Keppra vs Tegretol


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Hi there!! I am new to this forum, but have had epilepsy all of my life and I am almost 39. I was actually diagnosed at age 9, and was put on Tegretol. It worked great for the most part, I would have an occasional petite mal seizure while taking it but didn't have a grand mal seizure for 20+ years. Well then the day came almost 3 years ago that my doctor decided we should switch me to keppra because Tegretol was starting to affect my liver and kidneys. He switched me over a matter of a few months, and since I have been on keppra I have has 4 grand mal seizures, 2 of which were in front of my kids which scared them both horribly. They are happening about every 6 months. We have increased my dose to 4500 mg daily and it still doesn't seem to be enough. Last night I had another grand mal seizure while at work. I am at a loss!! I am going to call my doctor tomorrow morning, but I am just wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience and what you did about it. I am tempted to go back onto Tegretol and just deal with the liver and kidney side effects since they were no near as bad as having seizures!! Or maybe look at another medication?? Any info anyone has would be greatly appreciated!!
Just my opinion, but I would suggest asking about another medication. There are so many out there now that you shouldn't have to put up with seizures after having such good control of them for so long. Many do potentially affect the liver and/or kidneys, though, and this may be limiting your options.
I've never taken Keppra,however I was on Tegretol many years ago when I developed absence seizures from a severe head injury. I remember being a zombie for the most part and also having blood tests every 6 months. I'm now on Nurontin/Gabapentin for partials and so far my side effects have been minimal. I'm not sure about liver or kidney problems though. I would see your GP, as Jen said there's lots of meds to choose from nowadays.
Yes I have a similar story to you and Angelita--I was on tegretol very successfully for 35 years. Then I had a head injury and could no longer control my seizures and I developed myoclonic/absence type seizures as well. I've been switching meds all over the place--Topamax was very effective at controlling partial seizures but not the others, but Topamax is throwing my electrolytes wildly off balance so I'm being switched off of topamax and trying to go to Keppra only. What I am finding is that Keppra, together with a much more solid electrolyte balance, has almost totally controlled the myo's and absences, but isn't giving me complete control of my partial seizures. Good but not perfect, and I'm still on 75 mgs of topamax and still going down. Keppra isn't always the right drug for partial seizures and like Jen said, often has to have another drug in conjunction, or just plain old isnt the right drug. There are a lot of other options out there, so I'd talk to your dr. Sorry tegretol isn't working anymore and I feel for you--I also mourn the days when I had total success with that drug! But I can't go back because it makes my myos worse now. Good luck--I hope you find the right thing!!!

I did not have a good experience with keppra but to answer your question I do agree with masterjen. There are people who get on quite well with keppra, me personally I would talk to my doctor about another medication.
Plenty of other anti-seizure meds to try, no need to stay on something that's making your seizures worse. You might ask about trying Lamictal. It might be a better match since it works in a similar way to Tegretol (via sodium channels) as opposed to Keppra (which woks via calcium channels).
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