Lamictal vs. Keppra

I am 25 I have simple-partial, complex-partial, and tonic-clonic seizures.  I was put on Depakote, but that didn't work.  So I was switched to Keppra XR, but it gave me suicidal thoughts and severe depression.  Now I'm titrating Lamictal XR into my system while I'm weaning off the Keppra, and at this point, I don't know which one is causing the current side effects.

The tremors, extreme weakness and fatigue, shortness of breath, insomnia, and loss of apetite are some of the expected side effects.  What worries me is the fact that I keep forgetting things, as if they were completely erased from my memory!  And then there are times when I feel that I'm just going to collapse and pass out..but I hear that's normal too.

I guess I have two questions; Is the memeory loss normal, and is there a point where one says 'enough with the medications!' ?


Re: Lamictal vs. Keppra

I am in the same situation. I am comming off Kepra and starting Lemectal. Keppra takes 8 years to come off and Lemectal takes 20 years to kick in. It's a lot of fun. Keppra made me sleep 8 hours a night then a 2 hour nap everyday. I makes me feel extreme rage and sadness. I have also got shortness of breath at times. My memory is garbage. My doctor ashures me Lemectal has no side effects except a life treatning rash which makes me laugh. We'll see how it goes! Good luck!

 If this does not work I am going to just start smoking weed, meth, or crack. They can't be worse than Keppra.

Re: Lamictal vs. Keppra

i am also going off keppra (too strong for me and makes me a raging bitch!) so im weening off keppr and going on lamictal... slowly. well i was seizure free and off meds for 9 years and out of no where they started to happen again. i dont like these meds. anyone know a good dr. in la?

Re: Lamictal vs. Keppra

Lamictal and Keppra both suck. I take 400mg of lamictal 2x a day and 1000 mg of Keppra 3x a day. I shake like a leaf, can't stay awake, and have nausea every minute of every day. I was still having a lot of seizures so I had a temporal lobe resection a month ago and haven't had a seizure for 3.5 weeks, which is a huge record for me. I still can't believe it, I keep expecting one every day. But it looks like the surgery might have worked. If so, I can hopefully get off these meds in a year or two.

Re: Lamictal vs. Keppra

I burst out laughing when I read this. Your situation is the same as mine. Keppra sucks. I was told it would be no problem... huh! are you kidding I thought I was going to fall asleep walking down the street and if I didn't fall asleep I would explode! or maybe both. I switched to Lamicital and I must say it is better for me, no rash, YET! It does make me memory stupid and you do have to find the right dosage and that can frustrating.  If it doesn't work I might take your advice...good luck! 

Re: Lamictal vs. Keppra

I have absence seizurs and myoclonic jerks I was 1 when they started and I am now 31 

Honestly I have taken everything. I have to agree that Depakote doesn't do a whole lot. (I have taken Lyrica, Topomax, Depakote) - Topomax makes your fingers tingle, which is so weird.

 I couldn't take Keppra XR it was like taking speed x 10. However I do take regular Keppra 750mg 2x a day. I do still speed up a little but its not anything like Keppra XR. Now I will agree it made me rage, but honestly for me the medications available will somewhat effect your behavior. (at one time when I would have my period I was told to take a half of valium each day) So they gave me Lamictal to take on top of that, which I was nervous about but I did it. I take 200mg 2x a day. The Lamicatal really took the edge off and gave it a balance.

Now I will agree with the other comments that Keppra will make you sleep. For me it was a little nice because when I took Lamicatal and nothing else, I couldn't sleep. I eventually had paranoia and would sleep with the lights on. It only created more sleep depravation.

Now the memory thing I feel its common especially after reading the comments. I thought i was the only one. I had short term memory problems which was frustrating. I would have a whole conversation and get the idea but the next day- it was like it never took place. My school was effected, my work it was rediculous. What my doctor did was change my dose of Lamicatal because at the time I was only on 100 mg 2x a day. (but my understand memory loss is very common)

Keppra though again is like speed. So you really have to take it everyday. If you don't OMG - it is at this point a dependancy for me. I have to really keep to a schedule. 

Good luck

My side effects - Depakote - made me feel swollen and I would loose my hair/shed it. Topamax-tingles in my fingers. Keppra- like speed, weight loss-able to keep it off. Which was a nice change all epilepsy meds I could never loose weight- I never really gain but never could loose. Lamictal- paranoia, loss of sleep and crazyness, memory loss.  

Re: Lamictal vs. Keppra

I saw this and I  must say keppra sucks it landed me in the hospital for a long time I missed an entire semester of school. I've always been on lamictal since i was 9 and im 18 now it has worked for me they just put me on keppra because they wanted to see if it could work on me.

Re: Lamictal vs. Keppra

I've never taken Keppra, but I've heard a lot of nightmares about it.  I am currently taking Lamictal.  Not XR; just regular Lamictal.  If you're not having the rash, Lamictal is safe.  About memory:  they ALL cause loss of memory.  Some people are affected more than others.  Each brain is differentt.  I take 4 AEDs, so we don't know which one(s) causes more memory loss.  My doctor claims it's an individual situation with every person.  No one can be positive which drug causes more memory loss than the other.

As for how much is too much:  Again, it's an individual situation.  If you've gone over a month after completely stopping an AED, but still feel the side effects, call your neurologist.  Some drugs will have the same side effects.  I hope you find Lamictal XR better.  Keep a list of dates and times of all AED changes.  Bring this to your neurologist each time you see her.  


Re: Lamictal vs. Keppra

I'm only 15 and after a couple of times I had my seizures, my neurologist put me on keppra, 2 times a day... But I had the mood changes as for example like raging and maybe suicide thoughts. Then my neurologist put me on lamictal... For the first week of my transformation, I had to take 2 pills of keppra and half of lamictal, then for the second week I then started to take halves of keppra and lamictal. After I took half of keppra and full of lamictal I think.. I'm not sure but on that third week of transformation I had a seizure, and I'm getting close a lot of having another one since I'm taking 2 lamictal each day.. I'm not sure if my body or organism is trying to get use to this medicine or.. I'm not sure. But I've only took keppra for about 2 or 3 months.
Before my siezures, I get like mini seizures where I'm awake but like I lose control of my arms where it's shaking upwards (I'm not sure how to explain the shaking) but it usually lasts like 5 seconds and it happens I think maybe every 3 minutes or so, but when I like go lay down on my side for a while it stops...
I wanted to know if this maybe happened or happening to others.

Re: Lamictal vs. Keppra

In my experience lamictal had big anti-depressant effects. It was impossible for me to feel depressed on this drug. It also gave me a lot of energy and made me much more talkative. The negative was I had hyper-vigulance, heart palpitations at times, but worst of all insomnia. I could not sleep on this drug whatsoever. I ended up having the most seizures combined that I ever had at any other point in my life and on other meds. I believe it was pro-convulsant in my case. Hopefully you don't get the insomnia, if you don't your probably ok. One of the most important things for us is sleep! 

Keppra on the other hand gave me extreme agitation and insomnia. This is by far the worst drug I've ever been on for pychiatric effects. I'am currently getting off it and being put on clobazam (ONFI) because I've been on soo many drugs and can't ever deal with the side effects. Depakote and zonegran was best for my seizures but zonegran made me suicidal and very depressed. Depakote gave me terrible stomach issues, gained 15lbs in a year while working out!  and major depression also. My diagnoses was JME because seizures began around puberty but I never get the myoclonic jerks so who knows. I guess I just have Generalized. 

BTW nearly every AED is gonna cause memory problems. They really slow down your concentration too.




"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" - Rev 21:4

Re: Lamictal vs. Keppra

I've been on lamictal(lamotrigene) these past 5 years & I don't know if it's age or what it is, but within past 4 years I've noticed a sharp increase in "cracking" my spine and shoulders. Im too sore to do it first thing in the morning, but later on throughout the day I do it easily even if laying on bed and shrugging. Im not a strenous yoga person.

Im flexible enough though.Maybe I'm just putting too much into it. Perhaps it's just normal ageing ??