanne Adams — October 28, 2013 @ 7:33 PM

  132. I have been on the generic form of Keppra for roughly 5 weeks due to an increase in my seizure activity. It has reduced my seizures but yesterday I had what I thought was a seizure and my family said it was more like a catatonic episode. I could hear what they were saying but could not respond. I could feel tears running down my face and neck but could not wipe them away. I am terrified now . Help!


    Comment by Suzanne McDonald — October 30, 2013 @ 11:28 AM

  133. Suzanne, it could have been the change to the generic form of Keppra.

    Write down in detail (or have your family write it down) exactly what happened and call your neuro.

    It could be the generic change. If so, have him write a new script with the “Do not substitute box checked”.

    Prevent Medication Changes…


    I hope this helps.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 30, 2013 @ 1:26 PM

  134. I had a brain tumor the size of a large orange removed in january of 2011. I was weaned off keppra in january of 2011. Then in march 2012 I had a grand mal seizure while in the passenger seat of a car. I fractured my back from the car to the emergency room of the local hospital. I am now back on keppra 1500mg. I am seizure free for Over 20 months. I do not like the side effects of keppra but I am told I will be on keppra for the rest of my life. Any ideas or alternatives. Seizures are very scary. I was talking with the driver and began to stutter and then lights out.


    Comment by Rich hansen — November 11, 2013 @ 2:25 PM

  135. I should correct I was weaned off keppra January of 2012.


    Comment by Rich hansen — November 11, 2013 @ 2:30 PM

  136. I have been told that all seizures are epelipsy related?
    Has anyone out there had too much keppra in there blood stream?


    Comment by Rich hansen — November 11, 2013 @ 2:34 PM

    • Seizures can be caused by Head Injury, Stroke, Brain Tumors, Degenerative Diseases, Metabolic Disturbances…

      See: Possible Causes for Epilepsy and Seizures


      Conditions Commonly Misdiagnosed as Epilepsy


      You should have your blood levels checked regularly, to make sure the levels of whatever meds you’re taking are working properly in your system, also.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 11, 2013 @ 2:53 PM

    • Yeah every now and then I will have to skip a dose cause I will have to much in my system and I will feel really drug up and I don’t like that feeling and when its time for my next dose I’m back to normal.


      Comment by Corina — November 12, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

      • Good for you Corina!

        You’re doing exactly the right thing, having your blood checked regularly.

        (I just did it last week!)


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 12, 2013 @ 10:45 AM

      • I have only had my blood checked for keppra once about 2 years ago. I have not had a seizure since the grand mal march of 2012. I have an MRI scheduled for Thursday. I have a bad cold and cough so I am wondering if I should re schedule the MRI. They take 600 slices and I cannot move or cough.


        Comment by Rich hansen — November 12, 2013 @ 11:42 AM

  137. Rich,

    Are you back on Keppra? (There certainly are a skillion alternatives and add-ons to help with the side-effects.)

    Are you having seizures now?

    What meds are you taking?

    What are the side-effects?


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 11, 2013 @ 2:47 PM

  138. Rich,

    I think you need to be a little more pro-active about the blood tests.

    On the other hand, I agree, perhaps you should reschedule the MRI. (Mine is Thursday!)

    Why don’t you call and see what your neuro or his PA thinks.

    It’s too serious a test to decide for yourself…

    In either case, good luck!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 12, 2013 @ 6:40 PM

    • Phylis, docs will tell you that keppra is a drug that doesnt get blood levels checked. My doc never checks keppra blood levels in me.


      Comment by Doug — November 19, 2013 @ 5:08 AM

  139. Mayo Clinic and NYU both say you only need to have your blood levels checked if you are pregnant or your dose suddenly changes. (That’s sort of obvious for any med.)

    YAY! One less stick of the needle. THANK YOU DOUG!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 19, 2013 @ 8:25 AM

    • Also a note to Rich: Not only does what Doug said is true, but the MRI was a breeze. I just had one yesterday.

      Where did you get the 600 “slices” from? Did mean “slides”? Maybe you should consider an “open” MRI?


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 19, 2013 @ 8:31 AM

  140. Hi, I only had two grand-mal seizures so far (thank god), one in January (that ended up in hospital and a traumatic brain injury caused by a fall) and one in March. After the last one, the Doctors said it’s epilepsy and I started taking a generic of Keppra. Many months my daily dose was 2x 750mg. I haven’t had any seizures and besides some smaller concentration problems and fatigue it was okay. In October my doctor said I needed to take 2x 1000mg because of my blood results. Two weeks after I started taking the higher dose end of October), I suffered (and still do) from dizziness 24/7 (especially when I turn my head) and caused by that sometimes loss of balance, concentration problems (my boss tries to understand but it’s really hard), I’m always tired and exhausted, I barely hear my alarm clock in the morning, I barely have any appetite (hunger became the most annoying thing to me)… I talked to my neurologist especially about the dizziness and gave me a prescription for physiotherapy because “maybe it’s my upper spine”. She didn’t really said anything about my other problems and I was too baffled to fight more…She said I should call her after I did physiotherapy (10 hours I guess) and if it didn’t get better. Well, I guess that’s what I need to do know, I guess….? This is all very new to me and..I’m so tired because of course it’s not my nape. I feel like no one takes me seriously, not my doctor or people at work or my boss. I’m glad that I’m in therapie for two years now (started because of a depression) so at least I’m not all alone with the stress right now. I don’t really have friends at my side or family living nearby and that starts to suck.
    Sorry for the messy post, it’s hard to find any German site about Keppra and I’m so glad right now I found this site.


    Comment by Lisa — December 19, 2013 @ 6:34 AM

  141. Hi Lisa,

    Some ideas:

    Instead of having your Keppra doubled, can you just titrate down to 1.5 of what you were taking?

    Try to keep a daily seizure diary for each day: how you’re sleeping, any events of the day (good or bad), how you feel before a seizure (auras? triggers?) when you have seizures and, if you can, the duration of the seizures.

    That way he’ll have of clearer idea of what you’re going through.

    I had a serious falling problem. And lots of concussions as a result.

    I took physical therapy for about a year and it worked great for balance. (I can even go up and down the stairs, without falling!)

    As for therapy and depression, I’ve been seeing a psychiatrist for years.

    I take Effexor which has been great. No side-effects, no felling “dumbed” down, no confusion, no sleepless nights.

    It’s made a world of difference for me.

    Here’s a link that might help with your doctor’s visits:

    Secrets to Better Care from Your Doctor


    I hope this helps…


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — December 19, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

  142. I have a friend with a 7 year old on Keppra oral 4 ml twice a day and is he is still having seizures. She takes the child to the emergency room but no follow up is ever done. She is very confused and when she called the clinic where his regular doctor is for an appointment they said they were very busy and gave her an appointment 4 months from now. The weekly seizures continue. .The child is not seen regularly . How often should a child be seen at his doctors office to discuss on going treatment and shouldn’t they be will to see him right away when he lands up in an emergency room because he is feeling weak, dizzy and had 4 seizures that afternoon?. .


    Comment by Mary Eichler — December 21, 2013 @ 1:51 AM

  143. Mary, I would say “yes” and “yes”.

    If the doctor isn’t even responsive to numerous ER visits and doesn’t have the interest or the time, it’s time to move on.

    Here’s a link that may help. It’s a compilation by website forum members who have had positive personal experiences with docs over the years.

    2013 Comprehensive List of GOOD Neurologists…Epileptologists…Neurosurgeons…and Pediatric Doctors


    Also, this link may help also:

    Secrets to Better Care from Your Doctor


    In addition, it might be helpful to start a daily seizure diary, noting sleep patterns, what he eats, activities (good or bad) during the day (auras? triggers?), the times of seizures and duration.

    The new doc might have a better idea of what’s going on.

    Also, be sure to bring all of records with you, so the neuro has a clear picture of previous events, tests, treatments, etc.

    I hope this helps your friend…


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — December 21, 2013 @ 10:25 AM

  144. I enjoy reading through an article that will make people think.
    Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!


    Comment by casino — December 30, 2013 @ 5:49 AM

  145. Hi,
    my son (4years old) is on Keppra from last 4month and last month we went for EEG and doc said reports are great. after 2weeks again doc ask us to go for another Blood test and after that we got call from doc saying that keppra level is low so they want to increase the dose. i dont understand what does it mean if EEG report say things are better than doc is suppose to reduce the dose that what i know. but in this case she want to increase the dose . can anybody explain me what it means?
    thanks in advance


    Comment by kavya — December 30, 2013 @ 10:51 PM

    • Blood tests are far more reliable in measuring blood levels of the med in the system.

      In fact, the same thing happened to me.

      My EEG was normal, but after blood test results came in, I had to titrate up to almost DOUBLE the dose of my meds.

      So, you’re going in the right direction!


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — December 31, 2013 @ 3:02 PM

  146. Hello My neurologist put me on Keppra (500mg/x2 a day) . The thing is I’m not epileptic. I’ve had a seizure once when i was 6-7 and another this past November. Now 17, so ten years later i have another one. Full seizures not ones that last 1-2 minutes. Even though its been a big gap between the two seizures I got fainting spells like clock work (before keppra). Literally the color draining out of me and i melt to the ground. Now that I’m on Keppra for about 5-6 weeks now, I feel life-less, im usually the life of the party. I had depression before taking keppra and it just worsened it, i have suicidal thoughts almost everyday i’d say 4-5 times a week. Also, i feel angry 80% the time. I dont have the drive to do anything im in my bed always and I’m always always feeling cold. Do you think i should quit the medicine?? Any advice or recommendations, or even relatables?


    Comment by Deja tolbert — January 3, 2014 @ 4:16 PM

  147. Deja, isn’t that a bit radical?

    (Although, for some reason, Keppra seems to be the current drug of choice for doctors. I don’t know why.)

    There are a zillion meds out there.

    For example, I’m on Lamictal and my seizures are under control. (Of course that wouldn’t mean it would work the same for you.)

    Call your doc and tell him you can’t tolerate the Keppra. Side-effects, etc. and demand to be put on a different drug.

    In the meantime, try to keep a daily diary of sleep habits, events of the day (good or bad), your feelings, including — how you feel prior to a seizure and if you can — the number and duration of the seizures, plus how you feel afterwards.

    Meanwhile, before your visit, be PREPARED.

    Here’s a link that may help:

    Secrets to Better Care from Your Doctor



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 3, 2014 @ 5:08 PM

  148. Just wondering if anyone could offer some info/advice;

    I’m a 27 year old and have been on 500mg of Keppra twice daily for the last 7 years and have had no grand mal seizures whilst on it. I have some myclonic jerks but they don’t cause me any problems. My experience of Keppra has been nothing but positive in controlling my epilepsy.

    I’ve been looking at doing a Very Low Calorie/Total Food Replacement Diet which puts you into ketosis in a bid to lose weight.

    I was just wondering if anyone knows if this would interfere with my epilepsy or medication? From looking online I can see that a Ketogenic diet is often used for controlling epilepsy in children so I’m thinking it would be a plus if anything? But then i have concerns around any interactions it may have with my Keppra.

    If anyone has any input it would be greatly appreciated!



    Comment by Eva — January 3, 2014 @ 6:38 PM

    • Well Eva,

      The The Ketogenic Diet, (which is not just for kids), the Atkins Diet, the Modified Atkins Diet (M.A.D.) and the G.A.R.D (Glutamate-Aspartate Restricted Diet) are all considered seizure fighters.

      For some, they eliminate seizures.

      For others, nada.

      I find the Modified Atkins Diet the most user-friendly. Seizure control and pounds dropped.

      Before you decide to take the leap, I would query your neuro and if the answer is “yes”, and perhaps get the help of a nutritionist for dietary advice (safety) and to get started.

      I doubt any of the three can cause you harm, but then again, I’m not a doc!

      Three Anti-Seizure Diets That Could Change Your Life…



      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 3, 2014 @ 7:52 PM

  149. Keppra is the best seizure medicine I’ve been on. I’ve had to take seizure medicine for 40 years, and just got used to feeling so drugged. I couldn’t believe the difference when was took off Tegretol and put on Keppra (in the hospital) ! My memory got SO MUCH better! My attitude did too. Always have had a attitude ‘what can go wrong, will’ but after being on Keppra it’s totally different. My thinking is more positive. I don’t assume the worse is going to happen like I used to. Instead consider how lucky I am, and to appreciate life. I had a BAD memory before Keppra and just assumed it had to do with the brain surgery I had 20 years ago, so it was quite pleased to find out that it was mainly the Tegretol, because my memory improved so much more after took off Tegretol. Good Luck everyone !!!


    Comment by Rhonda — January 5, 2014 @ 8:47 PM

    • Hi Rhonda I have gone through the same thing you have for the last 24 yrs. I was on lots of different meds before Keppra. My first one was Tegretol and that didn’t help and other ones didn’t help either. I’ve also have gone through a couple surgeries too over the years. plus I have a VNS in me too. I’ve been doing a whole lot better after having that 2nd surgery and I am still on keppra and I have never had any problems with it. And I also take Peganone and Banzil. I don’t know if you have heard of these or not.


      Comment by Corina — January 6, 2014 @ 12:32 PM

      • No. Haven’t heard of Peganone and Banzil. I have been on several different seizure medicines in the past 40 years. Tegretol turned against me after being took for 30 years, had to change then to Keppra. Good switch !!!!


        Comment by buddyrhonda — January 9, 2014 @ 7:43 PM

  150. Bravo Rhonda!

    It’s nice to hear something POSITIVE about Keppra!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 6, 2014 @ 9:28 AM

  151. Well Buddy,

    Whether or not these new drugs are for you — it’s still nice to be informed and know they exist! 🙂


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 9, 2014 @ 7:48 PM

  152. I have to say Keppra was TERRIBLE for me! During the first month my legs hurt so bad that I had to hold the tears in. It’s a kind of leg pain I’ve never had before or since. I don’t know how I got through the period I had the pain, but was so relieved after my body “adjusted” to the medication and it no longer hurt.

    Also, the first month or so I started having intense thoughts of suicide. I have dealt with depression in my past, but never like this!!! My thought process was not, “I want to die because….” but rather, “I want to die.” Veeery strange to have a thought like that with no other feelings/thoughts to go with it.

    Then once I “adjusted” to it, I would go back and fourth on whether it was the medication making me depressed or not, but I tell you, now that I stopped taking that RX I see a world of difference! Even close friends see a difference and I only stopped a week ago.

    Another thing it was doing was making me feel extremely apathetic towards anything I normally was excited about. I would try and be constructive and get things done, but it would come in short bursts at best. The longer I was on the medication, the more I felt like I didn’t care about anything. To the point that I got fired.

    Yes, I feel like I would like to find a career, however, the place I was employed at was my favorite job thusfar. And regardless of the fact that I felt like I needed to find a change, I have mad respect for them and would never have just not cared to go into work even though they kept calling me. I can be quite a heavy sleeper so my (multiple) alarms and the phone calls AND my roommate trying to wake me up are quite hazy, BUT not hazy enough that I wouldn’t have made it to work had I been my normal self.

    Also, I felt very angry about pretty much life in general. Not in a way that I would show it to anyone, but it just made me annoyed and frustrated at things that normally I could just brush off.

    All in all, I would be very careful if you get on this medication. It seems to work really well for some individuals, but for a lot of us it’s a nightmare. I would make sure you’re around people who love and care about you when you first start using this drug and then also anytime you end up having to up the dose. I’m lucky I didn’t end up doing anything stupid while on this med.


    Comment by Anon — January 21, 2014 @ 6:10 AM

  153. This is way old, but:

    I was put on Keppra in February 2009. It was done by an ER staffer after I moved to a new city (complex mix up, having been off meds after losing insurance, being in a hospital in a city in a state I had never lived in before, etc). I was doing so well on it at first, sleeping better than I had ever in my life, that my follow up with my new neurologist led to me staying on it.

    And then I slept more. And more. And more. I was sleeping 14-16 hours a day. And then I had seizures completely without any of my usual triggers. Turns out it can have this effect in people with JME. My doctor and I never made that connection. I’m now on Lamictal.

    In the fall of 2013, my best friend had his first seizure (he is 30, it was very out of the blue), and he was also put on Keppra right off the bat, just like me in the ER. Coming on top of several other not-great life events in the past three years, he became depressed. It wasn’t so unusual, he’d suffered depression before, and it wasn’t hard to understand giving his situation. But then it worsened. Drastically and rapidly. I live halfway around the world from him, so I couldn’t go, but I called my mom and basically put her on standby despite the fact that they don’t even really know one another. I told him he HAD to talk to his doctor about this.

    Yeah, it was the Keppra.

    I get that it works for people, but with such polarized outcomes with use … why is it the go-to? Still? Is it a money thing? Like does the company that creates it pay more than the Lamictal/Zonicimide/whatever people? I don’t get it.


    Comment by darcil — February 16, 2014 @ 9:38 PM

  154. Let’s hear it for Lamictal! I’ve been on it for 5 years and it’s done wonders for me. Seizures controlled!

    At first, the only side-effect was that it made me crazy hyper at night and I couldn’t sleep. So, we changed the PM dose to 5PM rather than bedtime and it worked like a charm.

    As for Keppra, I was at a conference at NYC and asked Orin Devinsky (my absolute hero) about Keppra.

    I asked about side-effects, kick-backs, etc.

    He said it was the go-to drug because it worked. And then I told him about my website and he said “With all due respect, your website only represents a microcosm of the population.”

    And as you can see, it DOES work for some people. Although, from the comments above, it seems to have an amazing backlash for others.

    I guess it’s just like you said. What works for some people doesn’t necessarily work for others. All of our body chemistries are different.

    But Keppra definitely would NOT be my first choice as a go-to med.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 17, 2014 @ 10:08 AM

  155. My son has had 33 tonic-clonic seizures over a 5-year period. He still doesn’t have a definite diagnosis of epilepsy; seizures could all have been “provoked” by benzodiazepine dependence/withdrawal (Ativan), and/or other (misguided) attempts by various neurologists to prevent more seizures while tapering off the Ativan (which hasn’t happened yet).

    First seizure was definitely provoked by Trileptal, so that was Strike 1.
    Started on small dose of Lamictal; when increased, he developed a stiff neck and skin rash. Strike 2.
    He had 3 t-c seizures in 1 day, so was started on loading dose of Keppra in hospital. The dose (1,000 mg.) was way too high for him, so we gradually lowered it to 200 mg./day. No seizures, but life was not worth living because of Kepp-rage and SIBs. Had to stop it. Strike 3.
    Seizures resumed (2 in one day), started on Depakote Sprinkles (small dose). We had to stop this too, because of elevated ammonia in his blood. He was well on his way to Valproate-induced Hyperammonemic Encephalopathy. Strike 4.
    Back to hospital to transfer him from Depakote back to Keppra (small dose, only 125 mg./2X/day). All was OK for a week after he came home from hospital, but then the familiar Kepp-rage episodes returned. The “electric shock” sensations drive him absolutely wild. Strike 5.

    He is a tall, strapping lad, strong as a horse in everything except his CNS. He cannot tolerate any of these poisons. What to do next? We are at our wit’s end.


    Comment by Martha — March 4, 2014 @ 2:59 PM

    • I had some of the problems you describe on meds too. I had to be taken off of Depakote cause it didn’t help me and also I had gained a lot of weight from it. I still do take Keppra but I’m on a higher dose then what you said .Have you ever check to see if he or she would qualify for a VNS to see if that would help control the tonic clonic type seizures you said they have.


      Comment by Corina — March 4, 2014 @ 5:27 PM

      • Thanks for your thoughts. Son doesn’t even have a definitive diagnosis of epilepsy. All seizures may have been provoked by benzodiazepine withdrawal and/or other drugs being added to the brew and/or withdrawing from those drugs. It is long overdue for us to seek the advice of a different neurologist, and that is what we will be doing later in March.

        One thing is very clear: he is extraordinarily sensitive to drugs and other chemicals, and cannot tolerate these toxins.


        Comment by Martha — March 4, 2014 @ 6:57 PM

  156. One thing I can recommend is one of the “seizure” diets which can help keep his seizures in check.

    They’re not for everyone, but they’re certainly worth a try and many people have had success with one or the other.

    Three Anti-Seizure Diets That Could Change Your Life…


    I sincerely hope this helps, Martha.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 4, 2014 @ 3:37 PM

  157. Thanks. He is 28 years old, on the autism spectrum, and enjoys a wide variety of foods. It could be very difficult to get his cooperation in this. The problem started with Ativan dependence and withdrawal (prescribed for the anxiety that preceded and accompanied migraine headaches, when none of the migraine meds helped). A patient with a primary diagnosis of autism should never have received an addictive drug in the first place.


    Comment by Martha — March 4, 2014 @ 4:26 PM

  158. Well, I’m stumped.

    Here’s a loooong shot.

    Epilepsy — Preventing Depression — Project UPLIFT


    Actually, the next one could apply to anyone…

    Fighting Seizures Nutritionally



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 4, 2014 @ 5:04 PM

  159. Actually, this may be a looong shot:

    Epilepsy — Preventing Depression — Project UPLIFT


    And this applies to just about everyone…

    Fighting Seizures Nutritionally



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 4, 2014 @ 5:10 PM

    • Thanks, Phyllis. I will check it all out. My son never met a vegetable he didn’t like, so he has always eaten a lot of broccoli and spinach. No shellfish, though (Selenium), because we have assumed he was allergic to it (my husband’s family is). Son loves nuts, but (wouldn’t you know?) always avoids the Brazil nuts!


      Comment by Martha — March 4, 2014 @ 6:49 PM

  160. Hey, it’s a start. And Brazil nuts aren’t the only nuts good for you. (Think: Almonds!)


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 4, 2014 @ 8:09 PM

  161. Phylis, do you know if Keppra leeches Depakote ER?


    Comment by Ellie — April 1, 2014 @ 11:38 AM

  162. “There were no interactions found in our database between Depakote ER and Keppra XR” according to Drugs.com


    It seemed from reading random forum reports that the combination was effective.

    But you should be taking 500-1500mg. Calcium and 10g. Vitamin D because both vitamins can be depleted from AEDs.



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — April 1, 2014 @ 12:05 PM

  163. Wasn’t sure where to post this question, but since i take Keppra I thought I’d put it here. Phyllis, I heard recently about diagonal ear lobe creases being a possible indicator of heart disease. What do you think about this? I read conflicting stories and don’t know if it is a wives tale or legit.

    Sort of plays into some thoughts I’ve had that either my Dilantin from the past or Keppra from the present could possibly cause premature aging of a sort.

    Also, wondered if it is true about the creases, are all creases bad? Or do only diagonal creases count as worrisome. Thanks


    Comment by Doug — April 6, 2014 @ 2:19 AM

    • Wow, Doug, you never cease to amaze me. And who would have ever known?

      Yup, your hunch was right.

      “In 1973, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that a diagonal earlobe crease (ELC) was a potential indicator of coronary artery disease (CAD). This crease was later called “Frank’s sign,” after the lead author of the study, Dr. Sanders T. Frank. Whereas a “normal” earlobe is smooth, an earlobe with a crease has a fold, straight line, or wrinkle that appears to cut the earlobe in half.

      Supporting Studies

      Since Frank’s original study in 1973, several more scientists have looked at the potential connection between earlobe creases and CAD. Some studies have shown a connection, while others haven’t. In 1982, Pasternac and colleagues published a study of 340 patients. They found that the earlobe crease was a sign associated with increasing age and CAD.

      Another study in 1991 by Elliott and colleagues found similar results. So did a study by Edston in 2006, which reported that the predictive value of an ear crease was as high as 80 percent in individuals younger than 40 years.”


      But that doesn’t play into your question about Keppra or Dilantin. Those are horses of a different nature!


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — April 6, 2014 @ 10:52 AM

      • Yeah, I’d heard about some of those studies. I’ve heard of some others that say there is no correlation other than wrinkles and heart disease are just more common when you get older. Just as eye sight worsens with age and bifocals are necessary, but there is no relationship between needing bifocals and heart disease either.

        I just wanted to get your opinion on whether you thought it was legitimate.

        As for Dilantin and Keppra, I’d heard of premature aging of the HPA axis due to AED use. And, I’ve noticed some changes since I stopped Dilantin that are generally associated with aging. So, I wondered what someone would look for to see if the AEDs had done something to cause some signs of aging or if there were tests one could look to for the same reason.


        Comment by Doug — April 6, 2014 @ 3:45 PM

  164. Doug, there’s an interesting thread on Coping with Epilepsy that deals (and argues) about premature aging of the HPTA axis. I think you’ll find it fascinating.


    “And there aren’t any particular tests other than a general check-up for things like high blood pressure, or a bone density scan.

    “If you are basically feeling fine, then that’s the main thing.” — Nakamova, Super Moderator, Coping with Epilepsy.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — April 6, 2014 @ 6:07 PM

    • Thanks, I’ve actually seen that article before too.


      Comment by Doug — April 13, 2014 @ 7:29 PM

  165. You are one good — and thorough — researcher.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — April 13, 2014 @ 10:42 PM

    • too bad we can’t get paid for our research, no?


      Comment by Doug — June 5, 2014 @ 12:38 AM

  166. Just got another bone density test, and the numbers look worse. It is very frustrating, given I take vitamin supplements and exercise like crazy. I was moved to keppra and away from dilantin because it was supposedly better for bones. what are we supposed to do?


    Comment by Doug — June 5, 2014 @ 12:40 AM

  167. I can’t figure it out. The endocrinologist said you were ok, the neuro said it was the dilantin, nobody seems to be able to figure it out — even you and me.

    Have you considered an alternative medicine doc (CAM)? Although I wouldn’t be able to come up with a recommendation.

    Grrr. This is making me feel hopeless and helpless. 😦

    P.S. How do you feel on the keppra versus the dilantin?


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 5, 2014 @ 10:13 AM

    • I’ve considered just about anyone that can help, but finding a CAM who is willing to deal with seizure people and I feel I can trust is not always easy.

      I feel okay on the keppra, but as far as day to day feeling good and like myself, I always felt better on Dilantin. Of course, I don’t know if my not always feeling great is leftovers from dilantin or from the keppra or something else, but thats another story..

      I’ve found articles saying keppra causes bone loss too though they say not as bad as dilantin (I think I posted that on this site somewhere). So who knows what is right anymore..

      BTW, You pretty much got the endo and neuro statements correct, although I just gave them this latest bone scan result, and the endo said I could make an appointment to talk if I wanted, but he didn’t offer anything else and didn’t act concerned, like I am. (of course, they don’t like to give free info via phone or email)


      Comment by Doug — June 6, 2014 @ 12:09 AM

      • Dilantin also damaged my bones, hope keppra works better..


        Comment by Jay — August 21, 2014 @ 1:21 AM

  168. One thing you should keep in mind is that bone strength IS hereditary.

    Fortunately for me, my birth parents had bones of steel.

    On the other hand, Arthur’s parents (and entire family) has weak bones and they’ve been more susceptible to breaks, etc.

    And I don’t think your seizure medication is going to do much to change your bone structure.

    Just keep doing the VERY healthy things you’re doing. And know that you’re doing the best for your bones.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 6, 2014 @ 9:34 AM

  169. DOUG,

    Please go to Keppra — What people are Saying — Page 2 — for continued information about the hereditary role in bone structure and osteo. https://epilepsytalk.com/2014/06/06/keppra-what-people-are-saying-page-2/


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 6, 2014 @ 10:49 AM

  170. My son took one half initial dose of 500mg and it knocked him unsteady, fatigue., forgetfullness…he is starting a lower dose of 250 mgand I am scared to death of Keppra..


    Comment by Karen — June 6, 2014 @ 5:31 PM

  171. Karen, try to keep a seizure diary for your son.

    Note his sleep patterns, eating habits, daily activities, emotional state(s) and behavior. Then try to note the time and duration of his seizures.

    This will give both you and his doc further insights.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 6, 2014 @ 5:43 PM

  172. PEOPLE, IF YOU CAN NOT POST (WE’VE RUN OUT OF ROOM), PLEASE GO TO https://epilepsytalk.com/2014/06/10/keppra-what-people-are-saying-part-2/


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 6, 2014 @ 5:50 PM

  173. i dont have epilepsy i thank God but when I went to the stupid jewish doctor she gave me kepra and since that day i have been moody…in stress,,,i had my absence seizures,,dry mouth,,,fever,,,,and many other things…kepra is dangerous,,,though i lost 20 kilos,,,,anything i eat or drink i feel like vomiting…


    Comment by marool — June 25, 2014 @ 9:12 AM

    • Have you changed docs or meds or are you now epilepsy-free?

      By the way Marool, please do not say anything discriminating or inflammatory on this website.

      (I am Jewish.)


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 25, 2014 @ 1:06 PM

      • Phylis, firstly, may i compliment you on your dignified & restrained reply to Marool. I have already replied to his message. He is not epileptic yet states he had absence SEIZURES. Which leads me to suspect the doctor or, doctors he has seen subsequent to his visit to the Jewish lady doctor. In telling him after a number of seizures, he is not epileptic. Are more blunt instruments than razor sharp. I am not Jewish, I am an Irish man & as I stated in my reply to Marool if, a satan worshipping hermaphrodite prescribed me medication which halted my seizures I’d be too damn happy to do anything but, share the good news with my fellow epileptics.
        Re. Keppra, I am one of those it didn’t suit. Cotton mouth (I don’t give a shit,we should all drink more water anyway) but, mood swings, short temper,my appetite was seriously depleted & sleep patterns became erratic.My G.P. is excellent, he was skeptical to see a neurologist had recommended Keppra. He immediately Googled it in front of me & phoned a neurologist acquaintance of his. Then he said “I am going to be very cautious about this, Keppra is more than a little controversial, is Christy still your pharmacist?” I replied yes. He said he would phone Christy McLoughlin & gave me 2 copies of a letter.1 for me & 1 for Christy & I saw him save a copy of the same letter to my file. The pharmacists is only a 2 minute walk from the doctor’s surgery. When I got there, Christy had just got off the phone with Dr. Walkin & handed me a printout regarding Keppra. He accepted the letter from the doctor & advised me “This Keppra is a heavy hitter, follow the instructions to the letter, You have my phone number & Scott’s” Coincidentally, my doctor is my pharmacist’s son in law, regardless I am not a private patient, I have a medical card. So, I was weened off phenytoin & gradually had my dosage of Keppra increased. It was almost immediately detrimental. My doctor could see the difference in my demeanor & as quickly as possible arranged another appointment with a different neurologist. This neurologist was outraged to hear I had been recommended Keppra. He asked me to wait outside. I clearly heard him say “I don’t give a fuck, he’s done it again”
        My excellent G.P. weened me off Keppra & back onto Phenytoin. I still have seizures approximately every 8 to 10 months.
        I have rambled on quite enough. Having skipped through your posts. I respect your knowledge & see through your attendance of conferences & reading you are well informed.
        In closing. If, you like we could be facebook friends. I’m not a stalker, I live on a different continent. I have no idea where in the U.S. you live. I’m not asking for a phone number or, any personal details.
        Regards, Josh.


        Comment by Josh Garrett — January 4, 2015 @ 10:23 PM

      • Josh, in regards to Facebook. There are so many Josh Garrett’s. Could you befriend me at Phylis Feiner Johnson? Then we’ll we be set!

        Also, feel free to email me at pfj@pfjohnson.com


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 5, 2015 @ 9:00 AM

    • Marool. You state you don’t have epilepsy. Yet you say you had absence seizure(S) Generally if one has more than two seizures, epilepsy is a valid diagnosis. Sexist & racist remarks about doctors achieve nothing, other than making you appear sexist & racist. I’m not Jewish or, a woman. If a Satan worshipping hermaphrodite prescribed me a drug which permanently stopped my seizures, I would be ecstatic & recommend them to everyone. Like you Keppra didn’t suit me at all.


      Comment by Josh Garrett — January 4, 2015 @ 8:36 PM

      • You go, Phylis, if it were left up to me, I would NOT have printed anti-Semitic remarks from idiots. But you go, girl. And the stupid-ass anti-feminist remark, well, that one I take quite personally. Screw that marool.


        Comment by meesher — January 4, 2015 @ 9:41 PM

  174. Epileptic since age 8. I’m now 51. Been through all avail meds since then, some really primitive!
    Was eventually told by my neurologist, around 2004, that I’m one of those that will have to live with it.
    I had seizures every day! Not the typical grand mal, but really traumatic!
    2014, consulted a neurologist, put me on Keppra,
    For the first time in 43 years, I’m normal!
    Epilepsy is a mental illness, effects one psychologically (depression,nervousness, etc becomes part of who you are!
    Keppra, a new lease on life for me!


    Comment by videsh jeena — August 19, 2014 @ 5:23 PM

  175. I’m estatic that Keppra is working for you.

    However, I feel that epilepsy is a neurolological condition and from that comes the actions and reactions. Emotions both good and bad.

    Yes, I agree that the meds are somewhat responsible, but you also must understand that the condition itself is also resposible.

    One study stated that 80% of people with epilepsy were also diagnosed as having a depressive disorder.

    Upwards of 60% of these individuals had a history of significant episodes of depression.

    And 10%-32% experience symptoms of anxiety. These are ORGANIC conditions, not mental illness.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 19, 2014 @ 9:19 PM

  176. (True story) Had epilepsy since i was a child, been on 6-7 different medications thur my life (just turn 30) each medicine damage my body from bones to hair, even putting me in coma’s for days.. I eat healthy and do alot of yoga to stay relax, Me taking generic medicine’s as a child from free clinics, I can’t take keppra cause it do changes my moods and give me other side effects, (but) Levetiracetam (generic kind) keeps me from having grand mal seizures and just partial seizures at times (im okay with that) cause i seen poverty and had grand mal seizures alot times, Levetiracetam may change my moods, but not like originally brand keppra did (was on both for years and noticed the difference when company changed brand) Also medical marijuana may help with keppra/Levetiracetam) but we don’t have that in this state.. I can say Levetiracetam helped me..


    Comment by Jay — August 21, 2014 @ 1:14 AM

  177. I was also on Dilantin for years and it wrecked my gums and hair. And yes, I experienced a 3 day coma. Lovely, isn’t it.

    Even through genric drugs are theoretically the same, that 20% “generic” difference can be just about anything.

    So if that particular generic is working for you, make sure your pharmacy remains consistant.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 21, 2014 @ 9:19 AM

    • Was on dilantic etc, All them medicine’s made me violent with bone and memory loss, And as a child, I was kicked out for 4 middle school’s, and dropped out of high school in 9th grade (All violent Public Schools) because school couldn’t teach me nothing about epilepsy, I actually embraced the medicines i knew was making me (more violent, but controlled my grand mal seizures) to beat wars or the streets, The medicines made me want to fight, and since everyone wanted to fight me, i loved it (mixed race, so only half white kid in black neighborhood) I think people should try to find best medicines for them, and also people who just have to take something to survive like me, might have to embrace there medicines.. (it hurts)


      Comment by Jay — August 21, 2014 @ 2:53 PM

  178. Jay, lots of people have violent reactions (see above).

    “I have been on Keppra for the past five weeks and my reactions to this drug are dreadful, taking into consideration that I am by nature a very cool and collected person.

    When I had Keppra, I suffered mood swings from one extreme to the other. I was getting touchy, short-tempered and even turned pretty violent at times.

    I also felt very tired and unsteady. I read many reviews on the drug and I had started wondering if I was the only one who suffered such terrible effects, and if so, I was wondering if there was something the matter with me and not the drug.

    You know I am really glad to know that I am not alone with the Keppra side effects.”

    Jay, is there anything you can take to balance out the violent feelings like Klonopin?


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 21, 2014 @ 3:39 PM

    • Think i been on that, and adding medicines make me hyper, My main drug was always Marijuana (kinda scared to write this) i started smoking heavy at age 11, because medicines that made my hair fall out (i choose not to take) so when my father didn’t understand, i tried every street drug like (like weed, cigarettes, alcohol and cigars as a child) and noticed marijuana was actually helping me where i stop taking bad medicines and started smoking good street weed, and wouldn’t have grand mal, just partial seizures and at times i didn’t have any from mixture of marijuana and medicines. So just comimg out of a 2 day coma in the end of 2011 (trying new medicine that almost killed me, and end of 2013 on (keppra) trying to keep a house over my head, I had to stop smoking to pay bills and i almost died again, I know marijuana helps with seizures and feelings, Im just in the wrong state, I plan on putting my house up for sell, and look for a state that actually care about epilepsy in the next two years, the reason i started posting on here.. Any thoughts on good states with medical marijuana and great on epilepsy, please let me know.. wish everyone the best..


      Comment by Jay — August 21, 2014 @ 4:41 PM

  179. Jay, these articles will help you:

    Medical Marijuana — It’s Here To Stay


    Each state has its own guidelines regarding the cultivation, possession and use of medical marijuana.
    So far, 20 states have legalized medical marijuana, with four states pending.

    To locate them, go to Pain Management of America

    You can also find information about each state’s rules, regulations and standards at

    Medical Frequently Asked Questions

    Medical Marijuana (Legal Issues)

    Pivotal Point Is Seen as More States Consider Legalizing Marijuana

    Epilepsy Foundation Calls for Immediate Action on Medical Marijuana

    Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s pot confessional gets global headlines


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 21, 2014 @ 5:35 PM

    • Thank you, I’m look at them sites..


      Comment by Jay — August 21, 2014 @ 8:06 PM

      • None of them cites has anything to do with Pennsylvania, so back to the basics, but thanks anyway, Levetiracetam works for me with a combination of organic herbs. That im going continue to search for (Just not in this state)


        Comment by Jay — August 22, 2014 @ 1:53 PM

  180. […] After 280 replies on Keppra — What People are Saying — we just plain ran out of room. https://epilepsytalk.com/2010/10/15/keppra-what-people-are-saying-2/ […]


    Pingback by Keppra — What People are Saying — Part 2 | Epilepsy Talk — August 21, 2014 @ 5:41 PM

  181. Jay, here’s some good news. I know that Corbett is working very hard on legislation for legalization of medical marijuana in our state. (PA.)


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 22, 2014 @ 3:23 PM

    • Guess i gotta prepare for SUDEP.. Or sell everything i worked hard for, while still having grand mal/partial seizures and start my journey to find true medicines.. we know that isn’t happening here.. Its really do hurts..


      Comment by Jay — August 22, 2014 @ 6:29 PM

  182. Jay, WHY? Aren’t you being a bit dramatic?


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 22, 2014 @ 6:45 PM

    • (Sorry for that) its just really painful, how we suffer (one’s with epilepsy) Imma stop posting, but read alot of people amazing stories fighting epilepsy (this cite gave me hope again, and sorry for the dramatic post) hope the best for everyone founding the right medicines..


      Comment by Jay — August 22, 2014 @ 7:33 PM

  183. You’re a great warrior. Even if you don’t know it. 🙂


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 22, 2014 @ 9:10 PM

  184. 3 years in keppra it’s my life saver. But past 4 months…. Depression, rage,irritation,lack of focus, isolating. I have a great partner , house. And life.. This black cloud won’t leave me … Scarred stop Keppra , my myoclonus is bad..I’ve NEVER felt this sad, unorganized , depressed, worthless… And angry.. I’m my whole life, I just want to talk to someone I feel weird. That’s why I’m here.. Thank you.


    Comment by Ari 1 — September 30, 2014 @ 9:51 PM

  185. The good news is that you’re not alone. The bad news is how you’re suffering now.

    Is it possible to speak to your neuro and change to another med?


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 1, 2014 @ 9:59 AM

  186. Keppra was a bad experience for me. When I took this AED I was a very high daily rate twice a day (2000 mg BD). I wasn’t able to communicate effectively, by this I mean I couldn’t make true understanding of what people were saying or speak well myself. Friends at the time said I was like a zombie. Another bad effect of Keppra was when increasing my dose my seizures frequency increased, same effect occurred when coming down from the high dose. It’s an odd AED as just yesterday someone I met said ‘Keppra is my King’. It certainly works for people in one way or another. Peace out, NP


    Comment by neuropickings — October 8, 2014 @ 4:59 PM

  187. I’d rather find a prince. 🙂


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 8, 2014 @ 5:43 PM

  188. I hope I may be able to get some advice from here really but here goes my story.
    I was only diagosed with epilepsy in March this year and re diagnosed with parttial seizures in September having electric shock type feeling seizures. I was put on Keppra in September and at first went 13days without a seizure. Now I seem to be back to normal with seizures every other day or two or three days between. I am on Zebinix 1200mg and currently on 1500mg of Keppra. The Zebinix seems to be controlling the seizures so far with no added benefits from the Keppra. Should I have seen a difference by now as am supposed to be increasing to 1000mg twice a day of the Keppra (currently on 750mg twice a day)


    Comment by Stephen Gooch — November 4, 2014 @ 2:08 PM

    • Your luck you only have to take half the dose I have to take of Keppra mine is 2000mg 2 times a day.


      Comment by Corina — January 22, 2015 @ 9:46 AM

  189. My best guess is that the two are complementing each other as a duo.

    I don’t know if you’d see a difference — for the better — on one med alone.

    However, one way to tell is to have your blood levels checked to see if you’re at the thereupetic level of the meds and if they’re “working.”


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 4, 2014 @ 7:12 PM

  190. My name is Rob, I was on Tegretol 1200mg for about 18 mths then I had a seizure. I was put on 1600mg Tegretol & 500mg Keppra which I know really screwed my life up. I’m a cyclist, I have a dog who I generally walk every day, so in other words to keep myself out of hospital I’m to keep myself very active. Oh and by the way I get no warning signs when a seizure is about to happen. But as soon as I was put on this Keppra weird things started happening to me. For a start I felt xtra tired, I started losing all my energy, started sleeping 13-16 hrs a day, I live in the central wheatbelt area of Western Australia and now that the Keppra has been cut out since the 19 June 2014 nothing at all has changed with the Keppra side effects. So whatever medication you’re happy with stick to those meds and what I have found that helps is, to talk to someone about ringing them after you have taken each of your tablets. So good luck.


    Comment by rob — January 4, 2015 @ 3:27 AM

  191. Rob, has the Keppra been substituted with anything else?

    I’ve never seen someone suffering Keppra side-effects so late after stopping the drug.

    A blood test should tell you if the Keppra is in your blood stream and perhaps that would give you some answers.

    But frankly, other than that, I’m stumped. 😦


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 4, 2015 @ 9:22 AM

    • Rob I’ve been on Keppra and it hasn’t ever done anything to me but kept me from having seizures.


      Comment by Corina — January 4, 2015 @ 8:20 PM

      • Corina, Rob here, I guess you’re just one person who can handle the drug, I can’t for some reason, so I guess I’ll just stick with something that works on me which is Tegretol CR 400.


        Comment by rob — January 4, 2015 @ 9:10 PM

    • Um, yes when i was on Keppra I was also on Tegretol 1600 mg.


      Comment by rob — January 4, 2015 @ 8:57 PM

    • Phylis, Rob here, can I ask u a few questions about epilepsy that I am trying to work out myself.


      Comment by rob — January 4, 2015 @ 10:01 PM

  192. My daughter had her first gran mal seizure Jan14th 2014. Neurologist put her in trileptal and she had a alergic reaction to it . So they put her on levectiracetam 750mg twice a day! I notice when she started medicine she was depressed , anxiety, tired all the time and easily angered . I thought maybe it would get better! On Decthe 3rd she had another Gran Mal seizure she was almost a year seizure free. Neurologist up her dose of medicine to 1,000mg twice a day. She started having horrible anxiety,very depressed ,tired hard to stay awake,and super angry! She is having spells as if she is dazed and not responded for about 2minutes! Does not remember it. She loses track of time. She had two more Gran Mal seizures . Neurologist wants us to give her more medicine! I refuse I told her I think the medicine is making her worse! I ask to change medication she refuse! I need a new doctor!


    Comment by Mona Rowe — January 21, 2015 @ 10:10 AM

    • She has a 23 EEG scheduled tomorrow January 22nd ! I spoke to another neurologist they need a referral from her doctor ! So after the test is done I will request a referral from her ! I hope she does not give any problems ! I need a second opinion and get her off this medicine!


      Comment by Mona Rowe — January 21, 2015 @ 10:14 AM

    • First of all I don’t think MORE medicine is the answer. A different med maybe, but not more.

      That’s like putting a bandaid on a wound. 😦


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 21, 2015 @ 11:51 AM

    • I had a doctor who was on the ego trip. Notice I said “had.” Unfortunately, there are many resident docs and patients who remain under the “care” and “training” of that odd ball. It’s too bad they can’t be weeded out. The best thing to do is move on and let market forces dictate the future of bad doctors.


      Comment by Tom Waltz — January 21, 2015 @ 10:35 PM

      • Well Tom, I had a great surgeon. It was the resident he left behind to stitch me up. OOOPPPs.

        The next day I had grape jelly spewing out of my middle. Clearly an infection.

        They almost had to open me up again. But instead I was treated with mega antibiotics.

        The resident was dressed down and I ended up a with a scar from stem to stern. 😦


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 22, 2015 @ 8:52 AM

  193. My daughter just had two more gran mal seizure ! One of them was in the shower thank goodness I caught her when. It happen fast ! We got her in bed 40 minutes later she had another one ! I got a hold of nuerologist ! She said to bring her to the hospital if she has another one. Neurologist said to make. Appointment to see her ! I told we were coming in for EEG tomorrow she said oh ok I will talk to you then! I. Am freaking out my poor daughter ! I checked for broken bones and any bumps on her head it seemed to be ok! She finally calmed down and is sleeping ! All she said was I want to get better! So worried going to stay up tonight to make sure she does not have anymore!


    Comment by Mona Rowe — January 21, 2015 @ 10:41 PM

  194. Oh Mona, I feel for both you and your daughter.

    My FIRST seizure was in the shower. I thought I was going to drown.

    I had no idea why this was happening, except I was about to say “good-bye cruel world” and sink into oblivion. (I had not been diagnosed.)

    I finally threw myself against the shower door and ended up with my head on the floor and the rest of me still in the shower.

    No bumps, no bruises and no one to help me.

    I was petrified and just lay there on the floor howling.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 22, 2015 @ 9:01 AM

    • Maybe I should tell the doctor not to switch to Keppra but leave her on the Levectiracetam and go ahead with lamictal ! I am scared she will be worse what do you think? I know it’s up to me but would like your input.


      Comment by Mona Rowe — January 22, 2015 @ 6:14 PM

  195. That’s what scares me ! I just left for minute and she had one ! 😦 I am glad I was there and she did not get badly hurt! We are At the hospital now having her 23 hour EEG ! I told her neurologist I want her off the medicine ! I suggest lamictal she finally said that was a good idea and wean her off the Levetiracetam . Let’s hope it works and I know they may have to give her Another medicine to work with it but at least she heard me and is getting her off this medicine ! Hope we get some answer from her EEG ! Thank you for your support ! I appreciate all your websites and am looking to get her another doctor!


    Comment by Mona Rowe — January 22, 2015 @ 3:53 PM

    • Mona, Lamictal has been VERY good for me. I started it 5 years ago. The only side-effect was that at first it made me crazy/hyper. So we split the PM dose between 5:00 and bedtime and since then, I’ve been a happy camper.

      Except that your email just reminded me I’m 45 minutes late on my 5:00 dose. Ooooopppps. Do as I say, not as I do! 🙂


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 22, 2015 @ 5:49 PM

  196. The neurologist just left I already told you they are putting her on Lamictal but she is also going to switch her Levectiracetam to Keppra ! Have you heard of bad side effect of people switching medicine !


    Comment by Mona Rowe — January 22, 2015 @ 4:59 PM

  197. Yes. Consistency is the name of the game. Whether it’s brand to generic, vice versa or even manufacturer of meds.

    Oh crap. It’s time to get out of Dodge.

    According to an Epilepsy Foundation report, more than 1000 consumers surveyed, reported an increased risk of seizures and side effects when:
    1. They switched from one manufacturer’s formulation of an anti-epileptic drug to another…
    2. They switched between different manufacturers’ versions of the same generic drug…
    3. They switched from a generic to a brand-name drug…
    4. Or they switched from a brand-name drug to a generic.

    Epilepsy Generics: Yes, No or Maybe So?



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 22, 2015 @ 5:58 PM

  198. Maybe I should tell the doctor not to switch to Keppra but leave her on the Levectiracetam and go ahead with lamictal ! I am scared she will be worse what do you think? I know it’s up to me but would like your input.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 22, 2015 @ 8:00 PM

  199. I honestly don’t know, since I’ve never had any personal experience with Keppra. 😦


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 22, 2015 @ 8:02 PM

  200. Thank you for information we talked it over as a family and decided to not change the generic Keppra since they are going to wean her off of it and try lamictal to see if it works ! You have been a great help ! I feel like I am not alone !


    Comment by Mona Rowe — January 22, 2015 @ 8:03 PM

  201. We will talk to her doctor tomorrow and let her know our decision !


    Comment by Mona Rowe — January 22, 2015 @ 8:05 PM

    • Good luck…


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 23, 2015 @ 8:47 AM

      • Hi Phylis ! We just got home ! Neurologist look at her EEG said activity on the front left side lobe the same as the last one ! I hate to say this but I wish my daughter had her test the night before when she had her two Gran Mal seizure. So while she was getting her EEG she slept most of the time. At least her neurologist has been listening to us and being more helpful! She wanted to reassure me that we will find the right medicine for her and that she would keep an eye out to make sure she does not have a reaction to the new medicine . Since she was allergic to trilepta . She said let’s give this medicine a chance and if not we can do more testing. Wow it took me to almost have to yell at her and demand to try something else for her to hear us. But I am happy she is trying to help. The funny thing is she said was she understand if we wanted to get a second opinion but please give her a chance.


        Comment by Mona Rowe — January 23, 2015 @ 8:51 PM

      • Hi Mona,

        I’ve been reading your discussion. Sorry to hear about your experiences. I’d be disposed to giving your doc more time. I obviously don’t know all the details, but it appears that she’s willing to work with you. That says a lot. Besides, it’s a lot of work, time, emotional energy and money to establish that relationship.

        Best wishes.



        Comment by Tom Waltz — January 24, 2015 @ 7:38 AM

  202. Yes, yes and yes. Sounds like things have turned around and Tom’s advice is on the mark.

    She sounds much more open and responsive. Give her a chance and see what she recommends next.

    It sounds like she’s in it for the long haul.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 24, 2015 @ 10:09 AM

  203. Thank God I found this article. I am 16 years old and have been on Keppra for the last year or so and my life has been terrifying. My behavior has changed to such an aggressive, disrespectful, rude personality when that’s really not her I am. I talk back to my parents saying to go **** off and stuff even worse like “I’m going to commit suicide” or “then why don’t you just kill me mom so this shit can end”. Luckily though, this article proves that it is not “me” who is causing my family to go through this horrible life because it is truly the stupid drugs that I’m taking. Little advice, I have tried 3 drugs throughout these last 4 years (age 12-15) and they ALL made it worse including more dangerous seizures. In the end, I had brain surgery on march 11, 2014 and it has now been 11 months of being free from seizures. If your doctor considers surgery an option for you, I would highly recommend your neurosurgeon being Doctor Spetzler!!! In the end, know that your not alone going through this path in your life because we all know how it feels and are here to support you. I pray it all turns out well 🙂

    Philip Josipovic


    Comment by Philip Josipovic — February 24, 2015 @ 4:29 PM

  204. I have an 18 month old son that was just recently diagnosed with epilepsy. He was prescribed keppra and is currently on his third full day of taking it. He is also taking klonopin for 14 days and then stopping it. So far we have not seen any decrease in the amount of seizures. My question is how long until people start seeing the medicine take affect. Any help would be greatly appreciated. It’s heartbreaking to see him go through these seizures.


    Comment by Eric — February 25, 2015 @ 11:37 AM

    • you could call me a prescribed druggy, cause i’ve tried quite a few drugs trying to ease the seizures i’ve been having. go to your doctor and ask him to take your son off the drugs he’s taking and try Carbamazepine for a while, because it works on me very well, but it’s up to you Rob


      Comment by rob — February 26, 2015 @ 6:54 PM

  205. It usually takes 6 weeks to cross the brain/blood barrier.

    Good luck. I hope it works for him.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 25, 2015 @ 12:27 PM

  206. Wish I could get my hands on this full study, but so far have been unable to find it online, only the abstract.

    Levetiracetam-associated loss of libido and anhedonia.


    Comment by Doug — March 8, 2015 @ 12:41 AM

  207. More bullets for the “bad guy”!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 8, 2015 @ 9:55 AM

  208. My 21 yr old son was assaulted that landed him in the emergency room where he was kept overnight for observation d/t cat scan reading that doctors suspect might be internal head bleed. The Following night my son was discharge from E.R. and I picked him up. There were 2 meds prescribed to him( pain med and Kepra ) as seizure prophylaxis. We did not fill the narcotic pain med. 2 days after starting Kepra which was prescribed 500 mg 2 x a day x 2 months my son was very depress and was saying that he wished that he didn’t wake up anymore. Behavioral changes were present too like aggressiveness, hostility, and then exactly 2 weeks from starting KEPRA, my pride and joy killed himself. I failed my son. My family will never be the same again. Forever I’m tormented losing my eldest son. It’s too late for us, my family but hopefully no other parent will have to go through this.


    Comment by Jorge Javier ll — March 15, 2015 @ 3:54 AM

  209. You did not fail your son.

    His reason may have failed him, but I think the real culprit was the internal head bleed which was never followed.

    Please, don’t beat yourself up over it because it’s not your fault and never will be.

    Kindly accept my condolences.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 15, 2015 @ 11:28 AM

    • I have had two brain surgeries and gamma knife radiation. I am on 2x500mg of keppra twice a day. I have been on it for four years. I deal with these things daily. Thoughts of suicide or dying Depression Anxiety Agitation Insomnia Irritability Anger Mania Mood disorders

      I still take the drug faithfully, not by choice but because I do not want to have a seizure and fracture my back again or pass out outside and freeze to death

      You have to have faith to get through this. It is the only way.


      Sent from my iPad


      Comment by rghrgh@aol.com — March 15, 2015 @ 1:47 PM

  210. What a courageous attitude Rich!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 15, 2015 @ 3:13 PM

  211. My elderly mum has not had her usual 2 doses of 1000mg as rushed into hospital For about 2 weeks. Now home she has gone straight back onto full dose. is this right … that she should not be on a lower dose then increased gradually back up… she appears very drowsy ????


    Comment by lida — March 28, 2015 @ 12:02 PM

    • Perhaps she should be titrated slowly to her original dose.

      But, not to cop out, I’m not a doc and I think that’s a question you should ask him/her.

      My question is: why didn’t they give her the Keppra in the hospital?


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 28, 2015 @ 12:14 PM

    • Phylis, what was your mother taking while she was in hospital, ask the doctor who was keeping an eye on your mother, and talk about the dosage with him. Cause when you’re in hospital they tend to lower the dosage of your meds a bit. But that’s just my opinion, talk it over with the doctor. Rob.


      Comment by Rob Harvey — March 28, 2015 @ 8:20 PM

      • Great advice, Rob!

        That was Lida’s mom and hopefully, Lida will get to read this..



        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 29, 2015 @ 9:13 AM

  212. My name is Rob Harvey, I’m an epileptic, I was on keppra for a while but since I got myself back on Tegretol that I was on, I haven’t had a seizure since 13/6/2013 cause after I’ve had my tablets I ring the hospital to let them know I’ve had them, I mark off each day after I take them and I also record it on my computer. So maybe this might help some of the epileptics worldwide, if you want to try it. Thanx Rob


    Comment by Rob Harvey — March 28, 2015 @ 8:46 PM

  213. Another great idea!

    I’m glad Tegretol is working for you and the idea of keeping a med diary is a good one.

    If nothing else, it could help us keep track of our meds.

    (Not being so tech savvy, I keep my meds in a daily pill pack. One for AM and one for PM.)


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 29, 2015 @ 9:20 AM

  214. Hey Phylis, what is gamma knife radiation, cause I don’t think I’ve had it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Rob — March 30, 2015 @ 10:18 PM

  215. my husband also is taking this drug for almost 1 year 8 months and has very terrible impact to him and to our family. he is almost crying everyday and saying i am so depressed and not happy with what is happening to my life. he also wants to end up his life and wanted to leave us his family and live on his own..please help me i dont know what to do. i told him lets go back to your doctor and he said no. pls enlighten me.


    Comment by love — May 5, 2015 @ 4:05 AM

    • what i did, when it was taking over my life, all i did was go back to the doc, told him to take me off these KEPPRA, because they are draining the energy out of my body, i didn’t even have the will to get up out of bed in the morning. it took about 18 months for it to happen. but i’ve been off them for a few months now, and i’m still suffering from the side effects of the KEPPRA. So i hope you can do a lot better than myself. Rob.


      Comment by Rob Harvey — May 15, 2015 @ 12:39 AM

      • I took this medication for 6 months during which time I had periods of total exhaustion, depression, and bouts of uncontrollable rage. This is a person who had never lost his temper since being a toddler and had never suffered from depression before the onset of epilepsy 4 years ago. Since I changed my medication (it took 6 weeks to wean me off the KEPPRA) I have not had an uncontrolled rage (I am grumpy occasionally though; too occasionally according to my wife and kids); I still have periods of unexplained tiredness (note I say tiredness not exhaustion so it is liveable with); and still get depressed BUT a lot less often and a lot less deep i.e. I can be easily brought out of it where before it had to run its full course. Overall it took a full year for me to recover from being on KEPPRA; the exhaustion and depression did not get better overnight they just got progressively better as time went by; the rages did though. I was psychologically damaged by this experience and it has taken a lot longer to sort that out. I thought I was a macho man and only wimps got depressed and lost control. I had no sympathy for people in that state and just thought “why don’t they just pull themselves together?”. I now realise that they cannot without help and support of others. Like the people who stood by me when I was shouting some of the most evil abuse at them. My family, friends, medical professionals, even complete strangers have all helped me during this time.

        I must make the point that it is not KEPPRA that is wrong it is that KEPPRA could be wrong for you. For some people it will be the ideal drug others just good enough but for some it has a bad reaction. The same can be said for most of these powerful mind bending drugs. So when they change your prescription look out for any physical and psychological changes as you (your body) may not agree with the new one.


        Comment by David — May 15, 2015 @ 8:59 AM

  216. You’re in a terrible situation. You MUST get him to the doctor for a prescription change.

    I know he won’t go and will probably not listen to reason, but if you tell him what this is doing to YOU and your family, perhaps he will comply.

    Either that, or call the PA (Physician’s Assistant) and ask for her to intervene. You’ll probably find her to be a good ally. I know I did.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 5, 2015 @ 9:57 AM

    • i tried to convince him but he answered “no this is not about the medicine”. last night he almost killed me. he grabbed a knife and said i will just kill you because this is easier. fortunately, i was able to run as fast as i could. he also said he is willing not to see and be with our son forever. i am so helpless.


      Comment by lo — May 6, 2015 @ 4:55 AM

      • he almost killed me last night. i am so scared of my safety and most especially to our son. his behavior is very unpredictable, he is very calm then suddenly very angry and violent.


        Comment by love — May 6, 2015 @ 8:58 AM

  217. if you are taking keppra are you allowed to take alcoholic drinks? what about stress? would these two worsen the side effects? thanks


    Comment by love — May 6, 2015 @ 9:10 AM

  218. No, you should NOT drink when taking Keppra. And stress is the greatest trigger.

    The next time he has an outburst, lock yourself and your son in a room and call the police, requesting an ambulance. Explain your situation. You have little choice.

    I’ve seen this kind of behavior before. Not from Keppra, but from sheer rage.

    Once he’s in the ER, they’ll deal with him, his behavior and the meds.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 6, 2015 @ 9:49 AM

    • when i called his doctor and explained what is happening to my husband she can’t believe because he is taking keppra for almost 1 year 8 months. would it be possible that my husband is experiencing the side effects just NOW? because i read some experienced the side effects as early as 2 weeks. what’s the medical explanation why you can not drink alcohol if you are on keppra? please help me understand this coz i am being emotionally tortured by this situation. thank you very much for your quick response. i really appreciate and this will help me better understand what my family is experiencing. thanks.


      Comment by love — May 6, 2015 @ 11:21 AM

      • and also the medical explanation why you should not be under stress when taking keppra. pardon me for so many questions. thanks a lot.


        Comment by love — May 6, 2015 @ 11:24 AM

  219. There are two questions that have to be considered when the question of alcohol use and epilepsy comes up. One is the effect that alcohol could have on the medicines used to control seizures. Alcohol can be dangerous when mixed with sedative drugs and can cause coma, or even death. The other question is whether the alcohol itself will cause seizures.

    Large amounts of alcohol are thought to raise the risk of seizures and may even cause them. When you drink alcohol, it may temporarily reduce seizures for a few hours, but then increases the chances of a seizure as the alcohol leaves your body.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 6, 2015 @ 12:24 PM

    • Stress can increase cortisol, known as “the stress hormone” because cortisol is secreted in higher levels during the body’s “fight or flight” response to stress. And, as you may imagine, it’s responsible for several stress-related changes in the body which also may influence seizure activity.

      Negative emotions related to stress, such as anger, worry or fright, may also cause seizures. This happens because the limbic system, the portion of the brain that regulates emotion, is one of the most common places for seizures to begin. You’ll probably find that you have more seizures during or after periods of anxiety or stress.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 6, 2015 @ 12:27 PM

  220. Phylis,
    I’m afraid your description of alcohol and Kepra is not completely accurate. There is no evidence I’ve seen that suggest alcohol, by itself, causes seizures. There is evidence, of course, that withdrawal from alcohol almost certainly can cause seizures. Alcoholism combined with Kepra is a separate issue, but alcohol and Kepra is not a combination that is prohibited. Much of a negative outcome has to do with dosage and repetition of both alcohol and Kepra.


    Comment by Keefer — May 6, 2015 @ 12:35 PM

    • Keefer, thanks very much for the distinction. We need more people like YOU!


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 6, 2015 @ 12:44 PM

      • why are the side effects of keppra just manifested to my husband after taking this med for almost 1 year and 8 months? is this possible? thanks


        Comment by love — May 8, 2015 @ 2:46 AM

  221. Has any other drug been added or subtracted from his daily regimen? I hate to ask, but has he been drinking more?


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 8, 2015 @ 9:03 AM

    • Thank you for what you said about Keppra it might work in some people and others it might not. It has helped me out a lot over the years I’ve taken it. Everyone’s body is different some meds work for some people and others might not work for us . Only are bodies will tell us.


      Comment by Corina Perry — May 8, 2015 @ 9:07 PM

    • there were no additional meds prescribed. yes he was in to drinking and too much stress 2 weeks before he was in total depression and too much anger. thanks.


      Comment by love — May 11, 2015 @ 5:53 AM

      • Love, I think the alcohol (which can certainly be part of depression) could set him off big time.

        Is there any way you can encourage him to cut down on the drinking?


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 11, 2015 @ 9:14 AM

  222. Corina, you couldn’t be more right! And I’m glad it IS working well for you.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 9, 2015 @ 9:32 AM

  223. I took Keppra for 10 years. I did not know until I stopped it that it was the sole cause of 130 lb. weight gain, suicidal thoughts, rage, bipolar issues, and even increased seizures. I became bankrupt, homeless, jobless. When the doctors told me I must take it to live, I was enticed to not take it, as death was more inviting that the misery I had. Now I have had to endure over $40,000 in out-of-pocket medical costs as a result of pure negligence. Neither the prescribing clinic at University of VA nor pharm companies (Lupin/UCB) will take any responsibility. What’s more, a Penn. law firm (Caputo & Mariotti) wasted the last 1 1/2 years of my life by claiming that they were pursuing a legal case for damages when in fact their staff misled me. I want justice for the hellacious nightmare I lived for 10 years. If anyone has any suggestions on how to get retribution from either the prescribing clinic (who admitted guilt, but no responsibility) or the pharm company, please let me know. AND if anyone else has been through a similar ordeal with Keppra, how about we form a group to initiate a lawsuit?


    Comment by Stephen — May 17, 2015 @ 9:26 AM

  224. Stephen, your ordeal sounds like hell. But I do not engage in litigation.

    Perhaps this link will help…FREE Legal Resources



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 17, 2015 @ 5:55 PM

    • Can the post remain on the site in case someone has suggestions?




      Comment by Stephen Williams — May 17, 2015 @ 6:08 PM

  225. For sure, Stephen. It will. (See above, it’s still there.)


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 17, 2015 @ 6:16 PM

    • thank you very much for all your sharings. it will help me better understand my husband’s situation. the doctor stopped the keppra medication just last night. may i know based on others’ experiences how long will it take before the keppra side effects will be out on his system? the doctor said it will only take 2 days? is this true? i am somewhat doubted on his doctor’s statement because on what i read it will take weeks and even months for some. this is causing so much pain on my family especially to our son. thank you very much.


      Comment by love — May 18, 2015 @ 2:18 AM

      • I’m sorry but I would disagree with the doctor as well. I would expect a “heavy weight” of emotions to be lifted from him during the first few weeks. The psychological side effects of any drug can take longer than other symptoms, because learned thoughts and behavior are not easily changed.

        For me, I saw my cognition become more acute within the first few weeks. I was on 5,000 ridiculous-milligrams/day. So it took me quite some time to titrate it safely. During the Killer-Keppra phase, I was diagnosed as bipolar, had the most awful time with OCD, and was so easily irritated that my family relationships are still not the same due to the 10-year scar the drug left. My family realizes now that Keppra was to blame. All the things people blamed me for (not getting along with others, jobless, OCD, depression, obesity) have been wiped away by ceasing Keppra. Unfortunately in my case, I have paid a lot to remove excess skin following the weight loss–130 lbs. in 8 months. Had I not opposed doctors’ opinions and started the titration myself, I would likely have died by now, since the seizures Keppra caused were all the more sign that l “needed” medication–pure irony.

        I noticed improvement in different areas of my thinking within the first few months. The emotional advice people had given me for years finally started making sense. When the mind is so smothered with unproductive emotions, rational thoughts are much more difficult to possess. It will take some time to see the girth of the difference, but I would expect his outlook on life and others (and consequently, his reaction to loved ones) to improve dramatically. Remind him that he will feel better because the drug he has been on is being removed. I believe psychotherapy will help expedite his rebound. It will provide an outlet and most importantly someone who can keep instilling better thoughts and encouraging a brighter outlook. The more he is encouraged to think positively, while removing the Keppra, the more quickly he will return to his genuine self. Joyful tears will definitely be in store. I would be happy to talk to you more about this process if it will help.


        Comment by Stephen — May 18, 2015 @ 8:32 AM

      • hi stephen but the problem is he is in denial that his behavior was caused by his medication. its very difficult to handle because he is in total denial. thanks.


        Comment by love — May 18, 2015 @ 10:47 PM

  226. I was on keppra for a number of years and finally begged my neurologist to take me off of it. Gonna hafta to ask you to forgive my language, but simply gotta say… it turned me into a “bitch on wheels” and the person who had to deal with that was my dear sweet hub who, because of my condition, has taken on almost all of the household duties. It simply wasn’t fair to him to have to put up with it. Can’t say that it didn’t help control to a point. Must make all who deal with this condition aware. I will be having the RNS procedure done within the next month. Hoping and praying that it WORKS! Will keep you informed. Hang in folks! Hope springs eternal!


    Comment by Pamela Phillips — May 26, 2015 @ 6:47 PM

  227. I hope it works for you Pamela!

    Please let us know!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 27, 2015 @ 9:24 AM

  228. Keppra was the worst med I have every taken. The Neurologist increased my dose from 500mg BID to 1500mg BID which is the max dose daily. This med made me continue to have episodes, get violent and just crazy. I would just stare off into space and sometime forget where I am at along with other things. I only had been on med from 10/2014-July 2015. When it all boiled down the Pulmonary Dr. looked as if he wanted to kill the Neurologist, because it was Sleep Apnea with hypertension. No more Keppra just CPAP and I sleep like a baby with no issues. My Pulmonary Dr. is a well known Dr. who is all in the Medical Edition to etc. him ans his wife have their own practice. So always go see a Specialists if you know something is right. Thank God for being in the Medical field and knowing about Meds and knowing some M.D. Have a Sleep Study done. Not a sleep deprived test, but a sleep study.So I never needed med! 😡


    Comment by connie — July 25, 2015 @ 8:31 PM

  229. Sleep apnea, eh. What a dope. And to put your life in danger!

    Of course there’s no excuse. Did this jerk put you through any testing? What was the reason for his “conclusion”?

    Laziness? Lack of knowledge?

    Good thing you’re in the medical field and sought the right help!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 26, 2015 @ 9:45 AM

  230. My Husband told me I had “gotten angrier” just a few days ago..I’ve been on Keppra for 2 years and while I am seizure free, I am definitely snappier, short tempered and generally angry. I sometimes wonder how I haven’t lost my job as I am even angrier in a work situation. The trouble is Keppra does work for me seizure wise and as I haven’t actually attacked anyone (yet) I am unsure about coming off it !


    Comment by Shelly — July 28, 2015 @ 9:22 AM

  231. Shelly, even though it has worked for you through those two years, it seems you’re experiencing “Keppra Rage” now.

    There are plenty of other meds out there. I would explain to your neuro the effects Keppra is now having on you and ask to be switched to another med.

    Since you’ve been seizure free for two years, it should be easier to find an alternative.

    It’s scary, I know, but think of the effects it’s having on those around you.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 28, 2015 @ 10:16 AM

  232. Thank you Phylis, I did feel angry when first on Keppra, but I thought I was controlling it. My next Neuro visit is coming up soon and I will ask about alternatives.
    p.s. this blog is a Godsend.


    Comment by Shelly — July 28, 2015 @ 11:09 AM

  233. I’m happy to help you, in any way I can.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 28, 2015 @ 12:20 PM

  234. I was on lamotriine and it did nothing positive for me. With keppra I felt something kick in. On the positives I feel generally less epileptic. Less anxious about having seizures and haven’t had one whilst being on the drug. However it did cause my skin to tic and muscle twitch for first 4 months and still have occasional tics now. The tiredness and lethargy is becoming unbearable and my seizures are brought on by brain changes from asleep state to panic state. To anyone not finding what they are after in lamotrigine I’d say try keppra and do it via Dr change over program.


    Comment by Emily jackson — August 11, 2015 @ 10:32 AM

  235. I just started taking Keppra. We’ll see how it goes. I only have Nocturnal Seizures, about every 2-4 weeks when I am not on medication. I’m not sure if maybe these seizures are related to my hormones (I have hypothyroidism and had my first seizure at age 13). Do you have any experience with nocturnal epilepsy? I’m also trying to lose weight because I think the seizures might be related to sleep apnea?


    Comment by Elizabeth Fore — September 14, 2015 @ 10:08 AM

  236. If sleep apnea is suspected, or your sleep is just so fragmented that you’re having seizures and difficulties during the day, a sleep study is highly recommended.

    Sleep studies (Polysomnography) with expanded EEG aids can indicate the difference between seizures and parasomnias — a different kind sleep disorder — and diagnosis if the condition is truly sleep apnea, which can exacerbate seizures or is truly nocturnal seizures.

    My guess is that you do have nocturnal seizures, but if you want to be sure, I’d recommend a sleep study, like the one mentioned above.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 14, 2015 @ 4:37 PM

  237. […] are some more threads about Keppra and Anger. I looked it up at Google. http://www.epilepsytalk.com/2010/10/…e-are-saying-2 http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/…ra-rage-122461 Keppra and Personality Change At […]


    Pingback by Extreme mood swings are driving me and everyone around me insane - Page 3 - Epilepsy Forum — September 30, 2015 @ 2:38 PM

  238. […] Here are a couple of articles to read about Keppra http://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/keppra http://www.epilepsytalk.com/2010/10/…e-are-saying-2 What are your new meds that you are on? I am on Keppra and my doctor told me to take a Vitamin B […]


    Pingback by New To Forum - Epilepsy Forum — October 4, 2015 @ 5:48 AM

  239. I’ve been taking 2,500mg. Keppra (Levitiracitam) for 7 years. I have not had any gran mals, but I still have absence seizures and visual as well as olfactory auras. I have also had major problems with mood swings, my own family telling me that I have changed and that I am almost impossible to please or get along with. I have caught myself sometimes in the midst of a blow up and realized it wasn’t a normal way to react and had to remove myself from the situation. I have also gained a good 80lbs. since I started taking it. I’m hungry all the time. I was thin most of my life and now and obese and hate that. Although Keppra has caused some not so nice problems outside of stopping my gran mals, I am afraid to switch to anything else. My liver isn’t in the best shape for some reason (I have never been a drinker) so they chose Keppra since it filters through the kidneys. I have also heard that Keppra can only be taken for a few years and then must be switched because it stops working as well. Still not enough to make me switch to another med that might be worse. All I know is that it keeps the big baddies away for the time being and I’m good with that.


    Comment by Becky Ayers — November 7, 2015 @ 3:25 PM

    • Well Becky, the good news is that you recognize your own behavior.

      The bad news is that you won’t consider trying another med, considering all the trials and tribulations you’re going through.

      Many drugs become less effective after some years, but that could be due to age, weight change, thyroid, body chemistry, etc.

      But you shouldn’t wait it out.

      Yes, everything has side effects. As you’ll see in this article: Epilepsy Drug Side-Effects — Updated


      But that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen to YOU.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 7, 2015 @ 7:16 PM

  240. […] Keppra — What People Are Saying | Epilepsy Talk – To say the word “Keppra,” is to invite instant controversy. For some people it works, for some it doesn’t and for others, it’s a living nightmare. […]


    Pingback by what is ADHD dot xyz — November 8, 2015 @ 5:10 AM

  241. My son had been on keppra for 6 year and had been seizure free for the past 41/2 years …the doctor took him off meds 3 weeks ago and today he had 2seizures …can he go back on keppra ?


    Comment by Karen — November 13, 2015 @ 9:21 PM

  242. Yes, he can, if the doctor feels that’s the best plan of action.

    But, he may suggest another med that he feels will work better.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 14, 2015 @ 9:10 AM

  243. I took keppra, it helped a little but it made me gain weight, so I had to stop taking it. The doctor said that was one of the side affixs.


    Comment by michele metzger — January 6, 2016 @ 9:29 PM

  244. Not surprising, but at least that was your only side effect!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 6, 2016 @ 10:09 PM

  245. I am an epileptoligist with 25 years experience. my skinny on Keppra effective medication No systemic ( heart, liver, blood cells, electrolyte side effects).can be used effectively in dangerous acute situation. psychological side effects depression anxiety irritability insomnia pretty common, under diagnosed Drs often. Do not.
    ask about these problems so patients and their loved ones and caretakers must be on guard for these issues. I personally reject the published literature that maintains that there are no more. Psychologic problems with Keppra than other meds clinical experience. refutes this academic conclusion. G Ney MD


    Comment by Gershon Ney MD — January 9, 2016 @ 8:34 PM

  246. Dear Dr. Ney,

    Try to find ANY published materials against Keppra.

    The BIG Pharma fraternity seems to have their lips sealed.

    Thanks for writing.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 10, 2016 @ 9:43 AM

  247. In 2004, Keppra did a number on my mood. I got in a fight with one of my best friends and got thrown out of church for doing it. He had me arrested and then I got into a fight with the cop who came after me. after I got out of the house of correction, it prevented me from getting restored back into my church. I finally did get restored in 2008 and I spent the next three years sleeping 12 hours a day, due to chronic fatigue. I have had a headache for almost four years and in 2015 I was very irritable. I was afraid that I would end up getting thrown out of my church again. I had been having arguments with people all year, but by November 1st, I was totally off of Keppra, and have not bumped heads with anybody; not even a little, since then.


    Comment by JohnFinnJr (@JohnFinnJr) — January 15, 2016 @ 10:46 AM

    • Sadly this classic Keppra. Let the patient beware


      Comment by Gershon Ney MD — January 15, 2016 @ 2:49 PM

  248. Wow John, what a disaster. I’m surprised your doc didn’t change your meds sooner.

    What are you on now and how are you feeling?


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 15, 2016 @ 12:16 PM

  249. B6 in large quantities causes neuropathy. I am surprised that Phyllis is recommending b6 to people on here when it is a commin cause for neuropathy, especially in B-50 and B-100 complexes.


    Comment by Lisa — January 24, 2016 @ 3:55 PM

  250. Wow Lisa! My research contradicts you.

    But thanks for your input.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 24, 2016 @ 8:21 PM

  251. I know keppra isn,t for every one. When I was put on it, I gained weight.and it didn,t help much, I,m glad it works for you.


    Comment by michele metzger — March 2, 2016 @ 4:03 PM

  252. I’ve never taken Keppra. This article is for and about people who have.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 2, 2016 @ 4:07 PM

  253. I have been epileptic for fifty eight years. I have been on Keppra for the past fourteen years. I cannot take capsules due to the sensitivity to petrochemicals. I can only take certain tablets as I am chemically sensitive also. Keppra is one of the few tablets I can take. My current dosage is 1500mgs morning and night.


    Comment by Christine Jones — March 3, 2016 @ 8:52 AM

  254. Great! I’m glad it works for you!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 3, 2016 @ 10:09 AM

  255. I’ve became diagnose with epilepsy in 2007 (age 17). My first medication was lamictal. The medication got me through with no seizure for a couple of years but then it came back and worse than before and increasing in dosage of lamictal did not help. Then my neurologist added Keperra into my list in 2011 and it worked. I did not get any side effect, and no seizure for 3 years until last year when I had 3 major seizures due to the reduction of dosage of my medications. My dosage was Keppera 250 mg x2 and lamictal 250×2 a day. I thought I could stop taking the medication by the end of 2015 but it did not work. Apparently I might have to take this medication for the rest of my life because I cannot afford having seizure while im pregnant. At the moment I am on keppera 750 mg a day and lamictal 1000 mg a day. I feel very lucky that I do not have any side effect from neither medications but I just hope that it isn’t slowly building inside me and once im older the symptom appears and untreatable. I take fish oil, is that a good idea? or should I switch to vitamin B complex to support my brain?


    Comment by Karen — March 6, 2016 @ 8:31 PM

    • B Complex Vitamins – are, without a question, the star of all vitamins.

      In sufficient quantities, especially those that combine B6, B12, folic acid, thiamine and biotin, they are vital to the production of numerous brain chemicals.

      Like the neurotransmitters which serve as the chemical message bearers between your nervous system and brain.

      The most efficient way to make use of this “brain food,” is to take it in a B complex form, since this contains all the vitamins in the B group.

      And when combined, they work synergistically together.

      Take a single B-50 B complex tablet twice a day with food.

      Each dose should contain 50 micrograms of vitamin B12 and biotin, 400 micrograms of folic acid, and 50 milligrams each of all the other B vitamins.

      2 g. Fish Oil (with high levels of EPA and DHA) — polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA — found in abundance in fish oil — can be beneficial in the treatment of nearly every illness, especially neurological, cognitive and psychological disorders.

      These essential fatty acids are some of the most important building-blocks for our brains, and neurons are much more likely to misfire in the event of omega-3 deficiency.

      Because of the many discoveries relating omega-3 fats to improved brain function many people with epilepsy are turning to fish oil as a natural therapy.

      If you’re pregnant, magnesium sulfate has been shown to prevent additional seizures.

      In recent years, doctors have disagreed about whether magnesium sulfate or more traditional anti-seizure medications (diazepam, phenytoin) should be preferred.

      Obstetricians favored magnesium, while neurologists favored the more traditional approach.

      However, a large amount of clinical evidence now conclusively supports the use of magnesium sulfate as the safest and most effective drug for preventing seizures in pregnant women.

      Overall, the data shows that magnesium sulfate can reduce the risk of having ongoing seizures by up to 66%.

      When compared to other anti-seizure medications, magnesium sulfate has been shown to be more effective and to reduce the risk of other possible complications.

      There are also several pregnancy registries that track the safety of AEDs.

      Participation is free and the registry will both provide you with information and help the epilepsy community to better understand the safety of AEDs during pregnancy.

      It’s a good idea to contact one of the registries if you have epilepsy and are pregnant.

      A list and links can be found at:

      The Antiepilepsy Drug (AED) Pregnancy Registry 1-888-233-2334 http://www.massgeneral.org/aed


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 6, 2016 @ 9:26 PM

  256. My father is on Keppra and not only has his life been impacted negatively, but our entire family has changed. We spent Easter Sunday removing him from jail after he lost when a bunch of cyclists were taking up all of the roadway near our home. No one was hurt, but my dad was laying on his horn and yelling profanities. This is not the man who raised me. It’s devastating. I held his hand the entire way home. What is confusing, is that when my parents went to Mayo, yesterday, the neurologist increased his antidepressant and the Keppra. This doesn’t seem right, does it? I’m very scared for my dad AND my mom, highschool sweethearts whose lives changed forever when my dad went for a leisurely bike ride in the forest preserve without a helmet.


    Comment by S Daugherity — April 6, 2016 @ 6:07 AM

  257. OMG! Why did the doc KEEP him on Keppra? I’m not sure it’s going to be an easy problem, fixed by antidepressants.

    Either have a little sit down with him or seek a second (or third) opinion.

    Here’s a compilation by website forum members who have had positive personal experiences with docs over the years.

    2016 Comprehensive List of GOOD Neurologists…Epileptologists… Neurosurgeons…and Pediatric Doctors


    I hope it helps…


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — April 6, 2016 @ 8:10 AM

  258. I’ve been having nocturnal seizures for over a decade.
    Went through several medications, and had to stop each of them because they weren’t helpful and had
    unacceptable side effects. One resulted in a rash, another one literally turned off short term memory. Finally my doctor recommended Keppra, which dramatically reduced the number of seizures, and most
    importantly their strength. Keppra however had side effects as well, including Keppra rage, memory
    loss, fatigue, and vivid dreams. Lowering the dose reduced these side effects, without changing the
    benefits. Eventually I lowered it to an incredibly low daily amount of about 100mg, which removed all
    side effects, except for vivid dreams, yet still kept the seizure control intact. Adding 2.5mg of B6 removed vivid dreams. Hope this helps someone!


    Comment by Websurfer — May 16, 2016 @ 3:18 AM

  259. SUPER! And THANKS!

    B Complex Vitamins are, without question, the star of vitamins. So your decision was a smart one.

    In sufficient quantities, especially those that combine B6, B12, folic acid, thiamine and biotin, they are vital to the production of numerous brain chemicals.

    Like the neurotransmitters which serve as the chemical message bearers between your nervous system and brain.

    The most efficient way to make use of this “brain food,” is to take it in a B complex form, since this contains all the vitamins in the B group. And when combined, they work synergistically together.

    Take a single B-50 B complex tablet twice a day with food.

    Each dose should contain 50 micrograms of vitamin B12 and biotin, 400 micrograms of folic acid, and 50 milligrams each of all the other B vitamins.

    Brain Food for Your Health…


    (I hope this is helpful, rather than confusing!)


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 16, 2016 @ 10:21 AM

  260. I have been tAken keppra since I was about 25 weeks with my second daughter and she is now 4 months. And it makes me extremely angry and tired. I get sooo mean ochre my self bc of it. And my Dr put me on a metabolism b6 vitamin to take to help with that!! How would it help I asked my Dr and he don’t explain how it would help!? So please help me understand Wat I should do.


    Comment by Corena Miller — May 26, 2016 @ 1:40 AM

  261. Corena,

    B Complex Vitamins – are, without a question, the star of all vitamins.

    In sufficient quantities, especially those that combine B6, B12, folic acid, thiamine and biotin, they are vital to the production of numerous brain chemicals.

    Like the neurotransmitters which serve as the chemical message bearers between your nervous system and brain.

    The most efficient way to make use of this “brain food,” is to take it in a B complex form, since this contains all the vitamins in the B group. And when combined, they work synergistically together.

    Take a single B-50 B complex tablet twice a day with food. Each dose should contain 50 micrograms of vitamin B12 and biotin, 400 micrograms of folic acid, and 50 milligrams each of all the other B vitamins.

    (If you feel stressed, you’ll probably do best with a higher intake of a B complex. A daily dosage of 100-200mg. may be required, split into doses 2 or 3 times a day. Take this extra dose for a short time until you find that you are fairly relaxed, and then cut down the amount.)

    If you’d like to know about other supplements that may help, you might look at:

    Brain Food for Your Health…



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 26, 2016 @ 10:46 AM

  262. I was put on Keppra a little over a year ago and just here recently I’ve been getting more Euphoria’s and deja vu feelings. I feel that Keppra has taken over my life and I’m constantly living in fear all the time with it. I’ve experienced vertigo sometimes. my mind gets cloudy while im on Keppra to where I’m living in a constant state of fear. sometimes I’m afraid to even step outside of my home because of how I’m feeling on Keppra.


    Comment by Cassie — May 30, 2016 @ 6:29 PM

  263. Well, I’ll ask the obvious.

    Can you change to another med? Or have more than mono therapy? (You know, something to somehow balance the Keppra effects.)

    I’m not a doc, so I can’t really give you any suggestions, but your life right now seems less than enviable. 😦


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 30, 2016 @ 6:35 PM

  264. The worst drug I ever tried, no sideeffekts but so the biggest fits ever and I have been a tried so much but that’s was the worst! !!!!!


    Comment by Tone Merete Nilsen — June 7, 2016 @ 11:06 AM

  265. Hopefully, you’ve changed meds. What are you on and how are you doing?


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 7, 2016 @ 11:53 AM

    • Phylis they have doubled my keppra from 1000mg per day to 2000mg per day for the past year. It has my seizures under control which is good because I cannot handle fracturing my back again. The bad part is the smallest amount of exertion causes fatigue. I try to only plan one or two things to do everyday. Today is laundry
      I spend a lot of time in my apartment and have very low energy.


      Comment by Rich hansen — June 7, 2016 @ 1:26 PM

  266. I was forced to sell my house through a nasty divorce. I am now living in a one bedroom apartment. I have a few close friends and have re connected with both my kids now in their twenties. I am do for a yearly physical maybe I am missing something. My mom took b 12 shots for years and warned me about this.


    Comment by Rich hansen — June 7, 2016 @ 3:03 PM

  267. The vitamins sound good. And not everyone on anti-depressants lose it. (At least, I haven’t yet!)

    You sure do have a lot to be depressed about at the moment.

    The one light shining from this cloud is reconnecting with your kids.

    Here are “10 Antidepressant Alternatives Proven to Work”


    P.S. Mercola is a pretty good alternative medicine guy. I used to write about Health and Wellness and always admired his work. It’s not crazy and over the top, like some other “healers”.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 7, 2016 @ 5:04 PM

    • Phylis I have had two brain surgeries and gamma knife radiation twice in the last 5 years. My last radiation was a failure and I still have the tumor. It looks like I will be facing surgery for the third time. I think I have no other


      Comment by Rich hansen — June 7, 2016 @ 5:50 PM

    • Phylis I am sure anti depressants are good for some people. What scares me is that every person that goes postal is on anti depressants. We just do not know the long term effects of all these drugs.


      Comment by Rich hansen — June 7, 2016 @ 6:08 PM

  268. I’m sure some of them were postal before.

    But there are antidepressants that are quite mild and act more like a mood stabilizer — like Effexor — which I’ve been on for ages.

    No side effects, no jolly highs, it just sort of evens things out.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 7, 2016 @ 7:04 PM

  269. Rich have you ever try taking an iron pill to help boost your energy level so you could feel like you will want to do more things and maybe it would boost your energy level.


    Comment by Corina — June 8, 2016 @ 9:32 AM

  270. B Complex Vitamins are, without a question, the star of vitamins.

    In sufficient quantities, especially those that combine B6, B12, folic acid, thiamine and biotin, are vital to the production of numerous brain chemicals.

    Like the neurotransmitters which serve as the chemical message bearers between your nervous system and brain.

    The most efficient way to make use of this “brain food,” is to take it in a B complex form, since this contains all the vitamins in the B group. And when combined, they work synergistically together.

    Take a single B-50 B complex tablet twice a day with food. Each dose should contain 50 micrograms of vitamin B12 and biotin, 400 micrograms of folic acid, and 50 milligrams each of all the other B vitamins.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 8, 2016 @ 10:33 AM

  271. I have epilepsy, took dilantin for yrs,ever since I was 12yrs.up until 56 .had a very bad attack was in hospital for awhile,where I was introduced, to keppra,1000mg twice daily. Havent had no more attacks,dilantin ate my gums up,possible liver damage.so anyone who has epelipsy,I would highly recommend Keppra,I’ve been sez.free for about 5 yrs feel great,can drive
    No bad side effects, here.thoughts etc


    Comment by Gary Rogers — July 15, 2016 @ 9:58 PM

    • Gary, what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another and I, too, know the side effects of Dilantin. (Been there, done that!)

      I’m sooooooo glad you found relief with Keppra.

      As you read above, it CAN do some people a world of good!


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 16, 2016 @ 10:47 AM

      • Yes no choice but keppra the fatigue factor is still a major problem. Everything I do us a major chore.



        Comment by Rich — July 25, 2016 @ 10:49 PM

      • Fatigue is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s getting through the day… 😦


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 26, 2016 @ 3:42 PM

  272. NATURAL & EFFECTIVE TREATMENT TO SEIZURE (EPILEPSY): Our son has temporal lobe epilepsy, He has seizure and had a grand mal with rage episode (8 men to hold him down), Our son’s seizure is constant throughout the day according to EEG results. We had used several medicine which include: 600 Epilem 100 topolex 150 Epitec X2 Daily Dopoquel and cilift, Keppra, Topomax lasted for about 3 days, but I put an end to that due to my son losing weight and being lethargic. I recently got a natural medicine that handle Epilepsy with no side effect. It is an herbal medicine. William Herbal Product is the only effective treatment I have ever used.
    Note: There is no cure for epilepsy yet but effective treatment of Epilepsy is available. for more info, contact Dr.William with this Email: drwilly37@gmail.com


    Comment by Jill Grosh — July 15, 2016 @ 11:01 PM

  273. Jill, thanks for the recommendation.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 16, 2016 @ 10:41 AM

  274. I am a high school math teacher and was also teaching 8-9 credit hours at the local junior college. I developed a serious sleeping disorder. This was in 2012. After 2-3 nights of no sleep, I was afraid to drive or even attempt to teach a math class or be on campus.

    Over the last four years I have been prescribed ambien, lunesta, clonazapam, and all sorts of “garbage” that did not work. It was a vicious cycle. Amitriptyline caused me to have a heart valve problem and two irregular EKGs. I have undergone two stress tests, an EEG, an MRI and countless blood tests.

    I finally had a panic attack and was prescribed aprazolam. IT WORKED!! Doctors do not like to prescribe this medicine. It has a reputation of being called a “street drug”.

    In 2014, I had not slept for 2-3 days. Unobserved, I had my first grand mal seizure. I woke up on the floor, nauseous. I had fallen out of my desk chair, my face landed in the trash can and when I looked in the mirror, my face was bloody.

    I met with my local Nurse Practitioner at that time. I asked for aprazolam. She looked at me like I was a ” drug addict”, “a seeker”. ” A criminal.”

    This sleep disorder continued until January, 2015. I had another grand mal seizure right in the Dr.’s office. On a scale of 1-10, he said it was a “15”. It was one of the worst seizures he had witnessed. I fell out of my chair, convulsed, and lost bladder control.

    I was prescribed keppra. For me, keppra is the equivalent of ” rat poison”. Congratulations doctors!!! You controlled the seizures. I still was not sleeping. I was nauseous, depressed and finally to the point of considering suicide. These are just a few of the side effects of keppra.

    On one occasion, I had not slept for 2-3 days. The NP prescribed a new product. She failed to mention that it took 5 days to work. (8 days without sleep) She later discharged me as a patient. She must have thought I was a “seeker”. I lost my teaching job and insurance. For the first month, I was afraid to leave my apartment. I hadn’t slept in 4-5 nights. No sleep, with the side effects of keppra, in desperation, I drove four blocks to the local hospital.

    I readily agreed to be admitted to the local mental center (although it was more like a detox tank). I was treated so rudely and inhumanely. Although, the patients were pleasant, I was in with heroin addicts. They asked if I was “tweaking”? This is where I learned the word ” seeker”. With a laugh, I replied, ” No, I can’t sleep and keppra is poisoning me”. I’m glad they weren’t any of my students!

    During a telemed session, I argued with the psychiatrist. She wanted to move me to the psychiatric ward. (Really, for not being able to sleep?) I insisted I was not leaving this facility until I could sleep and be released from keppra. I kept repeating, “Let’s treat the underlying problem, the sleep disorder, and I won’t need keppra!”

    Oh, I did try to make an appointment with a neurologist. It takes 3-4 months.

    Tomorrow, I begin teaching and functioning again. No anti-depressants and no keppra, just a product that helps me sleep. How many women have this problem? Is it related to menopause or a personal problem? I feel as though doctors have messed with my life for the last four years. I wish I could mess with their medical degrees.



    Comment by Mickie Wright — July 25, 2016 @ 5:55 PM

    • Mickie, I have been taking aprazolam for years without being considered an addict. And obviously, because of your sleep problems, the docs missed their mark and threw away the baby with the bathwater. And boy, have you been through the ringer!

      Did anyone suggest anything as simple as a sleep study? And what’s with the psych unit stuff?

      Sounds as if the NP was playing God with you and you should have gone back to the doc himself (the one who rated your seizure on a scale of 15) and said this is NOT working.

      Why not another med, or even better yet, a different doctor? No one seemed to do anything but shuffle you around, without a whole lot of rhyme or reason.

      So you left out the last part. You managed to somehow get off Keppra (HOORAY!), find a sleeping solution and get a life back.

      HOW? What is your secret? What are you taking to sleep? Are you still having seizures?


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 25, 2016 @ 9:22 PM

    • Every situation is different. The body can only go without sleep for so long before it demands sleep.
      I would seek sleep solutions, not ambian, keppra relaxes the brain and makes it easy for most to sleep. The doctors do the best they can but are not miracle workers. I would start with a complete sleep study. Stay away from any stimulants including caffeine. I would also look at natural sleep options such as melatonin. Smart to go to the emergency room when having a panic attack. Suicide is not a good option. This too will pass.



      Comment by Rich — July 28, 2016 @ 8:03 PM

    • I left the mental facility without Keppra, contrary to the NP advice. I am using Xanax; it works. I don’t like admitting to using it. Some people don’t understand it’s good qualities and criticize the use of it.

      Thank you for your support!


      Comment by Mickie Wright — July 31, 2016 @ 7:11 PM

      • Xanax is not a dirty word. If it is, include me in the club.

        People expect everyone to be addicted, but if you don’t have an addictive personality, it’s really a moot point.

        I’ve been taking Xanax for 12 years — as needed. And it often takes me 3 months to use up a 30 days supply!


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 31, 2016 @ 7:36 PM

  275. I had been in Epilim for 30 plus yrs after having a seizure. About 4 yrs ago I developed violent tremorrs. Couldn’t eat without dropping it down myself. I ended up using a walking stick. Through the help of my Doctor and consultant I have been put on keppra along side my other medication for epilepsy (I have tempral LOBE epilepsy) The keppra was introduced over 6 months with the dosage increased fortnightly and epilim reduced. At last no tremors. Felt brilliant. No stick felt like a new woman. Loads of compliments about how well I looked. Felt amillion dollars THEN last wk I began to feel so angry and distructive. Was horrendous to my son. I wouldn’t tell u the swear words i called him. I readuced him to tears. My god he’s a man aged 33. Wot the he’ll is wrong with me. Everything seems s..t at the moment. Feel so distructive want to lash out and hurt people then sit back and feel I am worthless. I’m not ME. Is it KEPPRA


    Comment by Jane Jefferson — July 28, 2016 @ 3:38 PM

    • Yes Jane, the anger and outbursts definitely sound like some of the nasty side effects of Keppra.

      I would suggest you note your moods and the “incidents”, take your notes to your doctor and ask him to be switched to another med.

      Because, even if Keppra is working for you physically, emotionally, it’s taking quite a toll. 😦


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 28, 2016 @ 4:41 PM

      • If you are having a fear leaving the house while on keppra. Take a look at what you are putting into your mind. If you are watching a lot of news it is depressing. Garbage in garbage out. Try reading a positive or spiritual book. Take a walk, get some sun, listen to music. Try to do something to get your mind off your negative thoughts.


        Comment by Rich — July 31, 2016 @ 3:26 PM

    • I have been on keppra for over five years. Keppra reduces brain activity. So over time you do not address things on a daily basis. Over time people need to express their emotions. Apologize to your son and find creative ways to release your anger. Take a walk. Eat roast beef and Nash potatoes. For me music is my outlet. When you imprison a person for a period of time eventually there anger will come out. Keppra is a type of prison.



      Comment by Rich — July 31, 2016 @ 2:59 PM

  276. What a beautiful site! I have been on Keppra (1500mg ER 2x a day) for about 3 years. Can’t remember exactly how long since I do experience memory loss but still not as bad as when I was having active seizures. For me it has been fanatastic. After being on Tegretol at first and having to go to the doctor every week to test my liver and sodium levels a new Neurologist changed my medicine. I have had to tweak my meds somewhat since I started having some breakthroughs and now take Lamictal too. I never put two and two togethor with the meds, nausea, dizziness and mood swings. I am a new epileptic (diagnosed 6 years ago at 31?!) So when I start noticing changes I just assume I am aging and maybe just having a ‘bad day’. This has been very enlightening. Thank you so much for this site!


    Comment by Jennifer — July 28, 2016 @ 4:59 PM

    • Welcome to the land of Keppra and Epilepsy Talk!


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 28, 2016 @ 7:46 PM

      • If you are having memory loss. Write a list of things to do for the next day. Also journal your experiences then you can review them periodically


        Comment by Rich — August 1, 2016 @ 1:09 AM

  277. My boy friend drinks and takes his medication kepra plus other tablets he been drinking to weeks id. Like to know why he drinks as most times gets apcents little fits


    Comment by Charmaine — July 28, 2016 @ 6:13 PM

    • I believe that keppra relaxes the brains electrical activity. Drinking I think does the same thing. So it is like a double dose. The withdrawel from alcohol can cause seizures I have read


      Comment by Rich — September 8, 2016 @ 3:24 PM

      • Phylis, since my seizures began I have been falling to the ground in my home–which has wood floors. Each time, I hit my head, which is not to mention the serious head injury I had in 1988, for which the med records have been burned. I did not retrieve those med records at all, I was stupid to the max for about 8 years, after which the records had been burned. Then came head injuries, back injuries, hip injuries, plus arthritis all over my body. I found a pain management doctor, or group, and he swabbed the inside of my mouth to find which meds I would “tolerate” and would also kill my pain. He gave me Fentanyl patches. It was heaven. I was not stoned, I could drive again, I could finish my own sentences, and I felt whole for the last 6 months. Yesterday, at my appointment, the doc told me that he couod no longer prescribe Fentanyl patches because the FDA had come down hard on these kinds of meds unless I was in a hospital and one of my limbs had been severed. NOW WHAT? Jim (the husband) and I are are moving to Washington State in Spring, 2017. Does anyone here live in Oregon, where they are notorious for giving pills to cause death in people whose illness causes the patient to desire death to get out of their pain? Anyone know? And Phylis, why is it that you pass over people’s posts who use words that are not real, or those who fail to use commas, and periods, and other egregious slams to the English language? BTW, there is a program anyone can add to their computers for free, “grammarly.com” and, for 12 dollars a month, can correct one’s grammar?
        Oh my, some of them must have been written in dead languages such as Latin or ancient Mandarin?


        Comment by Michele — September 8, 2016 @ 4:22 PM

      • There must be other pain killers you can try. My mom was on tramadol. I would not suggest driving on any pain medication. My mom had several accidents while driving. There is serious withdrawal from any pain medication. I am sure they will taper you off.


        Comment by Rich — September 8, 2016 @ 4:44 PM

      • Dear Phylis, Because the pain doc gave me a DNA test prior to prescribing my particular meds, (which was amazingly interesting ,and on the cusp of new meds, I felt comfy taking the script and then putting the patch on my chest, as directed, and my pain, the same pain that had kept me in bed with ice packs, heat pads and agony; the patch made me feel darn close to feeling euphoric, which I told him. He said that such was normal, given that I was, prior to the pain and the falls, been a lawyer (speaking in courts, in public, and to clients, which I had not been able to do for at least 20 years. I even got to the point of not wanting to leave the house, for fear I would have so much pain in my back, that I would HAVE to sit down in places like Nordstrom’s (they don’t charge you any more than Macy’s AND they send it to your home via a sweet UPS man), AND they send him BACK to pick the things up, if I have chosen the wrong size, color or ANYTHING. I’m sure you have read the stories about the kinds of things that Nordstrom stores have taken back–no receipt, no box, no NOTHING. (I usually have the receipts, though).If they are selling it for the same price as Macy’s, and they take back ANYTHING why would ANYONE shop ANYWHERE else. We live 73 traffic full miles from the nearest store, I’ve never been in it, but it IS online. I get my skin stuff from Clinique from them and I DARE anyone to show me better skin than I have, even considering my many head injuries, my epilepsy, my arguments with my husband, ad nauseum.
        I wish all of your readers good luck and I mean it from my crunchy little heart. And to you, Phylis, keep wearing that blue blazer you wore on your (I think) on your birthday. You looked fabulous in it!


        Comment by meesher — September 8, 2016 @ 7:18 PM

      • There must be some sort of head protection you can wear. My dad had polio and he fell at least 100 times and hit his head. We now know it is imperative that you do not hit your head. My dad finally resigned himself to a wheel chair.


        Comment by Rich — September 8, 2016 @ 4:51 PM

      • I would suggest getting alert one like me. If you fall you
        Just press a button and emergency services respond right away. It costs one dollar per day and great peace of mind.


        Comment by Rich — September 8, 2016 @ 5:25 PM

      • Rich, thanks for ALL of your helpful suggestions! I appreciate them.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 8, 2016 @ 6:34 PM

  278. There are two questions that have to be considered when the question of alcohol use and epilepsy comes up.

    One is the effect that alcohol could have on the medicines used to control seizures.

    Alcohol can be dangerous when mixed with sedative drugs and can cause coma, or even death.

    The other question is whether the alcohol itself will cause seizures.

    Large amounts of alcohol are thought to raise the risk of seizures and may even cause them.

    When you drink alcohol, it may temporarily reduce seizures for a few hours, but then increases the chances of a seizure as the alcohol leaves your body.

    That applies to any drug.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 28, 2016 @ 7:50 PM

  279. I started taking keppra when I was 16. At first Everything seemed fine, taking two 500mg doses each day was just like taking an antibiotic to me. I had no problem hearing my neurologist explain that I must take these pills everyday for the rest of my life.
    My seizures became less frequent and my mental health still seemed to be in good condition. After a while though, I started noticing that my seizures came back much stronger and faster if I missed a dose. My neurologist increased my dosage an extra 250mg so now 750mg twice a day..My brain is dependent on the drug so it’s important that I don’t skip a single pill. It’s been four years and I’ve experienced some dramatic feelings and changes in my life. Not the ones a typical growing teenager would feel. At first, I thought it was just me being stubborn or being a pussy.. Not being able to take on life’s challenges.. After some time, I’ve noticed that I would get really angry or really depressed when arguing with my family and friends.. Like a roller coaster of emotions. Overthinking everything like a madman. Before, I could easily manage my thoughts and emotions. I would try to make the best out of the situation to ease tension. I was like the peace maker of my group of friends. Now I’ve blown up on close friends, friends I barely talk to, and I’ve isolated myself from most of my family. My whole personality and mindset seems to be in another world. Not a good one btw. Some days, I feel like my normal self again but only for brief periods. When I would accidentally or purposely miss a dose or two, I noticed that my memories, emotions, sense of belonging and understanding, and personality became completely different in a good way.. As if I’m my old self again..I feel like the keppra shuts off a part of my brain that is essential for me to be happy and successful. I’ve had extreme suicidal thoughts off and on. I lost interest in developing relationships with women. No I’m not gay. My life direction constantly changes. All this since my junior year of high school which was when I became diagnosed with left temporal lobe epilepsy and began taking keppra. The depression could crash after a small argument with a close family member or when I make a simple mistake such as, forgetting to take out the trash. Some how miracles keep floating my way though.. As if someone is watching over me. If I didn’t Realize my potential and love my family so much, I would of pulled the trigger quite some time ago. I’m just going to type a list of all the changes befor and after taking keppra.. BEFORE: I had a true sense of purpose, belonging, and direction. I wasn’t floating around at all. My head was clear. Memory was sharp. Highly motivated, Very creative and happy with life. A positive, driven individual setting the example for others. AFTER: lack of memory, motivation, severe depression, isolation but not anti social. frequent uncertainty, anxiety, mood swings. No consistent sense of purpose belonging or direction. Just floating like a tiny boat with holes that constantly need to be patched to keep it from sinking. All I want to do is stop taking keppra and fight my seizures naturally but I know there’s a huge risk of me ending up in the hospital since my body would be going through keppra withdrawal


    Comment by Trevor — July 28, 2016 @ 8:54 PM

    • I went off keppra cold turkey in December 2012 I was ok for awhile then in February 2012 I had a grand mal seizure. I was taken by ambulance to condell hospital. When I arrived my pulse was 150 and my blood pressure was over 200. I fractured my back and spent the day at the hospital. Despite limitations I have resigned myself to the fact I will be taking keppra for the rest of my life. Find a good support group where you can voice how you feel. And try not to over think every thing. Relationships are hard for everyone. I wish you the best Trevor.



      Comment by Rich — October 12, 2016 @ 12:22 PM

      • I’m so sorry to hear. I’m taking 6 Keppras a day along with 3 phenobarbital & 2 lyrica. Have a vagus nerve simulator & still have seizures, not grand mal, just black outs. They found nothing on ct scans, MRI, xrays, etc. Wishing you the best!


        Comment by Ss — October 21, 2016 @ 4:50 AM

      • I have been seizure free for over a year now. I am on 500mgs of keppra 4 times a day for the rest of my life.
        I struggle with constant fatigue. I have had surgery twice and gamma knife radiation twice. My doctors refuse to do radiation again and I really do not want to do surgery again. I am thinking about flying to the Cleveland clinic. Running out of options.



        Comment by Rich — October 21, 2016 @ 3:39 PM

      • Rich, if it’s any comfort, you’re going to the best of the best.

        (But, I’m sure you’ve done your homework!)


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 21, 2016 @ 4:13 PM

      • First of all how do you know where I am going? They are trying to schedule an mri at the out patient facility in glenview,il. Even though the mri costs $5,000 the radiology dept an the hospital downtown tell me that the images are of poor quality. The mri dept tells me they are the same machines. Just like politics people just want to be told the truth.



        Comment by Rich — October 21, 2016 @ 4:24 PM

      • OK Rich. I concede to your wisdom. Perhaps I’m poorly advised. It is a wise man who realizes that “truth rules” no matter how precarious the situation.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 21, 2016 @ 4:40 PM

      • I would prefer the Oregon way 100 Seconal to having surgery again. I have suffered enough with western medicine. I just want to be at peace. I prefer to go out on my own terms rather than being cut open again. I doubt my heart could withstand being under for 8 hours again and then massive does of steroids and then being impaired with brain for two months enough is enough. I should be able to go out on my own terms.


        Comment by Rich — October 21, 2016 @ 5:03 PM

      • 😦 😦 😦

        Not that I disagree.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 21, 2016 @ 6:02 PM

      • I have evaluated many other ways and most have a way of leaving you worse than when you started. The failure rate is too high. Seconol you take two and get sleepy and then take the other 98 no failure rate. I think to qualify you have to have a short period of time to live.


        Comment by Rich — October 21, 2016 @ 6:11 PM

      • Sigh. And where do you get that amount of Seconal?


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 21, 2016 @ 6:30 PM

      • Off the street if not a lethal dose of heroin. Being a first timer it will not take much. Especially with what they are cutting it with.


        Comment by Rich — October 22, 2016 @ 1:51 AM

      • Truth rules when we slaughter two million babies each year. Who fights for there life. After 7 months they are viable outside the womb. Should I not have a choice at how I decide to end my life? Yes I am thankful for the last 5 years of my life. But where is my choice? I should at least be treated as well as an animal. Tired of
        Western medicine. Four treatments and all failures.


        Comment by Rich — October 21, 2016 @ 5:58 PM

      • Yes.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 21, 2016 @ 6:04 PM

  280. Trevor, patch up that boat and don’t consider suicide. (I’ve tried, that and it’s a losing game — no pun intended.)

    You’re still the same good old (or young) Trevor. Just a distorted one, because of drugs.

    Quite simply, you need a change.

    Document your behavior and take it to your doc. If he won’t listen, seek a second (or third) opinion.

    Here’s a link that may help if you decide to seek another neurologist:

    2016 Comprehensive List of GOOD Neurologists…Epileptologists… Neurosurgeons…and Pediatric Doctors


    Good luck. And don’t do anything rash.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 29, 2016 @ 8:12 AM

  281. Fatty liver disease, despite exercise and good diet routine….excessive weight gain(40lbs)…why is none if this mentioned as side effects? I know for a fact I am not the only one. I will say, I happily take and carry this extra weight in exchange for the hell of those deadly, horrific seizures though. And the way hospitals and some nurses and doctors treated me.


    Comment by Cali — July 31, 2016 @ 12:03 PM

    • I’m glad it’s worked for you Cali. I know Keppra works for some.

      But as you can see from the comments above, there are a lot of (justifiably) Keppra angry people.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 31, 2016 @ 5:42 PM

    • My experience is the doctors try to do the best they can. My original general practioner completely missed my 7cm tumor despite the fact I could not lift my left arm over my head and I walked with a limp on my left leg. Any one sided symptom should be referred to a specialist. I still go and see my original general practioner, not to be treated, but because he is a nice guy and I know he had never seen my symptoms before.as far as my extensive contact with nurses i call them my angels. They are up against extreme pressure and have made my hospital stays much better with their compassion.



      Comment by Rich — October 21, 2016 @ 4:08 PM

  282. This is my second response. KEPPRA needs to be jerked off of the market.

    My problem began in 2012. I was teaching high school math and 8 credit hours at the local junior college, while closing on my third house. I had an anxiety attack. Xanax was prescribed and was effective.

    After that I began having sleep problems. I have been prescribed ambien, lunesta, amitriptyline, belsomra, etc. (Amitriptyline caused irregular EKGs) Nothing worked, except xanax. The so-called professionals have been told not to prescribe this medicine. It is now being called, a “street drug”.

    After 3-4 nights of not sleeping, I finally developed grande mal seizures. My first seizure was misdiagnosed. The attending nurse practitioner must have thought I was a “seeker”. She hatefully advised me to seek counseling, which I had been through the previous year. (This was in Hobbs, NM.) (2014)

    My second seizure was in the doctor’s office in Pagosa Spring, CO. He says, “the seizure was violent”. I have no recall of the incident. I was placed on Keppra and Xanax. (2015)

    My brother moved me to Willcox, Arizona and I immediately established a relationship with a so-called medical professional. I asked her if she was a doctor. No, she was a nurse practitioner. I asked if she was comfortable treating seizures. She assured me she was. (If I had not slept for 3-4 days, I was not driving to Tucson for a knowledgeable physician.)

    In my case, Keppra was the equivalent of “rat poison”. I began missing work. And, I was later released from my teaching position and lost insurance. ( The principal actually documented my loss of memory in my reprimand letter.) Oh, this so-call medical provider, in Willcox, actually discharged me as a patient. Where was I supposed to go for help?

    For the first month, I developed agoraphobia and would not leave my apartment. I was not sleeping and still taking Keppra. I admitted myself to the Willcox Hospital and agreed to be admitted to the “mental ward or detox tank” or whatever you would like to call it. These people were less educated than the previous nurse practitioner. I was not leaving this facility until I was not taking Keppra.

    If I had not taken action, I am fairly sure I would have been suicidal. I WAS BEGGING FOR SOMEONE TO HELP ME!


    What was my initial illness? A sleep disorder!!! Is it rocket science or brain surgery to treat sleep disorders? I blame the medical profession for the last four years of my life.



    Comment by Mickie Wright — July 31, 2016 @ 2:19 PM

    • Mickie I do not think you can generalize about keppra. It is the state of the art anti seizure medication. Sleep dis orders can be treated. I think 50 percent of the population has sleep apnea or hypopneos. I do and keeping my weight down and exercise helps. I would look to the Xanax and anti depressant medication. I have noticed the majority of people who go postal are on anti depressant medications. Many people also black out with ambian and other medications. Xanax is highly addictive and I would go on a slow withdrawel. Doctors work very hard trying to help but are overwhelmed with patients and problems. Not always easy to diagnose.



      Comment by Rich — October 21, 2016 @ 3:54 PM

  283. I wish the world could hear your suffering but only us can hear and understand your misery, Mickie.

    I wish there was some way I could patch up your life, but only you can pick up the pieces and find the courage to continue. Despite the hell that you’ve been through.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 31, 2016 @ 5:46 PM

    • Thank you for your response! I disagree, if more people spoke about the side effects of Keppra, as in blogging, perhaps there would be less suffering and we would have a more effective product on the market.

      If a physician would have listened to me four years ago, regarding my sleep disorder, I would not have had to endure this nightmare. My insurance begins August 1, I will locate an excellent gynecologist/endocrinologist to find the root and cure of my problems.

      And thank you, tomorrow will be the second week of school. I will be trying so hard to stay ahead of my tasks and return to being a successful teacher.

      Mickie L. Wright


      Comment by Mickie Wright — July 31, 2016 @ 6:50 PM

  284. BRAVO MICKIE!!! You are a true survivor. With thanks and admiration…Phylis


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 31, 2016 @ 6:54 PM

  285. This medication has saved me and has kept me seizure free. However I do believe that I do have some of the other side side effects however they have not been bad enough to stop taking it. People need to realize medication can affect everyone differently. It is worth trying if you have seizures.


    Comment by Tabitha M London — September 8, 2016 @ 1:00 PM

  286. Tabitha, you have an excellent point. Each of us has our own bodies and different chemistries.

    But I’m certainly happy Keppra is working for you so well!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 8, 2016 @ 2:43 PM

  287. Michele, in reference to pain patches: my husband uses Lidocaine generic patches for Lidoderm and he gets them through Good Rx.com. We were most successful at Walmart.

    There are also Canadian companies where you can try to get your meds: but you have to Google the specific med.

    I don’t think you’ll be able to get Fentanyl anywhere 😦 but if you resort to another topical pain patch, you might have more luck.

    By the way, I ignore NOBODY’S posts for ANY reason and I take exception to that slam.

    I don’t “pass over people’s posts who use words that are not real, or those who fail to use commas, and periods, and other egregious slams to the English language.”

    I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and blame it on the meds. (Especially if you’re taking Keppra.)


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 8, 2016 @ 6:18 PM

  288. Michele, the DNA test does sound fascinating. Perhaps you’ve got one of the honest to truth lives ones (docs) out there.

    I hope you can find some kind of substitute out there. Either in Canada or through some place like Good Rx.com.

    Nordstrom’s is great as long as you can navigate the store. And yes, they have comfy chairs, but I miss the piano player.

    You keep that beautiful skin (I think it must be genetic, you give Clinique too much credit), and I’ll keep wearing the blue blazer — which is worn to bits and has needed remedial invisible weaving!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 8, 2016 @ 7:44 PM

  289. Keppra has saved my life and no side effects if its taken off the market i will only live as long as i have supply i have 😟 I can have a semi normal life but
    I cant imagine life otherwise i trained as a nurse but only with keppra help
    Please supply it to those who need it
    Like myself


    Comment by Greg — October 12, 2016 @ 3:02 AM

    • Greg I’m still on it and it has helped me out the last few years and I have gone a year with out a bad seizure and I think that’s why my doctor has keeps me on it this long. I do take a higher milligram then you do 2 times a day.


      Comment by Corina — October 12, 2016 @ 12:56 PM

  290. Greg, that’s fabulous and it’s great to hear another person benefited by Keppra.

    It’s not a villain as the beginning accounts testify. And it’s here to stay.

    But, what’s good for one isn’t good for all, as you know.

    I’m just grateful that you found something that works for you!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 12, 2016 @ 9:06 AM

  291. I’m on A generic form of 6 Keppras a day, 3 phenobarbitals in the morning & 2 lyricas all in 1 day due to my epilepsy. I just black out, no grand mal seizures. Nothing in my xrays, ct scan, MRI etc. I also have a vagus nerve stimulator. I can’t even tell the difference between anything honestly.


    Comment by S — October 21, 2016 @ 4:43 AM

  292. S, are you aware of the new Aspire?

    AspireSR® expands the use of VNS Therapy to a new responsive type of stimulation.

    According to its creator Cyberonics, this is the first and only VNS Therapy System that provides responsive stimulation to heart-rate increases that are often associated with seizures in people with epilepsy.

    VNS…Exciting News!



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 21, 2016 @ 2:27 PM

  293. Well Rich, if it’s any comfort, you’re going to the best of the best.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 21, 2016 @ 3:47 PM

  294. You must be in the tank for northwestern memorial because when I mentioned Cleveland clinic I got a call from northwestern memorial. I fear more complications from surgery and would prefer to just die. I have no bucket list and have experienced everything this life has to offer.


    Comment by Rich — October 22, 2016 @ 1:56 AM

  295. Please don’t give up, Northwestern Memorial or not.

    You’ll only hurt those you love or those who love you.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 22, 2016 @ 10:23 AM

  296. Good luck trying to withdraw from Xanax I saw what tramadol did to my mom. More and more people are dying from prescription drugs.


    Comment by Rich — October 22, 2016 @ 1:40 PM

  297. I think it depends upon your proclivity towards addiction.

    I’ve been on Xanax for 10 years. No dose change. No problems.

    Lucky me.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 22, 2016 @ 2:10 PM

  298. Hi, Phyllis, We met with our son’s neurologist today, and he told us about the “new and improved” Keppra. It supposedly does not have the bad side effects (behavioral) that the original Keppra had. Have you heard anything about this? Neurologist said it has only been available since July, 2016.


    Comment by Martha — November 3, 2016 @ 8:19 PM

    • The new keppra is supposed to be time released. Since keppra builds up in the blood stream I am not sure what other benefits it has.


      Comment by Rich — November 3, 2016 @ 9:43 PM

    • Martha, I looked and looked and couldn’t find anything except for someone with the same question on an Epilepsy Foundation website thread. So sorry. Does it have a new name that it goes by?


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 4, 2016 @ 12:57 PM

      • I will call the company directly. I did that once before, and their customer service department was very helpful.


        Comment by Martha — November 4, 2016 @ 1:10 PM

      • THANKS lots. If they have a link, it would be very helpful.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 4, 2016 @ 1:21 PM

      • http://www.keppra.com. Made by UCB, Inc. in Smyrna, GA. Phone: 1-866-822-0068. Most medications have their own web site: Topamax.com, Depakote.com, etc.


        Comment by Martha — November 4, 2016 @ 3:25 PM

      • Oh, so it’s Keppra XR that’s new! Thanks, I didn’t even know they didn’t have an XR version! (DUH!) Thanks again, Martha.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 5, 2016 @ 9:04 AM

      • Thanks Martha. I didn’t even know they didn’t have an XR version. (Duh.) Thanks again.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 5, 2016 @ 9:07 AM

  299. For me the only drug that has caused a side effect to my personality was vimpat it caused me to go literally crazy. I don’t even remember it. I thank goodness to that, because I said some very hurtful things to my sister and husband I am told.


    Comment by Deb — December 22, 2016 @ 1:21 PM

    • Deb I have been on keppra for about six years.my understanding is that it is the state of the art drug to treat seizures. You do have to make an effort to control your tongue. It does make one edgy amongst other side effects. Maybe there is an alternative for you. If not it is worth the price to pay to be seizure free.



      Comment by Rich — December 22, 2016 @ 6:12 PM

      • Keppra is not recommended for patients with developmental disabilities (autism, etc.). I called the manufacturer in Smyrna, GA because it made my son so crazy. I was expecting their customer service representative to argue with me about it (“You’re the first person who has ever complained!”), but she did not. She readily admitted it wasn’t a good choice for a person with any other disabilities. My son’s neurologist corroborated that. In other words, you have to be a neurotypical to be able to tolerate Keppra.


        Comment by Martha — December 22, 2016 @ 6:21 PM

      • Sounds like you got the answer you were looking for. Keep researching. I had two surgeries and gamma knife radiation twice. I was told over a year ago that I would have to have surgery right away. I refused stating my research shows that the way to treat recurring mengiome tumors is gamma knife radiation. It is your body and you have a right to question all doctors and drug companies. They are all creatures of their own habits


        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Rich — December 22, 2016 @ 7:03 PM

      • Rich, I realize that Keppra is the state of the art drug to treat seizures. Even Orrin Devinsky (my hero) thinks so.

        But what’s good for one isn’t necessarily good for another (see experiences above — both positive and negative) and some people can have really radical reactions to the drug.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — December 22, 2016 @ 7:01 PM

      • According to my General practioner dr. Wyes side effects from most drugs are minimal. If someone had an underlying psychological problem the drug might bring it out. I do agree that the vast majority of people that go postal are on anti depressants. The question always comes back to the chicken or the egg. There is some good evidence of removing seniors who are taking 7 plus drugs a day off of every drug. Kind of like
        A re set. Many do very well taking zero drugs.



        Comment by Rich — December 22, 2016 @ 7:20 PM

  300. That sounds like more than enough craziness.

    Were you ever put on Keppra?


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — December 22, 2016 @ 4:00 PM

    • Yes I have been on keppra for six years. The one time I went off I had a grand mal seizure. I ended up in the emergency room with a fractured back. I will be on keppra for the rest of my life unless they come up with
      Another firm of treatment


      Comment by Rich — December 29, 2016 @ 1:10 PM

      • Rich, I know this is a wild shot, but have you ever considered the VNS?

        Vagus Nerve Stimulation…Is it for YOU?


        Just a thought…


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — December 29, 2016 @ 3:01 PM

      • Too many side effects everything from nausea to bleeding in the brain. I had a stroke during my first
        Surgery. I would try acupuncture first.


        Comment by Rich — December 29, 2016 @ 3:07 PM

      • It might be helpful if you did see if you are a person who can have a VNS implanted in you cause I have one and it has helped me out a lot over the years. Plus I still take Keppra  and I don’t have as many seizures as I did years ago.


        Comment by Corina Perry — December 30, 2016 @ 9:17 AM

  301. I have recently being diagnosed with Epilepsy.
    Have not had previous problems but headaches from a Meningioma tumor that caused, until 3 weeks ago, just headaches. 3 weeks ago I had an epileptic seizure and was the most horrible experience ever, hands down.
    I still have the after effects, or the effects that will last forever I assume. But Keppra has been nothing but Godsend. tho I have bouts of depression and think about killing myself, it goes, or won’t last long.
    I still don’t get the irrational behavior and ira (violent behavior) that supposedly arises from Kappra side effects.
    Then I read, someplace above, that if you have had mental problems before diagnosed with EP you are prone or doom for this violent behavior.
    Should I expect it or I am one of those that Keppra was meant for, thus to be helped?


    Comment by Cuitlahuacn Velazquez — December 28, 2016 @ 2:22 PM

    • Ms. Velasquez the number one most important thing is to get plenty of sleep. Two drink plenty of water. Three take plenty of vitamins. I drink a milk chocolate ensure every morning along with an an executive stress multi vitamin tab. I also take zinc, vitamin d 3, a baby aspirin, 1000mg keppra morning and night. As far as the seizures they are mainly caused by dehydration and or low blood sugar. Eat well balanced meals and healthy snacks if needed. I think the water will help you
      With your headaches.


      Comment by Rich — December 30, 2016 @ 1:38 PM

  302. If Keppra is a Godsend, go with it. If you were going to have any adverse reactions, whatever they were, they would have happened by now.

    I DON’T think you are prone to doom.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — December 29, 2016 @ 10:39 AM

    • I think in the future they will find that drug and alcohol abuse is not a moral failure. My dad was a Harvard graduate and university of Chicago law school graduate. He had a photographic memory. Just for fun when we were in California he sped read the books and passed the California law bar. The down side of all
      This brain activity was anxiety. I believe he self medicated with alcohol. I believe in the future we will know more about brain activity. Yes I hate the fact that
      I have to take keppra. It makes me anti social and sometimes a recluse. I start each day listening to classical music. You have to find the things that calm you down. A good walk, good book. And detach from social media and other things that stress you out. Yoga and deep breathing work for me. Ask yourself how can I be good to myself today and what can I do to help another person today.