Keppra: Worst Side Effect Profile Of All Seizure Meds

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Dr Melissa Says:

I am a 41 year old Family Doctor who requires 2 seizure medications. Topamax 200mg BID has been my mainstay for almost a decade. I have tried (in addition) Depakote, Lamictal and several others. Now Keppra. Although my seizures are controlled, I have developed the most severe cystic acne I have ever seen. Face, ears, neck, chest...incredibly painfully. These cysts have started blocking my tear ducts--my eyes are terribly swollen in the morning. I feel the tracts of these cysts up both nostrils. I have tried everything over the counter, all prescription remedies (Retin-A, minocycline, doxycycline) All to no avail. In addition to the acne, I (who consider myself an even-tempered, non-confrontational human) have become the most hostile, angry the point I cannot stand myself. Hostile to the point I want to make holes in the walls at home. Terrible, right? I will not "treat" these side effects with an antidepressant, as I know what my baseline once was...though that is seeming further and further away from where I am now. Sadness comes and goes, as my once 35min regimen to get out of the house has now turned into a 2 hour ordeal. (showering, drying the weeping cysts, acne meds, moisturize the overdried skin & THEN, try to cover all this crap up so as not to look like a leper). My Neurologist is becoming frustrated with me, as I do request changes in medications secondary to side effects. She tells me, "Doctors are the worst patients". Her health is 100%. I didn't sign up for this.I used to model for a local salon chain. I look at those 'before' pictures...AND PEOPLE WONDER WHY THOSE WITH SEIZRE DISORDERS ARE "Never the same as you used to be". To all who are reading: Just because you don't see physical evidence of a chronic disease (like a cancer patient receiving chemo), doesn't mean it isn't there. This is the first true physical manifestation of a medication side effect I have experienced. People look at me with a look of confusion if they haven't seen me in some time. Chronic disease, even when stabilized, can be all-conuming on an emotional, psychological and physical level. Truly exhausting. I know from experience. I was diagnosed with bitemporal partial complex seizures 11yrs ago. Seven years later, I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. It's an uphill battle everyday. Even when people say, "What's wrong? You look FINE." I don't feel fine. Medications rule my life....or what is now left of a past life. I will never, ever feel the same. And I have a long way to go, at only 41yrs of age.

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David Says:

RE: "To all who are reading: Just because you don't see physical evidence of a chronic disease (like a cancer patient receiving chemo), doesn't mean it isn't there."

That is why it's so important for people to begin to understand how to listen to their body over time and just sit in silence a couple times a day if necessary. It gives us all the information we need in order to take action at various points in our lives.

I wouldn't give up hope if I were you. These things we experience happen for a reason, if not but for benefits or events that we can't begin to interpret right now. I guarantee that these uphill battles will only make you a stronger person in the end!

My best wishes go out to you!

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Janice Says:

I am 48 and have epilepsy. I used to take different seizure medication but I have been on 1,000 mg a day of keppra for 3 years and have never had any side effects.

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Mr ant Says:

Dr. Melissa has made an over statement. Keep par may have the worst side effect profile FOR HER. Everyone is different. With that said I seem to be getting bad acne as well.

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Jimmytheparamedic Says:

Could the skin condition be a manifestation of Epilepsy? I had petite mal seizures from the age of 4 to 14 and had been seizure free for many years. I developed cystic acne at 18 which progressed. I was treated in 2011 for the acne with Accutane. I was unable to complete the full course of the treatment due to side effects. The Accutane helped, and seemed to make the antibiotic treatments work better when I returned to them. Unfortunately my petite mal seizures have returned, so today I have started Keppra.
Accutane may be an option for you. I suggest you speak with a dermatologist. The majority of the problems I had experienced with Accutane were associated with dehydration.

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John Says:

I am on keppra and once used topomax for three weeks before throwing them away. I've also use depakote, dilantin, tegretol and been overdosed on phenobarbitol for 14 years. truth is I hate them all but am stuck with keppra at the moment.

I'm a few years late in responding but have found that topomax causes high creatinine levels which have been shown to be responsible for causing acne. here are a few sites to get some basic information.

Both drugs as you know are for psychological disorders and have an effect upon the endocrine system so they are disrupting hormonal balance and will have a domino effect including brain chemistry. Topomax side effects included anxiety leading to insomnia and perspiring which is an indicator of hormonal imbalance. I almost felt like a woman going through menopause, nice trick for a guy.

keppra at high levels of 2000 plus MG has been reported to have many negative psychological effects including those you reported. I was able to reduce my keppra usage to 750 mg per day and control the seizures but they are still present. I have noticed that when I get heavily congested breathing is difficult and possibly blood oxygen levels decrease and i am prone to have a seizure at that time. IL 13 causes the elevated levels of mucous.

I was on depakote for a few years but that is another endocrine disruptor causing weight gain and loss of personality, I refer to it as a zombie drug.

It would be best to have you mono medicate you for better control over the meds and seizures if it were possible. I also use a product called i26 hyperimmune egg that contains antibodies made from 26 different pathogens. It has greatly improved my health but can't verify or be certain what effect if any it has had in reducing seizures. It balances the immune system helping to reduce and in many cases eliminate inflammation. It also aids your immune system in restoring a balanced body chemistry.

I discovered this when researching osteoarthrits which i had. turns out polyclonal antibodies were very effective in correcting autoimmune disorders and improving health so i continued using it after it corrected the arthritis.

the older drugs did have another issue which keppra and topomax have not yet been shown to cause, osteoporosis. Dilantin interfered with osteoblasts causing gradual bone density loss over the years.

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donald Says:

My doctor prescribed 500mg of keppra two times a day and I was doing good seizure-free for 5 months along with 600mg of oxcarbazepine trice a day. But then she changed it to 1250mg of keppra a day and 900mg of oxcarbazepine a day and in two weeks had a seizure.

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