Community Forum

How Long to Feel the Side Effects of Keppra?

I have been on Keppra 48 hours and I was wondering how long it takes to feel the side effects? I have felt the drowsiness within hours of the first dose. I know the first month is supposed to be the worst. Can anyone tell me when I will feel the side effects at their worst? I have been on Dilantin and know what an idot I became on that drug. Since I have a technical job, I need my brain to function! It seems there are very few "success" stories related to Keppra, as everyone is talking about the side effects. Or perhaps that is simply the nature of fourms and drug reviews - you tend to have users with negative reviews more likely to post than users with little side effects. I am definitely worried about the mood swings and increased depression typically associated with Keppra, so I am hoping it will not hit me hard. I have never had a weight problem, so I am hoping Keppra will not affect me in that way either. I technically do not have epilepsy since I have only had one seizure. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. This is my first post! Don't mind my username - it is a guy from a Three Stooges episode ("Jip The People").


I didn't have a "weight problem" either and over 4 or 5 years I gained about 60 or 70 pounds. I don't remember any drowsiness. I remember the medication worked fairly well but I changed to Topomax and lost all of the weight, and then some. I was not aware of either the weight gain side effect of Keppra nor the weight loss effect of Topomax. I have vowed to always ask more questions in the future!

I've been on Keppra for a few months now and I'm still having seizures....I just had 2 this past week (grand mal) so my Neuro added Tegretol (the generic kind). So I'm currently on 3000mg of Keppra and 600mg of Tegretol. As for the side effects of the Keppra, I noticed them right away...dizziness, loss of appetite, moodiness, loss of balance, short term memory loss....and its gotten better the longer I've been on it but its still not totally gone. I also take B6 vitamin to help with the memory loss etc. so if I could recommend one thing its to get some B6 vitamins to take everyday with your seizure meds.As for the Tegretol I've only been on it 2 days but again I've noticed dizziness, my head feels foggy, loss of concentration and loss of balance at times...that's all so far. Hopefully those will be the only side effects but we'll see as time goes on. My Neuro recommended that I check into the epilepsy monitoring unit for 3-5 days so they can hook me up to the EEG machine and take me off my meds to enduce seizures and video tape them so they can better treat them. I was a bit leary of that at first but I will honestly do anything to get these under control and right now I dont feel that my seizures are fully under the control they should be. 

Has anyone been hooked up to the monitoring unit? if so what is it like and what do you do while your there? I'm from Boston MA so if there are any others from the Boston area I'd def be interested in exchanging stories etc. 

 Best of Luck to everyone!!


I've been on Keppra now for 2 Months.  1,000 mg. twice daily.  I feel more shakey than before, and have the double vision which was also a side effect from the Lamictal.  Anyone else feel more shakey?  I also take Tegretol XR.  I've only had very small seizures, if you could call them that.  I feel the aura come and am able to talk myself out of having one.  Which is great.  Does a B6 vitamin really help the memory?  I could use it also.  I have to write things down all the time. 

Keep well everyone.  Later 

The drowsiness effect I got when I first started Keppra only lasted about 2 weeks. I'm now taking 1500mg (500mg 3xday) with no side effects.

One tabelt of B6 per day cannot hurt so I take it with my afternoon Keppra.

I have been on Keppra for three and half years. I don't have any symtoms that I can't live with. I think it makes me tired, but that is pretty much it. In fact, since the Keppra my seizures are gone. My seizures are partial complex and sleep type of seizures. I did have one in August of 05 because I messed up my meds-so that as my fault but the Keppra has made my partial seizures nonexistent. I was on tegretol, but switched to Keppra so I could have a safe pregnancy. Everything went well. Maybe you will be ok.  





I have been taking 1500mg of Keppra since last September. Being on Tegretol 800mg for 24 years I got low bone density and had to get off it. The only Keppra side effect I first noticed was a little drowsiness the first 2 weeks.

I took my last Tegretol on Nov 21 which has given me more symptoms. The numbness I get in my fingers and toes is most likely caused by tegretol withdrawal. The tingling I get in my back can also be a tegretol withdrawal.

After I stopped tegretol I also got agitated and restless? I lost some hair along with several pounds of fat. I'm wondering if these are Tegretol withdrawal symptoms or Keppra side effects? Maybe my body didn't asborb the Keppra until I stopped the Tegretol?

I have severe complex partial siezures which I handle with 1500 mg Keppra AM and 1500 PM along with 250 Tomapax AM and PM and Verapimil.  I am allergic to Tegretol.  It has taken my Doc and I  4 years to get me where my daily seizures are very minor. I have found by adding B12 and Folic Acid I can control the moods and by adding sunshine and daily exercise I can control the emotions.  Coffee does wonders (especialy Starbucks) for when I need a pick me up and the caffine helps control the aftermath of the siezure headache.  Prior to the Keppra  the siezure headache would put me in bed.  It is important to take Keppra on a regular schedule and don't skip doses, and give it time and give your body time to work for you.

discussion/977293 bottom of forum page 11/29/2008 10:55 PM PST

I was on Dilantin with Keppra for a couple months. I stopped the Keppra over the
emotional side-effects from it, and now from the osteoporosis side-effects from Dilantin
I am slowly going off of it too.

AEDs have moderated my gran mals fairly well, but not my partial ones.
I plan on going back to Keppra intermittently as my only AED. I hope Keppra is fast
acting enough to stave off gran mal seizures if I take it at their usually unique aura

I've tried various techniques to stop an aura from spreading into complex seizures or
from generalizing into a gran mal, such as Pavlovian and operant conditioning, to such
simple things as sticking myself with a pin or stomping on my own foot to try to
interrupt the "cascading seizures" from spreading (sorta like setting a back fire to
stop the main fire); they start as primitive limbic seizures, spread to interfere
with my speech, and during these seizures, trying to speak or think in "vocal" words
speed their spreading, which then interferes more with my use of words in all modes
(i.e., typing, sign language, writing, etc.). Minimizing remote external environmental
stimulation otherwise helps, but for me, trying to talk myself out of them hastens
their intensity and rate of generalizing.

Sorry for being so wordy, but seizures seem like the Second Law of Thermodynamics and
Entropy after a spreading surge on the Power Grid. I like hearing any evidence that
an impending seizure can be minimized or stopped at the moments of any warning by
taking an immediate action, especially an "internal" action like talking one's self out
of having one, as this illustrates that many other such techniques should be possible;
the main problem is finding the particular one that works for the individual, or if it
doesn't exists for him or her.

Before starting AEDs, did you have frequent success at stopping smaller seizures?

I am interested in learning about taking Keppra on an "as needed" and a "just in time" basis. I take Dilantin and still have partials on days that I haven't gotten enough rest or just got tired out from the previous day. I had a TC break through seizure about ten days ago and was put on Keppra as an add on AED...the side effects are very annoying, and I would like to discontinue it (except for days that I need a little extra protection). Anyone heard fo using it this way?  Thanks.


I don't know if using Keppra as "just in time" or "as needed" with Dilantin is perfectly safe at all, but I'm trying to stop my Dilantin and use Keppra only intermittently. Keppra: A Magic Bullet, discussion/979347 (so far, listed on top for this site's Google search for "Bullet") briefly delves into this, and my amateur attempts to try to make it work. My MD is not speaking to me over my prescriptions, so I am on my own in that sense, and staying in a "less than or equal to maximum" realm of prescription directions.

I've been on Keppra now for 2 Months.  1,000 mg. twice daily.  I feel more shakey than before, and have the double vision which was also a side effect from the Lamictal.  Anyone else feel more shakey?  I also take Tegretol XR.  I've only had very small seizures, if you could call them that.  I feel the aura come and am able to talk myself out of having one.  Which is great.  Does a B6 vitamin really help the memory?  I could use it also.  I have to write things down all the time. 

Keep well everyone.  Later 

I was on the monitoring unit for three days (not in Boston though, sorry) and it was to actually diagnose me with epilepsy. When I first went to the neurologist and told them of my symptoms and had the first EEG they told me I was having panic attacks and to destress my life. I didn't have a seizure during that EEG which I'm sure is why they came to that conclusion. After a month going by though and my episodes getting worse is when they did the video EEG. I was in the hospital for three days hooked up to the graph, constant monitoring, under video surveilance and was given a push button thing to be able to mark the tapes when i was having a seizure. If it was a seizure where i went out, my parents were there to push the button. It was actually kind of relaxing being there, because I was figuring out what was actually going on with me and didn't have to keep guessing anymore. It also wasn't like i was tied down to the bed for 72 hours. I was able to move around, take walks around the floor, go to the bathroom by myself and so on.

Now on to Keppra. I don't remember which spot in held in the line of my six different medications, but i do remember it was the worst one. I think it was probably about three weeks, maybe not that long it was quite a while ago, before i was on the full dosage of it, which was 750mg twice a day. When i first started i would snap about anything, just go off on my family and friends about nothing. I had no fine motor skill, which made doing labs in chemisty quite the task. I would have to reread pages of my textbooks over and over because i had no short term memory. I lost my appetite, and when i finally got to the full dosage of it I was in bed for a week. I didn't have any strength because i wasn't able to keep any food down. All i ate that week was a saltine cracker and a cup of chicken broth. I ended losing 15 pounds in one week and when my doctors heard about that they took me off it immediately. So those were all my side effects from Keppra and to top it off it didn't even stop my seizures.

Hope everything works out :) 


the stuff made me so miserable that i got off of it.About 30% have that problem.

I have been on Keppra for a little over two years.  I also take Lamictal and Dilantin.  I have been seizure free for two yrs now.  I believe Keppra and prayer has been a big part of that.  I still have side effect, such as wt loss, getting really tired, and extremely angry.  The mood changes have caused a lot of problems at work.  I'm afraid I will get fired.  I have went to sleep behind the stirring wheel of my car twice in the past, both times I took the entire side out.  I am extremely lucky to be alive.  I have had over 30 Grand Mal seizures in the past.  Does anyone know what that does to your brain?  I have a lot of problems remembering things, especially short term memory.  I sometimes can't remember how to spell really easy words.  I will go to get something and not remember what I went to get.  This happens daily.  Don't mean to sound negative, just venting.  I had a really bad day at work.  I lost my temper again and went off on someone.  That has happened so much I can't count.  I'm really afraid of losing my job.  The people at work don't know my condition and I want to keep it that way.  In my past job I was discriminated against because they all knew my past.

I understand your worries about losing your job..

The only way I can even contemplate to make money is by the fact that I have my own business and can be flexible.. but now that is even being stretched..

Just starting Keppra this week... and it's really freaking me out... It's like being asleep and awake at the same time..

But, my neurologist believes that the side effect profile is much better than the dilantin that I already take (which BTW they only added to my regime because it was the only one available at the time in intravenious form) (Already taking Tegretol CR and Topamax).

I guess it can't be much worse than the Dilantin.. which is inherantly long term toxic, and the weekly blood tests and my memory and short term word aphasia is crazy.. it's like every day the whole family has to play charades with me for every 15th significant word at it's worst.



I just started on Keppra about 3 1/2 weeks ago and it sux!   The mood swings and depression come and go.  I have not had a problem with weight gain... I am overweight and have been all my life.....   but I am actually noticing that I have lost my appetite.  Someone actually asked me the other day if I have been losing :-)    But the "don't care about anything" attitude and gumpyness has got to go.   And to top it off, I am still having seizures also.   I take Klonopin also at night and that seemed to make it worse.  I am waiting to hear back from my Dr. about switching or adding something else.  From what I have read, seems most people need the "right" combination of meds to make it work.  Good luck! 

I've been on Keppra for 16 months.  The only time I ever felt a side-effect was once after a dose increase.  I had a major ridiculous meltdown one time only.  I've never gained any weight from Keppra, never felt drowsy, and except for that one time, never had any mood swings.  It does just what it's supposed to do.  As a matter of fact, one of my biggest seizure symptoms was feeling like I was falling asleep, and since I've been on Keppra, I've never felt more awake during the day!  I take 1000mg in the morning and 1000mg at night.

It's been a very successful med for me, so no negative review here...


hi i hope that you can get over with what you got and i hope that u got HELP!!!!! but good luck DEB


I was put on Keppra about 5 years ago, after being  on a combination on Tegretol and Lamictal, and Keppra has been the most successful anticonvulsant I have been on since my seizures began 11 years ago.  It has been 16 monthes since I had a seizure ( Grand Mal or partial). I have never noticed the side effects except the hair-loss, but that was bound to happen for me (its generic for me). The tegretol and keppra combined have helped me alot, and they both have similar side effects. But all meds especially anticonvulsants work differently for everyone.

I've been on Keppra for about 8 months.  I didn't experience any weight gain, that came from dilantin and neurontin.  I'm currently taking 2,000 mg of Keppra a day; 1,000 mg morning and evening along with trileptal.  Keppra more of an assistant drug as I've studied it.  I still have loss of coordination and especially moodiness that has been bad at work and home.  People have had to be show patience with me.  I've been told that severe moodiness is the most common side effect.

The moodiness didn't happen until I reach the 1,000 mg twice a day, otherwise it's been great for me!  I've been at this level for about 4 months now.  I take a vitamin B12 pill of 500 mcg a day and it helps to balance the moodiness.  I could take 2 B12's, but one of them controls the mood swings really well for me.

Good luck mate....

I hallucinated for 3 days straight after taking keppra for the first time and ended up in a... well lets just say a place for people who arent mentally stable for 5 days.  I've been experiencing loads of side effects the last 3 weeks to the point where I some times wake up thinking i had spent the last few days in another world.  This is all while going to work and doing the normal day to day things, one of my friends actually said "its good to have you back with us marc".  At the same time i spend days when i feel very self-conscious, paranoid, angry, depressed and spaced out.  

I have to say if you have a choice dont start taking it..  As I said above good luck.

well i hope that you can get help 4 that and good luck



I have been on Keppra for about 9 months now.  It took me a good 2 months to get adjusted to the meds. I was very weak, tired, had no balance and dizzy.  After that 2 month period I was feeling GREAT! I even starting losing weight, which was an added bonus. I lost most of my hair from my previous meds and that even came back! I was in love Keppra.  However, the past month or so I have been anxious and depressed. I'm still in the process of figuring out if the depression is due to my meds or my work life.  Generally I still really like Keppra, but you just never know how you'll react to the meds, even once you've been on them for a while. Good luck!

I've been on keppra for 20 months now and the side effects are awful. 
The medication, I find, is very hard on the body.  When they first put
me on it, I'd have to say it took over 6 months just to adjust to the
dosage they had me on.  In August, they increased my dosage and I've
been having troubles ever since.  Currently, I'm trying to get into see
a specialist because I want off the medication.  The last neurologist I
saw was only concerned with the effectiveness of the keppra.  Since I
haven't had a seizure since June he saw no reason to do anything. 
However, it's harder to live with the side effects than it is the
seizures.  Of course, everyone is different.  I wish you all the best...

My hubby has been on Keppra for over a year or so now. Hes doing great. No side effects. Maybe some tiredness when he first started but nothing compared to the Trileptal he was on before Doc made a switch in medications.

I guess it depends on the person but hes doing very well on it plus hes on Lexapro (antidepressant) which can make you effects on him with that too. The only downside to his meds is the weight gain. The lexapro has increased his appetite so hes gained some weight.

I am a 52 year old male with trauma related E. Started when I was 17. My story is not aweful (four TC seizures in 35 years). Since going on Dilantin, the only time that I have had a problem is when my Dilantin was messed with...25 years ago a Neurologist decided that my Dilantin was too high and reduced me by 100 mg. After 10 days I had a seizure not 20 minutes after driving myself home from an appointment.  Scary! Believe it or not, a week after having a that seizure I went kayaking down the Klamath River in southern Oregon (not too bright).

Fast forward to the present...I had my last TC seizure last week (first in 25 years). I was seated at my computer at the time, so injuries were minimal, but I'm still recovering. Lets just say that I enjoy drinking fine wine, and have managed to get by without having to pay a price, until last week that is. I took the week off and celebrated by having a bottle of wine with dinner two nights in a row...ooops. Guess I can't do that any more. Following my seizure last week my PCP was advised by a Neurologist to add 1,000 mg of Keppra/day to my ~400 mg/day of Dilantin. For four days I struggled with flu-like symptoms and exhaustion, until I decided that enough was enough and I cut the dosage back to 500 mg/ more adverse symptoms! Not that I would recommend that anyone else do this. Oh, I have no appitite with the 500 mg of Keppra (it's going on 3 pm and I haven't eaten all day...I better get downstairs to the kitchen).

Dilantin has been a blessing and a curse for me. No problems with the gums or liver, but the unstable blood levels plauged me for nearly 20 years (that's right 20 years) until I got sick and tired of it and went for blood level readings nearly every day for three weeks. I watched 400 mg/day turn into a toxic reading of 25-30+ within a couple of days; then I cut back to 300 mg/day for two or three days and watched my level dwindle to an untheraputic 12-14. So I devised a regiment of one day at 400 mg, another at 300 mg, followed by two days at 400 mg, then back to 300 mg followed by 400 mg. I pay close attention to my body and try to get plenty of rest. And it appears to long as I don't run down to the cellar. Oh, there is some neuropathy...anyone experience this?    

If anyone wants to contact me with follow up questions or comments, my email address is

God bless and be well. 



     I will be starting to take keppra  within a few days and will try to let you know how it effects me. I am on trileptal 600mg a day.a higher dose made me very dizzy.I also take neurontin 200mg a day I will be stopping this drug sat.I had my first spell( as i call them ,it's also easy to spell) in nov 2005 right now they still are at about once a month.the docs think a change in meds is needed.well good luck to all on this drug,feel well for xmas and the new year.


I was taken off Topamax (3000mg) a day and put on Keppra due to kidney stones and I immediately noticed the side effects...from dizziness, nausea, weight loss and loss of appetite, headache, tiredness, hair loss, just feeling totally off balance, mood was awful. Then I had 2 breakthrough seizures and my Neuro added the generic Tegretol...I again had 2 more seizures and that's when he recommended that I check into the Epilepsy monitoring unit for 5 days. Oh, also with my morning pills I take 100 mg of folic acid and 100 mg of B6 and have noticed a huge difference in mood. With the generic tegretol I've noticed alot of side effects also...most of them the same as the Keppra but I've been on it for about 4 weeks now and I'm still having alot of I'm curious as to when they are going to go away.

I'd like to come off both Keppra and the Tegretol and find a medication that doesnt cause me breakthrough seizures and something that has less side effects. Because of all of this I've been on STD at work since 10/11/08...I'm hoping for results from the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. I check in this Tuesday for 5 days...cross your fingers for me.




I really hope you don't get any side effects! If you do, maybe they'll
be short, just know they may last a while, n> couple weeks, as they have for me.

Here's a little bit about the side effects I've had while on Keppra (1-2g/day for ~3 yrs). 

When I first started taking Keppra 3 yrs ago, I had no side effects going on it: 1500mg/day, 22 yrs old, healthy, athletic. Went off of Keppra and took lamictal for a year. Side effects from it weren't good so I went back to Keppra. I'm now 25, still healthy but at 2g Keppra/day, I felt horrible ~ 2 months. Muscle aches, like the feeling of lactic acid build up in my arms and legs, almost constant dizziness, slight mood depression and headaches. Went for 4 day hospital monitoring. Apparently I'm having epileptic and psychogenic seizures. Now I'm down to 1g Keppra per day. I feel less dizzy and I'm in a much much better mood, but my body is absolutely exhausted. I'm wondering if I'm exhausted from coming off the meds, or I'm still feeling side effects from the meds. 


Well, it's about like asking the question, "How long do you think the Earth's going to be around?". That is, the side reactions and up's-and-down's of this costly pill pretty much depend on the taker's body, mind, lifestyle and chance itself. I began taking 3000mg of Keppra each day, almost from the day it was available, over 8 years ago. And what I noticed right away was that I could get "bitchy" (got to use the proper word here) and discontented without planning. On a line in a supermarket, while waiting for a subway at rush hour, finding the washing machines in my basement all in use. Sure, everyday run-ins, but the Keppra did (and still does) make me "crabby with a capital K now and then. If it weren't for all the reading I've done about this pill (via my pharmacy's print-out, research of my own, and articles on line) I'd be unnecessarily worried. However, Keppra does cut down my number and intensity of seizures, and I'm still taking it...and paying 'way more for it these days. And I'm down to 2250mg per day. Sure keeps me off spending extra on fattening food treats!

Hi, We are new to seizures and this site, so please bear with me. My 4 yr old daughter has had approx. 20 seizures (all grand or petit mal so far as I can tell!) in the past 3 weeks. She was started on Keppra the 1st day she had one. She was on Keppra before-from about 3 months old to about 2 1/2 yrs old, for the same type of seizure activity. She had about 12 seizures in a month and a half and then never had another one. That's why they took her off the Keppra. I was curious if anyone else had noticed side effects with their kids on Keppra. The only things I've noticed is a decreased appetite most days, then the other days she eats me out of house and home. Also, some mood swings..."hold me and snuggle me, I'm tired" to bouncing off the walls like a severely hyperactive child. She is taking 3ml in the AM and 3.5ml in the PM. We are still adjusting up. I'm trying to process all the info I'm getting about seizures, but doing this on a sleep deficit is kind of confusing. She has almost all of her seizures in the middle of the night, so I'm hardly sleeping. I feel like I'm just waiting for the next one, or I'm worried that I won't wake up while she's having one. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

My son has been on Keppra for about 4 weeks. He is only 11 months so it is very difficult for me to know exactly what he is going through. I have noticed that sometimes he seems a little off. Like he is calm and quiet. Other times he seems fuzzy and other times he is just all over the place. It sounds like normal baby behavior but I know it is more than that. I have noticed that being in the car makes him a little dizzy I can see it on his face and the way he looks out the window. I now play movies in the car and that seems to help him. He takes 3.0ml in the morning and 3.0ml in the evening. He has had a few absence seizures lasting less than 10 seconds. Sometimes I catch him staring but I can get his attention easily. But why is he staring? He does this about 5-7 times per day. He comes in and out of it without any warning or anything that will tell me it was a seizure. He has had real absence seizures where he does not respond and he does not move at all. His eyes are not rolling or blinking, there is no movement of any part of his body. He is just staring and breathing a little harder. They have lasted about 6-8 seconds and he is cranky immediately after. He want to go to sleep but he fights hard and stays awake. After a few minutes of being cranky he goes back to being normal.
I think the only side effects that I can see right now is that he has a sleepy look on his face (not every day, but some days) and he gets dizzy in the car.

First of all, i found this interesting, because you said you had only "one serizure," therefore, you decided that you do not technically have epilepsy. However, i myself, have only taken one "grande mal" seizure (convulsion), and i can fully tell you, and my doctor, that i have epilepsy.

Taking "seizures" does not necessarily mean your body needs to go into convulsions. there are absense seizures, where one can (this is what happens to me) find themselves staring blankly into space. The brain is not as "observant" and "attentive" as the normal brain. Memory seems to be a problem, as well. I am currently on Kepra, however i honestly see no effects on it, as i plan on telling my doctor. however, my dosage is very low, so just ask your doctor...

but, do any of these symptoms sound familiar? just remember, epilepsy DOES mean the "reoccurance" of seizures, however, "seizures" dont necessarily have to be grande mal. you could be taking absence seizures and not even realize it. check with your doctor!

Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

24/7 helpline