Community Forum

Keppra-- Weight Gain?

I was wondering if anyone else has experienced weight gain while being on Keppra (Levetiracetam)? I have been on it for a year and a half now and have gained about 25lbs while playing a D-1 sport training 5-6 days a week with dieting. I have been training hard and eating right and looking back it seems as if my weight gain started when i got on Keppra. Has anyone else had this side effect or am I just not working hard enough?


I started taking Keppra in april 2009, came off of DIlantin. I have gained 25-26 lbs. My diet has not changed, I exercise 3-4 days per week. Neurologist said there is nothing "in the literature" about weight gain side effect but what else could it be?

Please forgive me if I rattle too long. I'm new to this site and full of thoughts stirring inside my head.

I have been on regular Keppra now for about 6 weeks, and so far I have no interest in food - forcing myslef to eat. So I am losing weight, for now. It's given me extreme nausea, upset stomach and stomach cramping, so I find it easier to eat only the when I have to. I am also extremely exhausted, have hair loss, severe depression, and I'm having trouble with my memory, communicating and I feel like I'm living in fog with no connection to the real world anymore, (and that's not all) best yet ~ my seizures are still haning out.  Of course my Dr. thinks Keppra is the most amazing drug available, umm.....NO! I'm ready to find something else. 

Thank God for this site and everyone's comments. So good to know I'm not losing my mind - well not all of it anyway.   

I really do not know what to think about keppra xr. On one hand, I haven't had a seizure. On the other hand, I have gained almost 20 pounds in less than a year (with no dietary changes and increased exercise) and have significantly less energy. I am completely distraught with all of this right now and feel as though there must be some alternative to this kind of treatment. Are there anti-seizure drugs out there that do not cause such significant weight gain?

Keppra XR is excellent. I am on 1500 mg a night for over 2 yars.. No jitters no shaking no side effects and i am totally under control. I am currently taking Keppra XR 500mg, tegretol (generic) and gabapentine as well as pure green bean coffe extract 800 mg 2 times a dday to reduce fat from my liver. Hoping it works i just tried the coffee bean for the first time yesterday. I badly need to lose weight tegretol blew me up like a tic.

I was on Keppra for a few months, but when I seized again and they upped my dose I gained 10 pounds...and the scale still climbs.

It's horribly depressing and I hate it, because I already have body image issues. The weight gain just makes it worse. Let me know if you find anything out.

Do not worry about the weight gain. It is due solely to the Keppra. Trust me, I have been on EVERY medication that is available for epilepsy (including Keppra - a long time ago). While on Keppra I gained ALOT OF WEIGHT. The main thing that I did to combat this was to go to the gym & work out. By doing this I was able to keep my weight at a constant level. Hope this helps you out. Good luck.

"Excersise more, go to the gym, eat less"

umm yeah..  speed walking 4-5 miles/day, a toddler eats more than I do, I have not had soda since I was put on this keppra(500mg 2X/day) I do not eat dairy, extremely limited fats, low carbs(sandwiches with no bread, mayo or cheese.. ) still gaining weight, AND the doc keeps lowering my synthroid saying now I'm hypERthyroid, also says the keppra can't possibly be affecting the thyroid test results) how on earth have I gained nearly 30 pounds in 18 months? If keppra is on your plate, then nothing else can be, say goodbye to everything else..

I Love being seizure free but don't love being fat! Before Keppra I was Hypothyroid, on Dilantin, and skinny. I never excersised, ate what I wanted.. now I have no energy, depressed, crabby, and I'm fat.


I have been on Keppra a lil over two yrs now, at first it was KeppraXR, 1000mg/day. now I was on Dilantin 500mg/day and felt great, but was having too many breakthrus(4-5 a month) so my doc put me on the KeppraXR, bad, bad, BAD "Keppra migraines" everyday for nearly a yr! would start with-in an hour od taking my dose, and last several hrs. then they slowly started to disapate, but my worst nightmare was the weigthgain! I was (b4 Keppra) hypothyroid, skinny, never excersised, ate what I wanted.. with -in months of being on Keppra I'd gained nearly 30 pounds, and even though I excersize DAILY now, and heck, a Toddler eats more than I do now. I could/can not lose any of it.

My ins. would not pay for the Keppra XR and so my Doc put me on the generic form, of regular Keppra, no headaches with it, been on it for 8 months, but still cannot lose the extra poundage! it's depressing the hel out of me..

NOTE: I myself notice something, something the docs have not said anything about. being on Keppra made my hair and nails STOP I mean STOP growing! I have always had to trim my bangs 2x/week b/c my hair grows so fast and did right up till they put me on Keppra! in the past 6 months I have reduced(slowly) my dosage from the 500mg 2x/day to only once a day(before bed) and my hair has started to grow again! not as fast as normal but it is growing.. still no seizure too, not even an aura!

Something else that happened, a few mnonths ago, I ran out of my meds, was out for 2 days, on the second day of this 2 day period, I happened to have to have a thyroid test, and although my last test came back hypER(they've reduced my synthroid 3x's since being on Keppra) THIS test after not taking the Keppra for 2days came back extremely hyPO thyroid,told my endo doc about not having my Keppra for 2 days(I picked up my keppra on the way home) , he retested in 2 weeks, and, on the lowered dose of Keppra, my test results came back with-in normal range..

NOW, tell me again how Keppra doesn't cause these significant changes??? hmm.. the proof is here, If Keppra is on your plate, then nothing else CAN be, your hair will stop growing, and how ever it works to prevent seizures it also prevents your metabolism from working, and if you're taking Synthroid it will mess with your test results!

This summer I have to go back to my doc, in July, I'm going to lay this info on him..

Anyone know what Zongran(spelling) is like?

..I haven't lost my mind, it's backed up somewhere...

hahaha "in the literature"--- my dr said the same thing to me. he is really pissing me off, it takes him (well his office) a week to return a call and 2 months to get an appointment. I didn't think i needed medication in the first place but now since I want to get off of it because of the weight he says that I'll probably have a breakthrough seizure coming off of it. it was awful nice of them to tell me that before he made me get on the meds. but it is really starting to make me mad now because the same thing keeps happening to me inluver411, i keep getting on the scales and the numbers keep going up. I even wrote down what I ate for a month and showed it to him and he said that it "it wasnt in the literature" and that it "shouldn't have that effect". Hopefully i can get off of it.

yeah you let me know if you find anything out too. i'd like to know some more about what you guys are experiencing to see if im just being lazy or if something is really wrong.

Hi, I have been on Keppra for about 1 1/2 years.  Tegretol and Dilantin gave me brain freeze, making it almost impossible to function in an office enviroment.  My doctor suggested Keppra, and to be honest, I'm a lot less 'dumb' than I was on the other meds.  I feel great, its just that I HAVE experienced keppra rage (plenty), and I am much more moody (I was perfect before).  However the biggest issue is the WEIGHT GAIN which the doctors and literature say doesnt exist.  I've put on 15 pounds, and thats by working hard not to put on weight.  I've been eating extremely healthy and work out a few times a week.  However, now I have to fight cravings which I didnt have before, and I just dont drop any weight, even with the regular exercise and healthy diet.  I am borderline hypothyroid, but my levels are ok so they wont increase my levothyroxine.  Yuck.  Seeing my doctor today, to discuss changing Rx.  However this will mean giving up my drivers license for another 3 months. 

I was On keppra for year and I gain 30 lbs,  without trying... came off it..and the weight  just started coming off!

when you came off keppra, what did you go onto? 


zonegran 400 a night ...then 2 months later topamax for 6th time in my life ( ihave never lost weight on topamax) 200 mg 2x a day

Didn't the Topamax mess up your thought processing or speaking? I have heard that it is nicknamed "Dopamax" because it makes people stupid. When I took it, I had a very difficult time with word recall; I knew what I wanted to say but couldn't find the right word. Zonisamide (and MANY other drugs) did nothing to stop my (partial onset) seizures. Keppra is the first thing that has worked for me, but this weight gain is a real problem. To everyone reading this: Which kind of Keppra are you taking, regular or XR? Thanks for your input.

Capeco, or anyone else for that matter, when you came off the Keppra did you have any side effects or a breakthrough? Because I really want to come off of it, but the Dr. is kinda scaring me out of it by saying it's likely that I will have a breakthrough and that i shouldn't drive... which is pretty important to get to work.

I'm from Canada, and whenever you change an anti-epilepsy drug, the doctor is required to notify the ministry of transportation, and I have to give up my lisence for 3 months (or longer, if the ministry wants further investigation).  If I have a seizure, then for sure, its a minimum of 1 year without a seizure.  However, 3 months of not driving is a price I have to pay to stop this weight gain (not to mention these feelings of ???  Like I'm a square peg in a world full of round holes- I've never felt like this before).

I've gained 10 pounds since my dosage was increased

I seemed to be okay with weight on regular Keppra, but once I went on the Keppra XR, I quickly put on four pounds over one-and-a-half months and can't get it off. I plan to switch back to the regular Keppra because it is the first medication to stop my seizures (partial onset) after 18 years of trying! I have tried Tegretol, Dilantin, phenobarbitol, zonisamide, Topamax, and I can't remember the rest. Please note: ASPARTAME (aka Nutrasweet) CAN CAUSE SEIZURES AND WEIGHT GAIN. It is an excitotoxin (like MSG) which overstimulates brain cells to death. Also, when you consume ANY artificial sweetener, your body prepares for digestion of carbohydrates because of the sweetness. When it doesn't receive the carbs, you end up with cravings for carbs. I truly believe that the large quantities of diet soda I used to drink caused my epilepsy. You can read about aspartame and the nervous system in several articles by Dr. Russell Blaylock and many others.

i am new here hope doing right yes i have been on keppra 6 months and 20lbs heavier and hate it

Yes, I am active, but I gained 20lbs in 6 months. I am on Vimpat now, but women have a harder time losing weight than men... I am still working to lose the weight.

ive been on Keppra XR for a year now and I have just done a total 180 from my normal self. I have gained 40 pounds and keep gaining. and along with weight gain i have been through and am still going through extreme depression. i dont know how many times ive wanted to kill myself on this stuff and anymore i dont even want to get out of the bed. its like im drained and have nothing to look forward to in life. and ive had some major anger issues as well...ive became violent towards my husband and mean to everyone...i cant even stand myself because i am so moody. I HATE THIS!!! but my doctor tells me its the safest epilepsy med out there when youre thinking about pregnancy...but with this stuff i look preggy already, i just dont get the prize=/

I know exactly what you're going thru w/ the Keppra XR. I was extremely moody, irritable, and violent. I would get so upset with family members that I wanted to physically hurt them. The violence was the worst for me. The moodiness and irritability was like having PMS 24/7. I also experienced the depression and suicidal thoughts. Not only was I not myself, I was having so many more complex partials than I was having when I was on original Keppra. I couldn't stand it so I asked my Dr. to put me back on regular Keppra. I'm now on 1000 mg of regular Keppra twice a day and working my way up to a stronger dose of Lamictal in conjunction w/ the Keppra. The moodiness and violence is gone. The only problem so far is the weight gain...15 lbs and counting. My Dr. says Keppra and Lamictal are both safe for pregnancy and he also has me on 2 MG of folic acid even though I'm not planning to get pregnant yet. In my opinion Keppra XR is awful!

Chriss,   Just wondering if you are still on Keppra and Lamictal?  My 20 yr old daughter just started having complex partials about a yr ago and started on Keppra generic and gained about 25-30 lbs.  Still had breakthough.

Dr.  added Vimpat  and now we are trying to wean off keppra.  Just wondering if youve had success.  Thanks,  Janet

Oh yeah, most definitely.

When I first took Keppra, I didnt have ANY appetite. It took such an effort to drink even a box of chocolate milk. Some days, I survived on just one small box of choc milk and a banana. I know we shouldnt miss meals with epilepsy, but just looking at food made me want to throw up and dizzy. Especially tomato paste from pizza/spaghetti and parmesan cheese and natural yoghurt.

After about 2 weeks, it took a complete turn and I started eating like crazy. I was hunrgy every couple hours. So I have definitely put on weight, at least 10 pounds.

As for Topamax, which someone else mentioned, I never lost appetite or weight either. In fact, my appetite was tripled. How people lose weight while on this drug is beyond me.

I've never experienced weight gain from Keppra.  I've been on it for over a year now. I guess it's different with everyone...

unfortunately i have experienced a lot of weight gain ever since i have been on this medication, i have been on keppra since about 2008 and since ive been on keppra ive put on roughly 3 and a half to 4 stone ad i now weigh 19 and a half stone and im still putting weight on, my diet or appetite hasnt changed andif anyting i exercise more than i used to so it must be the medication.

Are you on generic keppra and may I ask the dose amt?

Hello everyone,

We found out my 8- yr old daughter developed cps epilepsy 3 months ago. She was a very sporty, active, under-weight typical kid (just like her twin sister).

We started Keppra and she's at 9mls 2x day. She was still having seizures several times a day - we have introduced trileptral and as soon as we get up to 5 mls a day we will begn weaning off the keppra. So today, it's 9mls keppra & 3mls trileptral.

She has gained 38 lbs since our hospital visit when we were told she was having seizures January 28. Tomorrow morning we go for lab work- because the neuro thinks this is thyroid related due to the meds. He says this type of weight gain is not a good sign and definitely too much to be labeled a side effect. I'll keep you posted on the results.

Mom of 4 girls

I have been on Keppra for nearly 5 years and sharted the serious weight gain after 2 years....almost 15 kgs and I work out everyday, and have done so since 13/14 yaers old.  I have been on most epilepsy drugs and the only one that I didnt follow the same weight gain pattern is with Dilantin which had different side effects- constant PMS and gum swelling.  The moment I switch to another medicine the weight drops off.  I angers me that the neurologists will not agree with a connection between Keppra and weight gain!  I tried Topamax and it was a disater with me and if affected my nervious system and all the possible bad side affects. 

hello everyone. i have been concerned about my random weight gain and decided to google it. i found you guys and gals and just made an account. i have been on Carbatrol 1200mg daily and Keppra 1000mg daily for maybe a year now. I'm in the U.S. military so uncontrollable weight gain is no bueno. that and Epilepsy but let just take this one step at a time...has anyone found out anything about a medication to counteract the weight gain problem? diet and excersise isnt cutting it. thanks!


I've been on keppra for almost a year now. I have gained 30lbs. and it's still counting. I never really worked out before because I never had to and now I'm having to find motivation to start eating healthier and getting a good work out routine together. For me, starting keppra was like going through puberty all over again. It's a horrible feeling.


I started the generic for Keppra from August 2011 and I have gained close to 25lbs.  I exercise about 4 days a week and I can not fit into my clothes.  I looked up the side effects and weight gained was not listed as one of them, but this is ridiculous it must be the medication.  The one thing that is good about keppra it does control my complex partial seizures.  To be honest I don't know what I am going to do because I am not fat!  I have tried so many other pills and nothing seems to work without a side effect.

My 20 yr old daughter also has been on keppra generic for a year and has gained 25-30 lbs.  But she cannot handle more than 1000 mg daily and that does not stop the seizures from breaking thru.  You are fortunate that you can control them.  The Dr. added vimpat but she is at a low dose so far.  We are trying to up the vimpat and decrease keppra trying to completely wean off of the keppra. 

Most definitely. I at first thought it was something that I was doing wrong but I've been on Keppra for about 9 years and I've gained 30 pounds. I can't complain though because I've almost been seizure free for a year. I try to work out every day but it's a pain and hard to do.

I cross my fingers for the new Keppra coming out next year.

There's a new Keppra coming out? please if you know more, do tell.. I have an appt with my Neuro next month, I am bringing this (very long page) with me for proof that I am not crazy, that keppra makes you gain weight, and it's near impossible to lose it..Good luck to you all!


I haven't lost my mind, it's backed up somewhere...

Yes, but I'm in Canada. Dunno about other courntries. It apparently had a lot less side effects and even better seizure prevention than the current Keppra. It's not called Keppra though. I'll ask my neuro about it more thoroughly in October.

I'm on Keppra 2500 mg/day + Depakine 1000 mg/day and gain 24lbs. Still wishing i could be in shape as before someday.


 I have been on Keppra for about 3 years now and if anything it is weight loss.  After the first year I lost about 10 lbs and leveled out.  Last year they increased the dosage and I have since dropped another 10 and seem to be holding provided I keep active.  Yes, I think I am naturally slim anyway, but at 6' 2" and previously weighing around 195, I am now around 175.  With it I take Trileptal and Clobazam and everything is good although it tends to make me a little drowsy if I do not keep active.  My waist size dropped from 34 to 32 and body fat is very low. 

 It is now a real concern but I am curious if anyone out there has similar effects.

To be honest I have been on Keppra since two months and now it feels like I'm gaining my weight slowly but you get to know this only when you regularly check your body,, I think the people which are worried that they are not gaining weight should try this atleast once. Manuka honey

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