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Hi I have had a seizure disorder since age 18 due to a car accident when I was 10 (developed scar tissue on the brain). I have grand mal seizures-only 4 total but they were the scariest thing I have ever experienced. I have been seizure free since 1999. I have been on depakote this whole time. While depakote controls my seizures, I have gained 100 pounds. My neurologist would like to switch me to Keppra, however I am so scared to switch because of breakthrough seizures. I have 3 children...what if I am driving them to their MANY activities and have a seizure or hurt another innocent driver on the road? I also keep reading about the tiredness, anger, etc that many on Keppra experience...
Sooooo...my question is: Is there anyone out there that has gained weight on depakote and successfully LOST that weight while STAYING on depakote. I am just wondering if I have just developed such bad eating habits due to the increased hunger I feel on depakote. Any input would be greatly appreciated! thanks! wish I had found this site sooner!
I, too

gained over 100 pounds on Depakote. And, part of that was due to thyroid problems, and part of that, I'm sure was due to bad eating behaviors because of the ravenous appetite I had while I Depakote.

There are not always the side effects that you read of regarding Keppra (although I had my fair share, but mine were WEIRD). Remember that each person reacts on an individual basis to each medication. Soooo, you might not have ANY problems with it at all.

If you're really that concerned, ask your neuro if there are any other options in regards to meds that you can change to. If you really don't want to change meds, look at different diet options. There are options listed here--GARD, LGIT, MAD and ketogenic....

It's a lot to consider, and yes, I have been in your place before. Not an easy situation. If you have friends that can help you out while you make the switchover, that would be great (offer to make dinner, pay gas $$, something). I wish you luck with your decision.

Take care.

One advantage of Keppra is that you can taper onto it quickly, so the period when you're transitioning off the Depakote and onto the Keppra won't last very long.

I hear you about the appetite/weight gain issues. I feel like I'm hungry all the time, and I'm starting to gain weight on Lamictal...
Hi..Im on Depakote....and yes, I joined weight watchers and did loose the weight. My problem with Depakote is more so the hairloss. I too have 3 children and am TERRIFIED to switch meds. My doctor wants me to try Lamictal, but I have read of hair loss etc. with that medication also. I would try a weight loss program first, and if it doesn't work, then maybe you can revisit switching your meds. I sympathize with you...it is sooooo scarey to think of putting your children at harm by driving them to activities. Your not alone. Good luck to you sweetie. Virginia
I too know how hard it is to bring up 3 children whilst dealing with epilepsy. I was diagnosed 6 years ago. My children are now aged 11, 7 and 5. If your wife wants to talk, send her here and we will all welcome her with open arms. And a huge :clap: for being so supportive of your wife. I have no suggestions for the weight gain though, my weight fluctuates by up to 3 stones depending on which medication I am on. At the moment I am on 1200mg/day Gabapentin and am keeping my weight constant at 10 stone 5, but when I've been on lamotrigine my weight went up to 13 stone 11. Yet when I took topamax, my weight went down to 8 stone 2. I did have other evil SE's from that though. What's the weight gain like on Keppra cos that's the one my Neuro is likely to start me on as well as the gabapentin(neurontin) in October? I'm happy at the weight I'm at right now...
Hi g76, welcome to the forum. :hello:

Good luck with the depakote/weight loss. There are a lot of people in that boat. At least you aren't also experiencing severe hair loss too. Depakote is "evil".

BTW, if you have truly been seizure free for over ten years, you might be a candidate to wean of AEDs completely:


EEG neurofeedback has helped folks with TBIs to "rewire" their brains to work around the trauma. I'd recommend it as insurance if you are considering weaning or switching medication.
I have been on Keppra since I got diagnosed over a year ago. When I read about side effects I thought Keppra was the worst of all the evils. But I have to say, I am doing much better than I thought when I read all the horrors of Keppra. Side effects don't always effect all. I had more moodiness when I first started, my this drug has been a Godsend to me and has let me lead a normal life that I didn't think would be possible when I first hear the word Epilespy
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