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  #1  
Old 08-16-2014, 07:18 PM
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Does anyone else have success with Keppra alone?


Starting three years ago, I started having unusual Déjà Vu feelings followed by the feeling of something rising up my chest, and a few years later, almost a year before now, I had a tonic clonic seizure. After going untreated, I had a second one a month later. I later found out those strange sensations were auras, and along with the two tonic clonics I was diagnosed with epilepsy. I was first prescribed 1000mg of Keppra a day, and after continueing to have the partial seizures, they upgraded me to 1500, and after still having issues I was given my current dose of 2000mg a day. I have been symptom free for 8 months and I've been driving for the past few now that I'm alowed. I do have side effects, I am slightly more depressed and more easily aggravated, and a bit more drousy, but none of these side effects are really extreme and I'm learning to handle them.

Anyway, even though I've been fine, I've been under the impression my doctor doesn't know what he's talking about. When I looked up Keppra, in almost all cases, people are taking it with another medication and taking at least 3000mg a day. Even the description of Keppra says it's typically taken with other meds. My doctor said most patients on this are successful with it, and I've been doing fine. In relation to him not knowing what he talks about, he said this has the least side effects, but it sounds like it doesn't.

Anyway, does anyone else have any success with only keppra?
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:08 PM
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I have been on Keppra for 4 years and still having partial seizures . The doctor had me up to 4250mg a day and I could not handle it. I was very upset and my attitude was terrible. The doctor changed my dose of Keppra to 750mg twice a day and added Vimpat. I feel so much better and my mood and tempter is so much better with the lower dose of Keppra. I have not had any seizures . I am going to try and lower my Keppra to 500mg twice a day.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:43 PM
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Maybe it depends on what the cause of seizures are and how extreme or frequency of seizures. Seems to me with my experience of 30+ years DRs main concern is could the cause be from tumor or some other brain abnormality. Reason for 1st step of doing ct or MRI. After this they try to pick up seizure activity on EEG to confirm seizure activity. After this is just takes med or combination of meds to control. I've been on 1500 mg per day of keppra only since last august. Have been like u stated. Some side effects from taking it such as a little depression some cases of anger and anxiety. Not able to sleep well but all in all… no seizure since 7/1/2013. My neurologist says " well it seems to be doing the job".
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Old 08-17-2014, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by daviscy60 View Post:
My neurologist says " well it seems to be doing the job".
That's the way it's been with me, and it has worked for the time I've been on it. I guess I'm lucky because I used to have the much less serious partial seizures frequently, so I have a bit of "warning". I still always feel a bit afraid of a seizure, and if I get some unusual symptom like ringing in my ears or a migraine, I panic a bit. The seizure itself I don't care much about unless I'm driving, it's more the peoples reactions, costly ER visit if I do it in public, and after effects like not driving temporarily that I fear more
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:44 AM
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Sometimes doctors can prescribe meds for off label uses. Epilepsy treatment is almost like solving a puzzle. The doctors can only experiment with you to decide which one works the best for you. I tried trileptal and keppra before being put on lamictal because the former two didn't work. So I don't think your doctor is any less knowledgeable just because he says keppra seems to work. Our goal is to control the seizures, so keppra is doing it's job then I would say not to make a big deal out of it.
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:02 AM
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[QUOTE=katzy; so keppra is doing it's job then I would say not to make a big deal out of it.[/QUOTE]


Katzy - the person was just wanting to know if anyone else has had control with just taking keppra alone… I was just letting this person know that yes I have and like them there are a few side effects that you learn how to deal with or live with. Was not "making a big deal of it". Need to read what the person was asking.
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:22 AM
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I have been on Keppra (actually the generic of it) for almost a little over a year now without any additional medicine. I had a rough time at first adjusting to side effects but asked my doctor about vitamins I could take to help counteract the sleepiness and aggressive behavior I was experiencing. So I take vitamins in addition to my Keppra but have had great success with it so far but it did take about 6 months for things to balance back out to where I felt like myself again. Good luck.
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Old 08-17-2014, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by daviscy60 View Post:
Katzy - the person was just wanting to know if anyone else has had control with just taking keppra alone… I was just letting this person know that yes I have and like them there are a few side effects that you learn how to deal with or live with. Was not "making a big deal of it". Need to read what the person was asking.
Oh wow I'm sorry. I didn't realize I was reading your response. I thought it was Mike's response that I read. Anyway, that doesn't excuse what I said. I apologize to both of you

My doctor tried Keppra as a monotherapy for what she thought at the time was frontal lobe epilepsy. It didn't work. I didn't notice any side effects either.
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Old 08-17-2014, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jenbayly17 View Post:
I have been on Keppra (actually the generic of it) for almost a little over a year now without any additional medicine. I had a rough time at first adjusting to side effects but asked my doctor about vitamins I could take to help counteract the sleepiness and aggressive behavior I was experiencing. So I take vitamins in addition to my Keppra but have had great success with it so far but it did take about 6 months for things to balance back out to where I felt like myself again. Good luck.
I've heard of the "magic vitamins" before to counter the keppra side effects, so I'm just curious to what they are, I may try them. I do have increased aggressiveness to people who aggravate me, when I usually ignored it in the past. I've never been aggravated to the point where I would hurt someone, and I usually avoid these people now, so it's not bad, but it may still may be something I would look into to avoid
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:10 PM
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My understanding is that your Dr will try mono-therapy(single medication) till they just don't work. At that point you and the DR should work harder at the actual cause of the seizures with Epilepsy specialist, sleep studies, more MRI/CAT scans, etc. Then move to multiple medications. I'm just moving off of Keppra to Tegratol (crying game) and been on Lamicital too. Side effects ... not sure who's side they're on, but not fond of them for any of the medications. I'm also working with my DR to go to a specialized epilepsy center as I want to know what the actual physical issue with the noggin is. Then go from there.
I'm skeptical of the "magic vitamins" because everyone's metabolism, anti-epileptic drug's, exercise requirements, and diet are different so the vitamins needed for each person, is different. The body will only metabolize the vitamins it wants, regardless of how many you take but is can be part of the plan.
I think it take a bit of everything and I'm finding that is a lot harder than just "take these pills and everything is OK". Everything includes - diet, exercise, brain exercise, monitoring how you feel all the time, anti-epileptic drug timing, ....... I'm everyone can add to this but there is no simple answer. Keep up the fight!!! It's for a good cause ... YOU!!!!
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by timmah View Post:
My understanding is that your Dr will try mono-therapy(single medication) till they just don't work. At that point you and the DR should work harder at the actual cause of the seizures with Epilepsy specialist, sleep studies, more MRI/CAT scans, etc. Then move to multiple medications. I'm just moving off of Keppra to Tegratol (crying game) and been on Lamicital too. Side effects ... not sure who's side they're on, but not fond of them for any of the medications. I'm also working with my DR to go to a specialized epilepsy center as I want to know what the actual physical issue with the noggin is. Then go from there.
I'm skeptical of the "magic vitamins" because everyone's metabolism, anti-epileptic drug's, exercise requirements, and diet are different so the vitamins needed for each person, is different. The body will only metabolize the vitamins it wants, regardless of how many you take but is can be part of the plan.
I think it take a bit of everything and I'm finding that is a lot harder than just "take these pills and everything is OK". Everything includes - diet, exercise, brain exercise, monitoring how you feel all the time, anti-epileptic drug timing, ....... I'm everyone can add to this but there is no simple answer. Keep up the fight!!! It's for a good cause ... YOU!!!!
I don't really feel safe either, but as long as the medication works, I really don't feel like changing it. I've had things ruled out like brain tumor and MS through the MRI, plus apparently a spine tap, and I also had my blood tested for multiple things. Me myself and everyone else all hope everything stays alright, because it is a major blow having a big seizure. I was in high school when it happened, so it wasn't too bad, but now that I'm in college and eventually going into the career field, this kind of thing can screw me over. I know the medication is working because I've haven't had a partial seizure in over 6 months, while I had them at least weekly before my diagnosis. Lifestyle changes may also be a big part for me too, because while I wasn't always tired when I had them, I seemed to have more partial seizure when tired, so I try to get good sleep. My first tonic clonic was three days after I won a beer pong tournament and got drunk, followed by about an hour of sleep that night, so alcohol withdrawal could have played a role although I have been drunk before that without issues. I also hit my head by falling off an ATV without a helmet 4 days before, but they ruled out concussion. The one I had a month later was after I had a thirty day lime disease treatment (although I tested negative for it) so maybe drug withdrawal played a part. I have never drank an ounce of alcohol and really limit any meds, even over counter stuff. If I do have another tonic clonic or maybe even partial, I will definitely see an Epilepsy specialist...
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:59 PM
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My seizures are brought on by lack of sleep and missing anti-epileptic drug's. I didn't have any seizures till I was in my 40's which was on a train to NYC and in the last couple years, I've had 10+ tonic/clonic seizure's. The anti-epileptic drug's have made it impossible to enjoy a beer ... nothing to do with seizures ... but it did lead to going to bed later ... not sleeping good so alcohol is off the menu. I've always been a lite sleeper and only required 3-4 hours prior to the initial seizure. Now, I have to fight with myself to get 7 hours of sleep, even with the anti-epileptic drug medication ... but the Lorzapam (sleeping pill) help every so often.
Might want to monitor your sleep. Do you dream and when? Do you feel rested? .. ask yourself these questions every morning .... Dreaming is an essential part of sleep.
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Old 08-18-2014, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by timmah View Post:
My seizures are brought on by lack of sleep and missing anti-epileptic drug's.
That's the two biggest things my doctors stressed: Never miss meds, and get plenty of rest. I am very good with my medication and have never missed a dose yet. Once it gets around the "right time" I check multiple times, even after I take it. Before my seizures, 7-8 hours of sleep was normal, so it's easy now, all I got to do is leave early when I'm at a party or something. Sleep wise, some nights I have trouble sleeping, and other nights I sleep like a baby
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:44 AM
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I had my first-ever complex partial seizure exactly 1 year ago. Keppra has been the only anti-epileptic drug I have been on since being diagnosed. It took about 5 months to tweak the dose to be at a therapeutic level, which, for me is 750 twice a day. I have never missed a dose. I really have no side effects. I have had several simple partial seizure since being on the 750 bid dose, but no one is talking about adding an additional med at this time.
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:24 AM
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For a few years, I took Keppra alone and it worked just fine. Now I'm on Vimpat as well. So, yes, Keppra can be used on its own.
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Old 08-25-2014, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by N Sperlo View Post:
For a few years, I took Keppra alone and it worked just fine. Now I'm on Vimpat as well. So, yes, Keppra can be used on its own.
Did you take additional meds due to issues?
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Old 08-25-2014, 01:42 PM
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I take 1500 mg/day generic Keppra alone have been on it since July 2 2013. My last seizure was in dr office on July 1, 2013. No problems with taking Keppra alone. My issues also sound somewhat like yours. Déjà vu feeling and such. I have had that feeling just go away but then again I have had it lead to tonic clonic. I do have side effects also like you mentioned. Memory irritation depression and loss of appetite. Have lost weight. neurologist not to concerned with the loss of wt. Thought at one time I might be able to cut back from 1500 mg to 1000 mg because of the wt loss but was told the amt was not determined by wt so still taking 1500 mg per day. Take 500 in morn and 1000 evening. Most cases I see say you should take equal amts 12 hrs apart. Not sure why I'm taking more in evening than in morn.
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:22 AM
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Hello Mike,
I have been on Keppra since being diagnosed in 2006. I too was initially experiencing deja vu symptoms which lead to sleep walking. At the time my husband was still with me and he could describe all my symptoms to dr. In 2008 my husband passed away and I was in the er on Christmas eve of that year. Was given Ativan, to calm me down. Don't remember much. I have been lucky in that most of my episodes are nocturnal. After my husband passed I could not sleep. Side effect? Grief? Since 2010 I take 5 mg. of lorezepam at night and a total of 1000 mg. daily of generic Keppra. I tried to reduce it several times but could not. So I've stopped trying. Have not had any problems since 2008. I have been lucky. Everyone is different and YOU just have to figure out what works for you.
Good Luck!
M
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:28 PM
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I was on Keppra alone as my first med. It was working (when I remembered to take it), but it was making my depression worse so my neurologist switched me to Trileptal.
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:59 PM
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I had anger management issues when i was on it. That also was the first med i had tried. The one after that, Dilantin was even worse for me.

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