Should I go off Keppra and take Lamictal?????

Eve

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Hey everyone and Happy Halloween and I got the decorations up and the candy out!! Unfortunately I cant eat the chocolate because it gives me migraines. :dontknow:

A couple months ago I went off my Carbatrol (tegretol) which I was on for about 10 years and started on the Keppra. I have done both regular Keppra and Keppra XR. I am on 1500 mg a day. For the most part it has stopped the seizures (I have have noctrnal partial seizures). I still have weird leg spasms and my hair is getting thinner and I am itchy. I am also taking Zoloft 50mg. I started on the Zoloft after I started on the Keppra because I was getting PANIC ATTACKS ! :paperbag:

Anyway I have been to a dermatologist and an allergist and they think either the Zoloft or the Keppra is making me itchy. My scalp itches , my face itches and my neck and my shoulders. My hair is getting thinner. They both refereed me to my Neuro.

I went to him yesterday (the neuro) I think he thinks my problems are weird. :doctor::

Well he said I should try going off the zoloft first which I did. And I am still
itching. He said if I am still itching after going off the zoloft to start on 25 mg of Lamcital but to keep taking the Keppra for 2 months!!!! Do you think I really need to wait 2 months to go completely off the Keppra??? Anyway he said during the 2 months he will build up my dosage on Lamcital while weaning me off the Keppra.:boogie:

Do you think Lamcital is a better drug than Keppra??? I am scared to try a new drug again. :gob:

Thanks for your help I have nobody to talk to that understands my problems. Most people think I am weird because I have these seizures. Usually they get this freaked out look in their eyes and take several steps back. So I stopped telling people.:rolleyes:
 

darcness

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(((Eve)))

I'm sorry to hear you're having trouble with the Keppra and Zoloft. I myself am on Zoloft and my wife (she has E) is on Keppra and Lexapro. She was taking the Lexapro before starting on Keppra and thankfully I haven't seen any of this itching in her.

I think when it comes to E meds, everyone is different. One person can do absolutely great on a medication when that medication can be the next persons nightmare. It all depends on the individual.

That being said, Lamictal is one of the medications that a majority of people tolerate very well. With the side effects you're having, I think a switch could be beneficial to you. However, it's really up to you. When it comes to AED's it's really a quality of life (control) vs. side effect decision. If one outweighs the other, then the choice becomes clear.

By the way, I'm on Zoloft for panic attacks and anxiety too. Ironically enough it was my wife's E that set it off with me. After I saw her have a T-C (the first one I witnessed), I had a mental break and started in on the panic attacks the very next day. Go figure... :roflmao:
 

Eve

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Darcness How much Zoloft are you on??? I am on 50mg and it really helps the panic attacks ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,it has saved me. I don't think the zoloft is causing the itching now I think it might be the Keppra, I often feel like there are bugs crawling on my skin.:dontknow:

I have thought about switching over to Lexpro. Maybe that would work better with the Keppra. I am sure the Dr would switch me to Lexpro if I wanted him to. How much Lexpro is your wife on?:?:

I am just scared of going off the Keppra and trying a new drug again. And the keppra does stop the seizures at 1500 mg.:ponder:

I may try going off the zoloft for one more day and see if the itching declines before I go on the route of trying a new seizure drug again.:gob:

I dont know....................the Dr said the Lamcital would help to stabilize my moods too. I was never really having a mood problem until I started with that Keppra and that is when the panic attacks kicked in.:rolleyes:

I dont like the idea of it taking 2 months to wean me slowly off the keppra into the Lamcital. DOes it really take that long to wean off these medicines????:girl:
 
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epileric

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Usually they get this freaked out look in their eyes and take several steps back. So I stopped telling people.:rolleyes:
Boy do I ever know that reaction well.

Sorry I can't really say what to do re. your meds though. I do agree with darcness in that we all react differently to them.
 

Nakamova

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Hi Eve --

It does take a while to taper on to Lamictal -- you have to go slowly to avoid a particular side effect involving a rash. So two months isn't unusual.

My doctor said the same things about mood stabilizing when she encouraged me to go on Lamictal. I'm a very non-moody person -- but like you, an AED med (in this case Zonegran) was making me moody. I went on the Lamictal, and it hasn't affected my moods one way or another, which is good. I haven't had any seizures (I'm usually responsive to meds), and I'm currently on a 200mg/day dose. I have had side effects with the Lamictal, some of which have lessened, some of which are still with me (I've been on it one year).

There's no way to predict how Lamictal will affect you, but chances are it won't make you moody.
 

Aubrey

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Lamictal pretty good

Lamictal doesn't do a totally thorough job for me (but nothing does), but side effect-wise it is pretty doable. I took Keppra with Lamictal for a while - no fun to be around doesn't even begin to cover it, and the seizure control was no better with the two of them. So yeah, on Keppra I had two moods... depressed and run away and live in a ditch... and I am waaay to old for the 2nd. I really hesitate to give advice... but I have tried lots of things and I haven't found anything that does a better job yet, so I would DO try Lamictal. Good luck!
 

Eve

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Nak I have been reading about the Lamcital Rash. So that is why I am supposed to taper off the Keppra so slowly? I have heard about the rash and my skin is already itching and sensitive.I was on Zonegran once and it stopped the seizures and the migraines but it made me very nervous and then with Keppra I had panic attacks. Now my panic attacks have gone away after taking the Zoloft

Aubrey, I think the Doctor means that If I take the Lamcital and get off the keppra completely I might be able to stop the Zoloft.

I just wish that I didn't have to take 2 months to go from the Keppra to the Lamictal completely.

I am just wondering if it is worth it??? Am I trading in side effects from Keppra for more side effects from Lamcital? I am scared about getting that Rash I have read about............................I dont need any more problems.

Time to get ready for Halloween.:star:
 

Cint

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Here is some info about Keppra side effects from Medline Plus:

Levetiracetam (Keppra)

What side effects can this medication cause?

Levetiracetam may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

drowsiness
weakness
unsteady walking
coordination problems
headache
pain
forgetfulness
anxiety
agitation or hostility
dizziness
moodiness
nervousness
numbness, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet
loss of appetite
vomiting
diarrhea
constipation
changes in skin color

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

depression
hallucinating (hearing voices or seeing visions that do not exist)
thoughts of killing yourself
seizures that are worse or different than the seizures you had before
fever, sore throat, and other signs of infection
double vision
itching
rash
swelling of the face
I take Keppra -3000 mgs. a day and haven't experienced the itching, but I do suffer depression along with it and take 200 mgs. of Zoloft. For me, I suffered from depression long before I started Keppra. The real noticeable side effect(s) for me of the Keppra are tiredness and the tingling of the limbs, fingers.
 

Eve

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Thanks Cint. I get the tiredness and some tingling in the fingers too. The Zoloft has helped me with the panic attacks that I started to get with the Keppra. I am hoping with the Lamcital that I wont need any anti depressant. The Dr says it "stabilizes moods" But I dont want the rash either.. I will stay off the zoloft for 1 more day and see if that stops the itching. If not Monday I will probably reluctantly start the Lamcital along with the Keppra and begin the long 2 month process of going from the one med to the other. I am not looking forward to it. Everytime I change meds it become a mental and physical headache and I am scared of getting that Lamcital Rash I will decide by Monday what to do. :girl:
 

Nakamova

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Hi Eve --

Here's the scoop on the Lamictal rash (e.g., Stevens-Johnson syndrome): It is RARE, but because of the chance (1 in 50,000) of it progressing to something serious, the process of going on to Lamictal is done in small increments. Rashes may be more likely if you start at too high a dose, or if your dose increases too quickly (that's why you taper up over several months). Most serious rashes occur within 2 to 8 weeks of starting Lamictal. If it shows up, you call your doctor, and try something else.

So while the prospect of the rash is scary, it is very unlikely. If you do get one, the odds are very low that it will become serious. If you feel anxious about this you should check in with your doctor and let him know. My own experience was fine -- no rash, nothing scary. Side effects yes, but nothing intolerable. As my body adjusted to the Lamictal the side effects changed. In the first month or so I was very perky -- not in a manic way, but with the kind of focus and energy that makes you decide to organize your CDs and your socks by color and date :) There were also some mild headaches and some dizziness. These side effects went away, but there were others including hair loss (which stopped after about 3-4 months), and blurry vision, dry mouth/eyes, and weight gain -- all of which continue to bug me.

These side effects are tolerable, so I'll stay put with Lamictal for the time being. You may have a different experience with it. There's now way to predict, but in general it has a better track record in terms of tolerability of side effects, and does not have a reputation for affecting mood (unlike say, Keppra).
 

Cint

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I am hoping with the Lamcital that I wont need any anti depressant. The Dr says it "stabilizes moods" But I dont want the rash either.. I will stay off the zoloft for 1 more day and see if that stops the itching. If not Monday I will probably reluctantly start the Lamcital along with the Keppra and begin the long 2 month process of going from the one med to the other. :girl:
Many of the anti-seizure medications are used for mood stabilizers as well, Lamictal happens to be one of them. They are used in conjunction with anti-depressants for mood disorders. But then, some of the anti-seizure medications, such as Keppra, can cause depression, mood disorders.
 
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BuckeyeFan

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You can rea about my transition from Keppra to Lamictal at the thread:

Leaving Keppra ... Starting Lamictal in the Kitchen.

I made this change last February and have been happy with it. I had a VERY minor rash. The only other noticable side effect has been more dreaming or at least dreaming that I recall in the morning.

Keppra served me well with SZ control for 5 years, then the side effects were slowly becoming worse. The Lamictal is doing a pretty good job.

Best of luck either way. Personally, I would want to be off the Zoloft over the long term, but it sounds like what you need for the short term.
 

Deb12345

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Hello Eve, :hello:
At the moment I am in the process of doing the same tablet change, Keppra to Lamictal. At present they are keeping me on the same dosage of Keppra which is 1000mg a day and after every 14 days I have to increase the Lamictal by 25mg. I am also worried about getting the rash because I have got sensitive skin too but there is no sign of one yet on 50mg and worried that when they start to reduce the Keppra, which at 1000mg seems to be keeping my seizures under control, it may cause them to come back. We shall wait and see. It will take at least 2 months to completely come off the Keppra. With the Keppra I have noticed that my hair is falling out and I am becoming quite moody and very tired, which I can tell you now is definitely not me. :rolleyes: I am also suffering from bad depression and taking anti-depressants for it, though have suffered from depression since a very young age. It just seems to be getting worse.
I wish you well and hope all goes ok with the tablet change. :p Enjoy the rest of the weekend and hope you had a great Halloween yesterday. :evil2:
Best Wishes
Debbie
:rose:
 

Eve

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Wow it is so wonderful that there are people that actually understand what I am going through. My family has always been confused about my problems not matter how much I try to explain it they never really seem to understand. That is why I stopped telling my friends they just gave me weird looks.:cheers:

Well I just picked up my new Lamcital Prescr. The Doctor said that I had to get the BRAND and not the generic. My copay was $60. I am supposed to keep taking my Keppra 1500 mr a day along with taking 1 25mg tablet twice a day for 2 weeks........................and then 2 25mg tablets twice a day for the next 2 weeks..............and then 3 25 mg tablets twice daily . This is all so confusing, I just hope I can remember all this. Is this the usual procedure then for going off the Keppra onto the Lamictal?? I also went off my 50 mg Zoloft that I had to start on account of the Keppra giving me panic attacks.:gob:

Thanks for explaining to me about the Lamcital Rash that I am paranoid about. I will be checking my skin everyday. Deb I too have sensitive skin. I am always trying different sops and all. Now I am using a soap made with olive oil and aloe and it seems to help a little . I also use SARNA lotion and that helps. I was using a tea tree oil soap and that made my skin itch more.:soap:

Cint I am hoping I wont need the antidepressant anymore after taking Lamcital. The doctor kept telling me that it would stabilize my moods better!!! I never had a mood problem till I started on the keppra. The first month of it I started to have severe Panic attacks I couldn't even go to the grocery store and I had severe panic attacks and no appetite.:mad:

Thanks Nak for explaining to me about the rash. But now I am scared about getting blurry vision too. Is this a common occurance?? Will I need new glasses??? :?::dontknow:

BuckeyeFan Thanks for you tip,,,,can you send me a link to your thread about the transition from Keppra to Lamcital. I am already off the zoloft..............it was making my eyes so dry I had to keep putting eyedrops in and also I think it was giving me isomnia, since I went off the Zoloft I think I have been sleeping better. It has now been 2 days off the zolft and believe it or not I did not suffer those intense withdrawal symptoms that other people talk about from coming off the Zoloft......50mg. P.S. I am a Buckeye fan too, Went to OSU and enjoyed the games throughly!! I like to make the peanut butter choclate buckeyes, the kids love them and so do I !!:rose:

Deb Thanks Deb it helps me that someone else is going through this crap. I hate going from one seizure drug to another . Even my Doctor says its a PITA. Yeah I am also worried about my seizures coming back. So far the Keppra seems to control the seizures but I cannot handle the side effects anymore and my scalp is still itchy and my hair is thinning. I just hope the Doctor knows what he is doing by putting me on a new drug. I always have more side effects during the transition period of going form one drug to another.:bondage:

Here is what I have been on::flowers:
Tegretol-messed up my bone and liver enzymes-10 years of it
Carbatrol-did the same as tegretol but not as tired with it
Topomax-stopped myigraines, made me loose weight and messed up my focus and caused me to be in a car accident
Zonegran-stopped the seizure,made my stomach hurt real bad and made me real nervous
Keppra- depressed, hair thinning , itching, stopped seizures.

And now on to Lamcital:dontknow:
Thanks for all your support:e:

Halloween was great had about 100 kids and went through 5 bags of candy.:star:
 
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Nakamova

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Good luck Eve -- I've got my fingers-crossed that you don't end up with any side effects from Lamictal. Just so you know -- the blurry vision that I have comes and goes. At different times during the day, I find I need to squint, especially to read things like LED readouts (like the clock on the microwave) or words on the TV. It's a pain, since I had laser surgery a few years back and, until the Lamictal, had perfect vision. On the other hand, I don't have to wear glasses yet, not for driving, not for reading.
 

Eve

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Nak How much Lamictal are you on? I am scared about the blurry vision problem and hope I don't get it. Are you taking the generic or the brand :|
 

Nakamova

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I'm on 200mg per day. I'm taking the brand.
 

Eve

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Nak what kind of seizures do you have? I have nocturnal partial seizures that always occur on the left side of my body. I get migraines too that always occur on the left side of my head.

So I took my first Lamcital pill 25 mg and whoever said It gives you energy was right. I went the mall and went for a long walk and picked up some Body Shop Shea Butter hand cream but then I got home and felt a migraine coming on and had to take a Maxalt for it. Now its time for a good cup of green tea with lemon and honey.:girl:
 

marion

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Eve - I also have blurry vision from lamictal (brand) and. like Nakamova, it changes from day to day, and even within a day. I can still do everything but sometimes I have to strain to focus, especially at the computer, and sometimes I don't. For me, seeing in the distance isn't a problem and it's one of the side effects I can live with. Good luck - hope it works out for you!
 

BuckeyeFan

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Eve - Here is the link to the other thread.

Check this out

Great to see another Buckeye in here. Actually, there are quite a few scattered around. Great time of the year for peanut butter Buckeyes!!!

I am actually a Wright State grad (2 times), but when it comes to sports, OSU all the way. Are you still in the state? I know the OSU alumni are all over the world these days.
 
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