Keppra is ruining my marriage

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My husband was diagnosed with epilepsy about 1 year after we were married due to a traumatic head injury that happened 9 years ago. The doctor put him on Keppra. Since then, my husband has turned into a monster. He screams at me as if he doesn't even know who I am and creates all of these crazy scenarios like I'm cheating trying to turn our son against him. In your experience, do you think the Keppra is turning him into psychotic maniac? I'm literally scared of his mood swings and rage. Is there hope?
 
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i had exact same reaction to keppra 500mg i was like an animal and it looked as if i was drunk even though i dont drink, i blamed my fiance of cheating and tryed to killmyself , go to gp straight away and get him off them or even get him to slowly lower the dose to come off them himself as i said i was the exact same i near broke up my family due to the dreaded Keppra
 
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there is always hope, you`ll find out on this website i`m new here and i`ve found a lot of help already, and made a few friends
 
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Thank you. I don't know what is more frightening, the seizures or his mental state on Keppra. I think I'd rather deal with the seizures. Did you have an increase in seizures when you weaned off of Keppra? This is my first experience with Epilepsy.
 

Cint

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Since your husband suffered a TBI, has he seen a neuropsychiatrist or neuropsychologist? Keppra is one med that can/does cause mood swings (Kepprage). There are plenty of other meds out there for seizures. So yes, there is hope. Make sure you tell the neuro ASAP of his behavior. Some of the AED's are also used as mood stabilizers: Lamictal, Klonopin, Trileptal, Depakote to name a few. I take 3000 mgs. of Keppra along with an anti-depressant as depression is a well known fact that goes along with E, and especially if it is from a TBI.
Hang in there!
 
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Thank you Cint. I did alert the neurologist of his behavior. He wrote him a new prescription, but my husband has to wean off of Keppra for 3 weeks. We haven't seen a neuropsychologist. I think I will look for one.
 

nikanders

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I feel like I could have written this post! My husband started Keppra 12 days ago while out of town, 8 hours after his first dose it started, he was either a detached stranger or his angry self x1000. I'm pretty sure Keppra also increased his seizure activity, but b/c he's not here, I can only go by what he tells me (after 2 days on Keppra, he decided he would only communicate via text). He began weaning himself off on monday, and after a bad seizure thursday night didn't take his final dose yesterday, and just stopped. He seemed much clearer last night, but I made the mistake of asking why he won't just come home. He wouldn't give a real answer then ignored me. This morning he was angry at me again, saying terrible things. The last day we saw him, he told our kids he loved them and to get the rocket put together so they could shoot it off when he got back (it was the present he got them for xmas to do together). I had a terrible feeling the entire drive, and he kept reassuring me he loved me, everything was fine and he'd see us in 5 or 6 days, 4 days later he started Keppra. Every morning our 4yo comes out with the rocket and asks if daddy will be home today. The man I know would never do this, and I've known him 20 years. I am aware epilepsy itself has caused changes in his mood, his self-esteem, but it's now x1000. At this point all I'm trying to do is keep it together for our kids, not making any rash decisions, and wait.
So yes, I believe completely that Keppra could be making your husband a psychotic maniac, b/c it certainly has done something to mine.
 

arnie

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I tried Keppra several years ago for a VERY short time (maybe 2 weeks?) and felt mentally absolutely horrible. Same thing happened with Zonegran. I would never touch either one of them again. There are lots of meds out there so get with the neuro ASAP and try something else. I'm on Lamictal and Trileptal now, with no psych side-effects. Unless you count the full-moon werewolf thing. (Just kidding!!)
Keep us informed how things go.
Cheers!
 

Cint

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I feel like I could have written this post! My husband started Keppra 12 days ago while out of town, 8 hours after his first dose it started, he was either a detached stranger or his angry self x1000. I'm pretty sure Keppra also increased his seizure activity, but b/c he's not here, I can only go by what he tells me (after 2 days on Keppra, he decided he would only communicate via text). He began weaning himself off on monday, and after a bad seizure thursday night didn't take his final dose yesterday, and just stopped. He seemed much clearer last night, but I made the mistake of asking why he won't just come home. He wouldn't give a real answer then ignored me. This morning he was angry at me again, saying terrible things. The last day we saw him, he told our kids he loved them and to get the rocket put together so they could shoot it off when he got back (it was the present he got them for xmas to do together). I had a terrible feeling the entire drive, and he kept reassuring me he loved me, everything was fine and he'd see us in 5 or 6 days, 4 days later he started Keppra. Every morning our 4yo comes out with the rocket and asks if daddy will be home today. The man I know would never do this, and I've known him 20 years. I am aware epilepsy itself has caused changes in his mood, his self-esteem, but it's now x1000. At this point all I'm trying to do is keep it together for our kids, not making any rash decisions, and wait.
Have you notified your husband's neuro of this behavior? He sounds extremely depressed and as said before, depression often times accompanies epilepsy. Is he seeing a mental health expert?
 

Cint

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I tried Keppra several years ago for a VERY short time (maybe 2 weeks?) and felt mentally absolutely horrible. Same thing happened with Zonegran. I would never touch either one of them again. There are lots of meds out there so get with the neuro ASAP and try something else. I'm on Lamictal and Trileptal now, with no psych side-effects.
As stated before, Lamictal and Trileptal are also used as mood stabilizers, too. One side effect of Trileptal is low sodium, so if one has sodium problems beware. I had to be taken off it because of the sodium issue. And for women on birth control, it can make the birth control less effect.

Here is a list of what Keppra can do to a person:
http://www.drugs.com/sfx/keppra-side-effects.html
For the Consumer


Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, or if you feel agitated, hostile, irritable, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

-hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;
-bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;
-feeling very weak or tired;
-fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
-problems with walking or movement;
-the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild; or
-severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, ---burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Less serious side effects of levetiracetam may include:

mild dizziness or drowsiness;
mild tired feeling;
loss of appetite; or
stuffy nose.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.


Psychiatric
Slower titration should be considered in patients at a higher risk of discontinuing levetiracetam (the active ingredient contained in Keppra) for behavioral reasons.

Psychiatric side effects such as depression (up to 5.7%) including suicidal depression (up to 0.7%), irritability (6%), and mood swings (5%) have been reported.

In some patients experiencing primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures, levetiracetam caused behavioral abnormalities. Nonpsychotic mood disorders (reported as anger, apathy, depression, altered mood, mood swings, negativism, suicidal ideation, and tearfulness) occurred in 12.7% of levetiracetam-treated patients. One patient experienced suicidal ideation. Another patient experienced delusional behavior that required the lowering of the dose of levetiracetam.

Irritability (7%) has been reported with extended release tablets.
 

nikanders

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Cint,

He's been seeing his gp while waiting for an appt with his neurologist in Feb. I called his gp on Monday and told them what was going on and that I was extremely worried about his mental health. He also called to complain about the side effects and that's when the weaning off began. He can have bouts of depression, but they usually don't last long, but, I think he's pretty good at hiding it. Its been my intention to attend his neuro appt with him, b/c sometimes I feel like I'm the only one that knows what's going on. This morning he was accusing me of trying to control him, blaming me for everything and many unrepeatable things. I tried to explain to him as non confrontational as possible that even if he saw it like that, this is how I meant it. And I got, "ok im sorry then...my head just isnt right". All I wanted to text back was, PLEASE, TELL ME SOMETHING I DON'T KNOW. I didn't because I love him, and I just want him to be ok, but his inability to have any empathy for us is killing me.
 

AMCB

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I am no expert and can only pass on what
I have recently learned about TBI and seizures.
keppra has worked well for me until my seizures progressed to complex partials then a second AED was added. the TBI is the explaination for my outbursts and behavior changes so have started neuropshych counseling to better understand what is happening. my husband attends with me even though I never thouhjt he would yet he has opened up and talked more than our 10 years of marriage. He is understanding that

I really don't intentionally hurt him and once made aware of what I did can apologize. In my opinion, it is not the med but the underlying TBI which gets lost in the focus on seizures. Hang in there and keep loving the man you married then decide together to create a new beginning,we call ours a new status and then expect our adult children with their children to accept this too in an effort to keep the stress down since we can't do as much physical support as we used to. difficult to do since we have 5 grands and another due this summer.
 
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Wow. I had no idea that a TBI could cause mental problems later in life. When I met my husband 7 years after he was hit by a car, he spoke of the incident as if it was over and as if he had fully recovered. I never had any idea that I would be dealing with the aftermath--Epilepsy, medication, neurological psychologists, etc. After this horrible year with him on Keppra and his going crazy on me, I don't think I would have pursued a relationship with him if I had known all of this. I hate to say it, but that's how I feel at the moment.
 

Dignan

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Keppra is known for this effect in some people. It's been dubbed "kepprage" as it takes normal people and turns them into angry, rage-o-holics.

You need to notify the doctor immediately and have him put on a different seizure drug. Most AEDs will not cause this problem, so his attitude should improve once the keppra is discontinued.
 
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Hi. I am on the same dosage of Keppra and have never had that problem. He should switch meds if it is affecting his moods. My neuro told me that 5% of people suffer with 'kepprage'.
 

AMCB

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please don't feel bad about being honest and read up on TBI there are good books out there,autobios and case stories. It has helped me not feel so alone in this strangeness. 'your man most likely doesn't have a clue what he is doing, Ask your doc for a psych referral SOON Keep us updated.
 

Cint

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I am no expert and can only pass on what
I have recently learned about TBI and seizures.
keppra has worked well for me until my seizures progressed to complex partials then a second AED was added. the TBI is the explaination for my outbursts and behavior changes so have started neuropshych counseling to better understand what is happening.
After I had neurosurgery for TLE is when I started having terrible mood swings/deep depression. That is when my neuro said it is the same as a TBI and sent me to a neuropsychiatrist and neuropsychologist. I have tried numerous meds for seizures and for depression. I am on my 13th drug for seizures, including Keppra and still take 200 mgs. of Zoloft for depression. Many of the AED's can cause mood swings as can the underlying head trauma. Here is another website about TBI:
http://www.neuroskills.com/brain-injury/brain-function.php
 

Cint

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Hi. I am on the same dosage of Keppra and have never had that problem. He should switch meds if it is affecting his moods. My neuro told me that 5% of people suffer with 'kepprage'.
Good for you.
 

Cheski

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I haven't turned into a "monster". But these short months I've been on Keppra, my fuse is REALLY short. I'm an irritable old man in a 25 year old body to begin with, but when I started the Keppra it wasn't fun for my gf. She is a worry monger and I don't spend anytime thinking about things outside of my control like my epilepsy. I can't speak for your husband b.c I obviously don't know him, but I'm a person that NEVER takes medication and now for 2 years I have to. I HATE the fact that epilepsy forced me out of my job and resulted in a medical discharge from the Air Force. The fact that I'm now catered to is always in the back of my mind and I hate that too. I'm not making excuses for what has happened and I'm not trying to justify it. But for me, knowledge of the fact that I'm on medication is the worst side effect.

My gf being the worry monger is constantly asking me about my health and to put it lightly I don't like it at all. I've thought of going to someone to talk to about the anger issues, amongst other things, but I can't afford anything of the sort at the moment. An epileptic with no health insurance. If you haven't yet, and if you can, I'd say step one is talking to people that have known him for as long if not longer than you, parents, best man etc. Get their input.
 

Cint

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I've thought of going to someone to talk to about the anger issues, amongst other things, but I can't afford anything of the sort at the moment. An epileptic with no health insurance. If you haven't yet, and if you can, I'd say step one is talking to people that have known him for as long if not longer than you, parents, best man etc. Get their input.
It sounds like you are in need of a good therapist now since you have anger issues. I'm sorry you have no insurance, but have you spoken with the Epilepsy Foundation in your area? Maybe they could point you in the right direction before your anger eats you alive. Or speak with you neuro about it. Ask to be taken OFF keppra since it seems to be making things worse for you.
 
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