keppra vs. topamax

i'm a 28 year old woman diagnosed with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy when i was 16 - and have been on depakote since. my doctor has, of course, always told me that i should let him know when i'm thinking about getting pregnant. well, it's now within a couple of years of wanting to get i decided to switch over to lamictal. in the last couple of months, i've been ramping up lamictal and decreasing depakote. lamictal and i did not agree so well. so, my doctor has suggested to look at keppra vs topamax -- any thoughts???


Topamax v. Keppra

Hi! I am a 25 year old woman who was also diagnosed with petite mal epilepsy when I was about 3. I have been on depikote but got off of it due to weight gain. I have tried both Topamax and Keppra. Of the two I liked topamax the best. Although the side effects: numbness, cognitive problems (forgetting & "the stupids"), loss of apitite etc will away with in a couple of weeks. I decided to slowly decrese the topamax and get on Keppera (i felt like it had stopped working after 5 years on it). I had not fully gotten off of topamax but was on a higher dose of keppera when I started to have severe panic attacks, uncontrollable crying for no reason, I worried about nothing. I couldn't breathe I felt like I was going crazy. I immeadiately got off keppra, but my doc said that I would have more panic attacks from the withdrawl of Keppra and gave me a seditive to take if one happened.

I am now on Topamax and Lamictal and have gotten along fine with it; besides the insomia and my skin is really ichy with the lamictal.As for panic attacks, I haven't had a HUGE one since I got off of keppera.

However different people react to different drugs.

I hope that helps!

I was also diagnosed with

I was also diagnosed with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy 2 years ago, I'm now 23. But they originally started me on Depakote for about 3 weeks, I had such a bad reaction to that they took me off right away, and put me on topamax.  I had no problems with it for a couple months, except that I had no appetite and I went from a size 10 to a 2 without even trying.  And then I started with bad anxiety, and mood swings, and I also had the "dopamax" going on.  I was wicked spacey and forgot everything, so after about a year I couldn't take the side effects anymore, so for the past year I've been on Keppra, I gained all my weight back, no more mood swings either, so side effects wise I feel 10 times better,  the only crappy thing is that about 6 months ago I started having grand mal seizures, which they never thought I would have,  I was supposed to outgrow this type of epilepsy, but I actually just had my 3rd gm 2 nights ago.  So they just upped my dose of keppra and still no negative side effects, and i'm hoping that it will control the gm seizures.  So that's my experience with the both meds.  I hope it helps you.

Re: I was also diagnosed with

I have taken both meds and neither of them worked out for me. I was diagnosed with complex partial epilepsy in August 07. I was put on Keppra in September of 07 about three weeks into it Keppra basically turned me into a violent person and I am very calm. I have heard it works for a lot of people, but I was not one of them. I personally would not recommend it. Topamax I have taken for about 4 months now and I am going to switch to another medication soon because I am extremely tired all day and have lost 25 pounds on it. (granted I am a 6'6" male, but I was faily skinny before I started taking it. I went from 205 to 180.) Because of Keppra I often forget to eat or don't want to at all and before ever having taking it I could and would eat more than any person me and any of my family or friends knew. They both had their down sides for me, neither one of them worked out. If I had to choose one I would go with Topamax definitely, because Keppra I nearly choked someone out in public who I knew fairly well and really didnt have anything against. Three weeks after stopping the Keppra I was hanging out, joking around with the same guy. Keep in mind that everyone is effected differently though. Hope this helped.

I was Diagnosed with Epilepsy after a car accident

I have been   on 400mgs Topamax for almost a year with very little change in my siezures the only thing that was good was I was loosing wieght like crazy because it stoped me from drinking soda.  Because of the Topamax it makes it taste like Windex or like windex smells anway.  My dr has now added Keppra 750mgs  for 4 months it has lessened my siezures but has not stopped them.  My dr wants more test first.  amnisia the Keppera has seemed to shorten the time period of the amnisia if I have the siesure in the morning or before bed.  I have not had an adverse reaction to either medication exceopt for when I was on 1000mgs of Keppra I felt like I was in a fog all day long.  I was on it for more than a month and my body could not get use to it. 

i've had siezures since i was 18 monthes.

i take 300mg of topamx twice a day. 1000mg of keppra twice a day. they work wonders for me when i remember 2 take them. it took my neurologist forever to find the right pills for me i"ve been on tegretol, lamitol, depicot, etc. i"ve also had spinal taps, EEGs,MRIs, cat scans,etc. and now i'm married and fixing to have a baby and i havnt had a single seizure i"m 3 monthes. i"m scared that i wont be able to have it because my dr. asked if i've ever been in alot of pain because that triggers siezures and i've never been in alot of pain what do i do?

Re: Topamax v. Keppra

I guess all of this just goes to show ya - everyone is different and nobody can generalize how a drug will affect YOU.  I took Topomax for about 2 years and was angry ALL THE TIME.  I never slept through the night anymore, people stopped talking to me at work, I gained about 70 pounds - I'm surprised i stayed married; matter of fact, i almost didn't.  When I started on keppra from neurontin, i started getting that angry feeling; found myself listening to angry head banger music again.  told my dr. about it and he upped the dose!!   now on 1000 2x per day and am doing fine.  even able to turn off that really annoying VNS.  still get irritable every once in a while, but know when to stand up for myself and when to walk away.  all in all, much better than seizing.  Karen

Re: Topamax v. Keppra

Hey! i've been on topamax and it didn't work with me. I've been on lamictal ever since i was diagonsed in 2004. Lamictal has worked for me, but they decided to put me on Keppra also. Together they have both helped me so much. I have a question though. Does anyone know how long you have to wait untill you can get your california drivers license? i know i have to be seizour free for a crtain time, but i don't know for how long. can anyone help?! oh, and i've had seizours for about 4 years. from 12-16. i had my first on super bowl sunday, go figure. 

re:keppra vs. topamax

I love Keppra!  I've never been on topamax so I can't comment on that.  Lamictal and I also did not agree and it didn't control my JME.  I am 30 and pregnant with my 2nd child and my first boy is healthy thus far.  I know keppra is usually used in additon to other meds, but I take it alone (2000mg daily) and it works great.  My neuro also believes that monotherapy is best during pregnancy.  Of course after reading many different posts, every drug seems to work differently in every person... Hope this helps. 

Re: re:keppra vs. topamax

my situation is almost exactly like deborah's.  i was diagnosed with jme when i was 15 and am taking depakote and lamictal.  i took  only depakote for many years then my doctor told me that taking depakote if i wanted to start a family was not a good idea.  so then i was put on just lamictal which didn't do a thing for me and i ended up having 10 seizures in 6 months (i hadn't even had 10 total until then).   and i can't be on depakote if i'm taking birth control because of the interactions between the two.  now my doctor wants me to try keppra so i can actually be on birth control and if i do get pregnant there aren't as many risks as there are with depakote.  my fiance and i know we want to have children and he's willing to wait until we get all of this figured out but i am really just looking for any thoughts on what i can expect if i do get pregnant and if keppra causes any extra complications.

Re: re:keppra vs. topamax

hi there.  I came across your blog and we have a lot in common.  I have JME as well, and was diagnosed at the same age as you.  I am now 28 and from my experience as of the last 2 years i would like to tell you that keppra was handling in my system great for the first 2 months.  Then i decided to go on the birth control pill and i have not been the same ever since.  Not to say it will be your experience but if any of this can help you to avoid what i have been going through for the last 2 years i will save you the greif.  Everyday i experience numbness in my feet, sometimes my hands, i get horrible eye strain everyday, my muscles get very tense, and i experience aura's in the back of my head everyday. And there is a strong correlation with my aura's when i am around my hormonal cycle.

 If i knew then what i know now i would not have done that.  But i was told it would be safe.  So now i am in the beginning of getting off keppra and starting topamax as even the lamictal/keppra combo was brutal for me.  But then again i was taking keppra all along thinking it would get better with time.  I hope this little bit helps.  I have heard that keppra is good to have children on though.



Re: keppra vs. topamax

Keppra is a ....Good med. to be put on Dont try Topamax cuz its a appetite sup. and u know it wil make u lose wait..

Re: keppra vs. topamax

I'm 25, I was diagnosed with temporal lobe Epilepsy last year.  My first doctor put me on Keppra and I had a reaction to it, my heart skipped all the time it started skipping every 30 seconds I was rushed to the emergency room.  So my next doctor put me on Topamax,  I have been fine ever since no siezures or anything.  Now another friend of mine she was put on Topamax due to Migraines I don't know how many miligrams, and she did lose about 30 lbs.  or so, 30 lbs she didn't have to lose.   I didn't lose any wieght, I didn't lose one lb.  So it's only an appetite suppressant to some people.  Different drugs will affect different people in different ways.

Re: keppra vs. topamax

I have been on Keppra for about 8 months to control my temporal lobe epilepsy.  I had side effects at first such as drowsiness and that "walking through mud" feeling, but after about three weeks, I felt like myself again.  The only problem is that I still get my simple partial seizures, but not as often (I may need to talk to my neuro about upping my dose).  The one good thing is that I am sleeping sooooo much better since taking the Keppra.  I use to be up at 3:00 anywhere from one to three times a week unable to sleep. Now I sleep through the night every night.  I think I had too much electrical activity in my brain all day and night.

 I know Keppra is good because you can take other medications and have no interactions.

Re: keppra vs. topamax

I have been on topamax for ten years and love it.  I was on Lamictal for one week, but couldn't handle the effects of it myself. 

Re: keppra vs. topamax

oh, i'm 32 and also have juevenile myoclonic seizure disorder, i was diagnosed when i was 19.  i have not had a seizure in 7 years.


Re: keppra vs. topamax

I was also 19 when I started having seizures but didn't find out why until about a month ago when I switched neuorologists and did some more testing and he diagnosed me with JME. I almost 21 and I am still having seizures and I was wondering what medicine you took when you were diagnosed because I would love to be seizure free in order to lead a normal life where I can drive, hang out late, etc.

Re: keppra vs. topamax

I was diagnised with temperol lobe epilepsy when I was 11 years old.  I am now 26.  I tried everything from tegretol, lamictal and depakote.  10 years ago my neurologist put me on topamax and eventually ALSO keppra.  My seizures dramatically decreased from 10-15 a week to 3-4 a week, and eventually stopped.  I have now been seizure free for 5 years and 9 months.  I loved the combination because I was finally able to get my license and have been discharged from my neurologist.  I suggest asking your neurologists about this combination.  I value every day so much better now!!

Re: keppra vs. topamax

My son was also started having seizures at age 11, although his began as simple partial only (one arm) and ending up generalizing into full seizures 3-4 times (to date).  He was on Keppra and it did not seem to control him on its own, but now he is on Topamax...again it does not yet seem to be controlling everything although we are still ramping up dosage...but I am wondering about the possibility of adding Keppra to it.  Were your seizures partial seizures?  The fact that you tried everything and finally got it under control gives me great hope for my son!

This is my first post, and I am not sure where to look for your reply, but I will try to come to the keppra vs. topamax thread to check.  Thanks!

Re: keppra vs. topamax

I was diagnosed with partial complex seizures when I was 9 1/2 yrs. old. I am now 24yrs. old and have been seizure free for 6 months. At your son's age I was on Tegretol and it really worked well at controlling my seizures, as I got older and started going through puberty my doctor had to up my doses, but in doing so tegretol still helped control my seizures. When I was 14yrs. old I had been on tegretol for so long and such a high dose that my body became immune to the medication and the seizures returned. At that time Topomax was a fairly new drug and I was placed on that which did help control and stop my seizures. However, at age 17 my seizures returned still being on topomax and now my seizures were no longer partial complex seizures where I was awake, alert, and consious through the whole seizure, now the seizures happened only while I was sleeping, unconsious, alot more rapid movement with my whole body instead of just my left side and now I stopped breathing when I had a seizure, which were now grand-mal seizures. What had happened was just like the tegretol my body became immune to a high dose of topomax. My neurologist put me on Keppra which had just came out and found that by putting me on a dosage of Keppra and Topomax together it has helped control and now stopped my seizures. I have been on Keppra and Topomax together now for the last 4 years and it is still working great. I would say though for you and your son to not give up hope, everybody's brain and body responds differently to certain medications and dosages of medications. The fact that your son is a male and I am a female could have an influence with the certain horomones our bodies produce at certain stages in our life and how our own unique bodies counteract and respond to certain medications and dosages of a medication. Try not to get frustrated if the first medication your son tries doesn't work, it may not be a high enough dose, or it needs to work with another medication, or its just not the right medication all together. Finding a solution to controlling and possibly stopping seizures is alot of trial and error playing with different medications and dosages. But when it comes to living a normal life your son will still have that I guarantee it! I still went to school like everyone else, played the clarinet in marching band, went to college, got involved with everything and anything I wanted to, and now at 24 years old I work for the Association for Retarded Citizens and am getting married in a year. So I'm sure your son has a bright future ahead of him. God Bless and good luck! Lindsay

Re: keppra vs. topamax


Re: keppra vs. topamax

I am 32 and just found out I am pregnant again today.  I am very surprised.  My story is complex... I was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 4. I generally had grand mal seizures and took phenobarbitol, tegretol, and dilantin in the end until I was 18.  In March of 2007, after almost 16 years with no seizures, I had several hours of partial complex seizures that ended in me having a stroke.  The next year and a half was horrible .  I was on Keppra only for a few weeks which made me feel very aggressive. I was then changed to Lamictal and I complained the entire time to the doctor that the Lamictal hurt my stomach but the doses just kept going up.  I ended up having 6 feet of my large intestine removed (colectomy) in May 2008 and I still am not sure if it was seizure related, medication related, stroke related - there was nothing on the pathology.  I continued to have the partial complex seizures the entire time on the Lamictal.  Then Lamictal for the remainder of the year until in I insisted to be taken off in June 2008.  As soon as I started the Topamax they stopped and I felt great.  They were concerned about me eating because I had lost so much weight with the colectomy but I did not have a problem with the Topamax.  I have not had any periods since all of this so there is the surprise in the pregnancy today.  I was actually going in to have a major hernia repaired from the colectomy.  Needless to say I am on here looking for information on Topamax and pregnancy.  I do not think Lamictal is an option for me.  I didn't try the Keppra very long but I did feel very aggressive. Anyone heard of that? My neurologist said it is a side effect.  I am worried that the Topamax doesn't have any human studies. Any thoughts?

Re: keppra vs. topamax

I have been on Dilantin while I was pregnant and when I wasn't, it didn't do a thing to my child. My son is 14 and is taller than me, he might bug me a little but don't all children do that (smile). Dilantin didn't help me at all so I took depakote regular and the time release (something like that). But before that I took Tegretol and Tegretol time release (something like that). As you forget I forget somethings. But depakote was the worst with side effects, I had swelling, sleeping problems, hair falling out, and gained weight. Plus my seizures didn't stop or even cut back, they got worst. I had to take other meds with the Depokote. I was on Depokote for about five or six years and nothing stop if anything it got worst. Now I am on Keppra, Topamax, and Lamictal. They are doing better for me than the other meds but I am still having seizures but hopefully I will have one of the meds taken away. Now as far as which one is better Keppra or Topamax. I don't know because I take both. Now at first Keppra made me kind of moody for a month or so but I got over it. Topamax was wonderful only one side effect, I am 50 pounds lighter. I don't know about Lamictal at all. Now my hair fell out where I had to cut my hair but now I didn't have long flowing hair but I had to cut my hair because my hair would fall out a lot. But I could handle it because short hair is in style lol. Now I have a VNS too and the meds so hopefully this will all help me. I will just keep finding out more information on Keppra and Topamax and which one is better during pregnancy. But I know which one I would take after, TOPAMAX! LOL!

Re: keppra vs. topamax

I was diagnosed with JME in 1999 at 19. They started me on Depakote, but I gained 80 lbs. I have been on Topamax (100 mg 2x/day) and Lamictal (300 mg 2x/day) for 5 years. I've lost 2/3 of my hair and 100 lbs. I started switching to Keppra yesterday and will taper off of Lamictal in 2 weeks. I AM EXHAUSTED! I am about to fall asleep at my desk. I have to take caffeine pills to stay awake.

The topamax makes me stupid. I can't remember words and my short-term memory is horrible. I don't know which drug is causing the hair loss, but I will be on just Keppra within a year. 

Can anyone relate? I think I may go insane. I take Aldactone (look it up and try it), 1000 mcg Biotin, 100 mg B6, 100 mg B12 and a Multi-vitamin. If I didn't, I can't imagine how much worse it could be. It is getting so thin in the front now and all of the tests say there's nothing wrong with me. 

Re: keppra vs. topamax

Hi- I was put on keppra when I was 14 and it stopped all my episodes, but it also caused me to gain 60 lbs, and during high school, as you can imagaine it sucked.  Finally right before college, I switched to topamax, I'm already down 40 lbs just a few months.  I know what you mean about feeling stupider, but i'd rather work harder and have a kwirkyness about me then a major weightgain. 

 If I were you I would just keep taking nutrion bars.  And if you're really that unhappy try a differnt medication.  I know it sucks to keep on switching, but it's different for everyone. . . .

 Good Luck!

Re: keppra vs. topamax

I was diagnosed with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy when I was twelve.  I started on dilantin, but eventually out grew it.  I was later switched to lamictal but was constantly drowsy and almost fell asleep behind the wheel of my car.  I then switched to Keppra.  I decided to get pregnant while on the Keppra.  I took Keppra throughout my pregnancy and the baby came out fine.  I only had a couple seizures while pregnant and they were very small.  Once I had my baby the seizures got out of control and the keppra was no longer controlling them.  I would black out and forgot who my husband was.  I would wake up and have bite marks all over my tounge.  My doctor, then, switched me to depakote.  Depakote makes me really shaky.  My legs and hands shake involuntarily when I'm nervous and I can't control it.  I have horrible word recall.  Also, it causes my weight to fluctuate up and down and I feel hungry all the time.  OH, and I've lost a considerable amount of hair.  My doctor switched me to topamax today and I'm hoping to loose some weight and gain my hair back.  Any advice?

Re: keppra vs. topamax

Well, Topamax got its nickname "dopamax" fairly. I feel like a moron on a daily basis and lose my words constantly. I lost all of the weight I gained on Depakote and then so, probably too much. I started to put some on because I quit smoking.

My hair has been falling out badly... Which is to blame: Lamictal, Topamax or both? No AED is perfect and they effect everyone differently. 

Topamax is up to you. I think the Lamictal/Topamax combo made my drowsiness worse, but I was falling asleep at my desk. I'll be off Lamictal in 6 weeks, so I can let you know then... just Keppra and Topamax. 

We all need a little luck and I hope the switch goes well for you. 

Re: keppra vs. topamax

My hair fell out on lamictal, though not as bad as depakote.  That could be the one causing it. Though, since I am just starting topamax I can't say for certain.  I am hoping that is the case though because I really would like to have hair.

Re: keppra vs. topamax

hi i just posted something re topomax and keppra  and JME.

Im sure you'll loose weight on topomax, its really great like that. Please do be aware that you need to go back to the doctor if you start finding yourself in tears all the time and overeacting to things or if you loose your words and start forgetting things. It's hard to tell at first but believe me it wont be you. It will be the drugs. It was really hard for me to understand this when I was on Topomax. Good luck and I hope this helps.

Re: keppra vs. topamax

I was on Keppra recently, though my doc kept upping the dose.  I got tired of taking pills all the time that didn't work.  While I had fewer seizures, I still had them.  I have partial lobe seizures which are almost always followed by grand mal seizures.  Unfortunately, on Keppra, while the grand mal seizures happened much less often, the partial lobe seizures could last for days, leaving me unable to really grasp reality or see well.  Topomax on the other hand was a disaster for me.  I had intense joint pain and my appetite was pathetic.  If I tried to eat too much I had serious stomach pains.  I couldn't even eat a children's happy meal.  I'm 34.  Two Chicken nuggets and three french fries was about my maximum amount I could eat and even that caused pain.  I reacted to topomax very badly.   I was seeing a different doctor then and his response to my side effects was "they'll pass or you'll get used to it."  Then he increased the dose.  I couldn't even get out of bed.  I couldn't walk, the pain in my joints was so intense.  My husband found me a new doctor and she switched me to Keppra.  I was on it for several months until the program I was going under reached the "cut off" time.  I'm med-free for another month until I requalify. 

Re: keppra vs. topamax

hi i had the same thing happen to me ,every time id start to eat i felt sick,it was lk being pregnant i just couldnt eat, i lost so much weight i went to the docs,,,," she turned to me and said your doing it to yourslf" i was livid tryed to say i was starving myself i lost my breasts and could not sit down on hard chairs i was nearly 6 and half stone i too change my consultant,they dnt care

Re: keppra vs. topamax

i have been diagnosed with JME since i was 12. In my experience the best drug is sodium valoporate for control of siezures relating to JME type epilepsy. You can safely take Sodium Valporate up to 1000mg and be pregant without side effects ( of the baby) however, if you need more than that then you will need to consider other options because the valporate can interfere with the baby's development in the womb.

when I was pregnant I resisted taking any medicated for the first trimester because this is the most important time for the foetus, then I gradually built up sodium valporate over the second trimester.  After my daughter was born I took up to 3000mgs daily to control my fits because certain hormones present after pregnancy do tend to increase fits for women with JME. My daughter has no deformities however, she is very intelligent. Infact the doctor actually commented on assessment " well we should have all our babies on sodium valoporate if this is how they turn out" However, I did get very, very fat. More than 2.5 times by intial body weight.

In order to get my weight down, my doctor put me on Lamictal. It gave me very bad headaches; made me very tired, itchy and it did not control my siezures.

I then tried Topomax. I lost weight very quickly however, i suddenly lost my words, ability to focus and looked very stupid to others even though I knew what i was trying to say. After a period of time on Topomax I started crying at almost anything and worried about anything. I really was a mess.

My doctor reduced the topomax and started Keppra. They both control my siezures however, after about 6months I noticed ( and my husband) that I was very moody and aggressive, impatient and I started to loose strands of my hair all the time. I was crying at the slightest thing. Yet I was not taking enough of the topomax at that stage to continue to see the benefits of the weight loss. My weight stood still. 

I am now going to go back to epilim ( sodium valoporate). Id rather be a little bit fat ( im now actually about 1.5 times my body weight) than a total nervous wreck with almost no hair! 

 My recommendations for all women who have JME is to go for Epillim (sodium valoporate) first but if you can keep it at 1000mg per day try Keppra or Lamictal. Get plenty of sleep, dont drive and dont drink or eat too much sugar. If you want to loose weight...try topomax for a short time. then go back to Epillim

Re: keppra vs. topamax

I don't know an awful lot about JME but I've personally had REMARKABLE benefits with the ketogenic diet and would recommend you chatting to your neuro about it for you - it only works for some people, but my fits decreased from 180 per day to 1 in 4 months.  I would DEFINATELY suggest to take high doses of DHA and other omega 3 oils as well as coconut oil.  The DHA will help baby's neurological development while specifically focussing on its brain and eye development and coconut oil seems to help bring on ketosis so the brain uses fats as an energy source as opposed to sugars which seems to have a beneficial effect on decreasing seizures - so much so that many people are able to go off their meds completely.  You can use cocount oil instead of butter, marg and any other vegetable oil - for cooking or any other way you can include it in your diet!  Good luck

Re: keppra vs. topamax

I was on lamictal and it did not agree with me. Then i was on trileptal and it didn't either. Now i am on keppra it has been working just fine as long as i take it everyday and on time.

Re: keppra vs. topamax

I have been on keppra since last june when I had a grandmal and they found a brain tumor. I have also been on topamax, lamictal, and many others that just havent helped. The keppra and topamax hasnt controled me seizures but I have not had any weird affects from them. Congrats on wanting to start a family, I have 7 and I love every minute of it. God bless

Re: keppra vs. topamax

Hey girl,

I an 22 years old and was diagnosed with JME at 14. I am on a combination of Lamictal and Keppra.  My first neurologist was an idiot, Granted I was no having grand mals but I still had the myclonic seizures on the Lamictal alone, he claimed that it was "fine". and no medication fully controls it. Eventually I sought a second opinion. My second doctor recommended adding Keppra. I am currently on 550mg of Lamictal and 750mg of Keppra a day. It is alot of pills but my seizures are completely controlled. The only side effect of Keppra I've noticed is that I tend to be more tired during the afternoon. I recommend Keppra. I hope this helps you.