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Old 09-17-2007, 11:28 AM   #1
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Keppra to Topamax

I have been instructed by my PCP to switch from the Keppra to Topamax. This is over a period of 3 weeks.

This past weekend I had some really bad suicide thoguhts and depression. And although my Nuero wanted me to stay on the Keepra my PCP said no way. And I now am going to see another nuero on Friday.


anyway,

My Topamax with eventually be 50mg twice daily.

Even though I was so excited about going on Topa. I am really scared of the initial side effects. one being the "uneasiness" and the Tingeling. Can anyone explain what it felt like. I just don't want to freakout tomorrow when I start.

Thanks for any information.

 
Old 09-17-2007, 11:46 AM   #2
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Re: Keppra to Topamax

Hi j2006,

I cannot give you any info. I have never been on Topamax.
I was sorry to hear what Keppra did to you,and wanted to
wish you good-luck on starting the Topamax.

Take care,Sherri

 
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Old 09-17-2007, 01:32 PM   #3
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Re: Keppra to Topamax

Don't stress out over the side effects of Topamax...they are much kinder than Keppra's--trust me! I'm on both meds right now. With Topa. you can ease the "tinglies" in your fingers and toes by drinking lots and lots of water. You're supposed to anyway as Topa. is processed through your kidneys.

You may initially also experience some fatigue, but it's nothing compared to how tired I feel taking Keppra (I take 3,000 mgs of Keppra daily.)

Topamax is sort of a wonder drug in that it is prescribed for people with migraines, or have seizures or have mood disorders, such as bi-polar disorders. Keppra, on the otherhand, is well-known for causing agitation in some people, thus the phrase, "KepRAGE."

Just relax...let Topamax do its thing. You start off at a low dosage then titrate up as needed. Everyone reacts differently to every drug, but I've been taking 400 mgs of Topa. as an add-on AED for over a year now, and as long as I drink plenty of water, it's smooth sailing.

Good luck!
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:25 PM   #4
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Re: Keppra to Topamax

I wouldn't say that the Topamax effects are "kinder" than Keppra's...not from my experience. The time I was on Topamax was the worst time of my life. I'm so glad to be off it. Just do an internet search and you'll see the magnitude of side effects when comparing Topamax to Keppra. There are a LOT of adverse effects that accompany Topamax. Just to name a few....glaucoma, blindness, kidney stones, anxiety and also suicidal thoughts.

I will not tell you specifically how bad the Topamax was in terms of MY depression but suffice it to say, I not only had thoughts, I acted on them (and I have no history of this behavior at all).

I also experienced severe eye problems, sleep deprivation and I was dumber than a box of rocks (didn't help my self esteem although I did manage to become bone thin which was quite fashionable in Los Angeles, my home at the time and something I had never accomplished in my life...not even with a healthy diet and exercise.

I am actually off Topamax now and on Keppra. I did read about the mood effects that go w/ Keppra but considering what I had experienced w/ Topamax, I coudnt' imagine it could get any worse with me. I have taken lots of B6, however, because I read that it curbs these mood swings that seem to accompany Keppra.

Medication has different effects w/ different chemistry. If I could go back on good ole fashioned Dilantin, I would. It worked for me for 16 years without anything more than gum bleeding (which was remedies by getting my teeth cleaned every 3 months). Unfortunately, it stopped being effective and I was forced to switch to Topamax and now Keppra.

Being off the max completely, I gotta say, it's nice to be able to think again and read without getting throbbing headaches. It's also nice to not have to take Exelon (what they give people w/ Alzheimer's disease) to counteract the cognitive effects of the Topamax.

Last edited by TopamaxKillsMe; 09-17-2007 at 02:26 PM.

 
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:42 PM   #5
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Re: Keppra to Topamax

I always hesitate to respond to threads like these because as I said, Every BODY reacts differently to every drug. J2006 already started a thread about the "positives" about Topamax and now she's coming down to the wire and she is afraid...like we ALL are, whenever we start a new AED. I'm just sorry that J2006 still is scared about trying Topamax even after all of the responses you received! Like we all said Don't worry! Jump in the AED pool!


But for us seasoned AED vets...lLet's be honest here. All anti-epileptic drugs have you ever met an AED that didn't have some side effect luggage?

Dry mouth. Contispation. The poopies. Mood swings. Funky eye things. Agitation. Fatigue like you've never felt before...Like you want to nap as if you're suddenly your grandma who needs to lie down at 2 pm and only wants to be awakend at 5pm for dinner? "Did I miss Wheel Of Fortune?"

Meds suck, no matter what you take, there will be consequences. But, if you find that all-illusve combo that makes you seize less than two times a month, sign me up.

I'll drink freaking anti-freeze at this point.
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Last edited by dogmom; 09-17-2007 at 09:50 PM.

 
Old 09-18-2007, 03:33 AM   #6
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Re: Keppra to Topamax

The tingling (for me) felt like my hands and feet falling asleep at the same time, only magnified. It subsided after a few weeks and is completely gone. I never experienced any "uneasiness" that you described while on Topamax. I only had the stomach issues as described in the other thread. I did get very thirsty and it is important to drink alot while on this med. Just remember to eat, as you will not be very hungry. I've lost alot of weight in a very short time (that's a positive thing!) and it's controlled my seizures beautifully. I'm currently on 100 mg./2x day. I only have good things to say about this drug.

Last edited by life_is_good; 09-18-2007 at 03:35 AM.

 
Old 09-18-2007, 12:53 PM   #7
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Re: Keppra to Topamax

Thanks for being so supportive. Eveeryone needs that once and a while. I appreciate it.

 
Old 09-18-2007, 05:32 PM   #8
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Re: Keppra to Topamax

Let us know how you do with it. Keep us posted.

 
Old 09-19-2007, 12:17 PM   #9
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Re: Keppra to Topamax

I am so sorry to hear you are going thru this. I know everyone reacts to diffrent meds. differently, but I would advice if you are having suicidal thoughts, GO TO THE ER IMMEDIATELY! You indicated you are on a very low dose of Tomamax starting out as is normal. I tried taking Topamax too, starting out at 25mg. After 2 doses I was suicidal, homicidal and almost psycotic. I stopped taking it immediately. if you have someone that can be with you 24/7 I would highly recommend it til you stop having those thoughts.

The reason I said go to the ER is they can notify your doc. right away or observe you til he can be reached and advised of the situation. DO NOT go thru this alone!

Why are you going off the Keppra? Was it just ineffective or did you have bad side effects with it too? I am currently taking it at 750mg. daily with no side effects except much better control of my seizures.

I am sorry if I scared or upset you, but I feel it is important for you to realize the possible severity of the situation. And this is a great place for support.

Best of luck to you and please keep us informed. Laura

 
Old 09-19-2007, 01:08 PM   #10
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Re: Keppra to Topamax

I got the bad thoughts from the keppra. I am actually better today. I started tapering my dose of Keppra yesterday and I started the Topa last night.

Do people start out at the 25mg. It seems pretty low from i have read from others.

Thank you for reaching out to me. I appreciate it. It is very frightning to have such thoughts.

 
Old 09-19-2007, 01:19 PM   #11
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Re: Keppra to Topamax

I started out at 50 mg. 2x a day.

 
Old 09-19-2007, 01:54 PM   #12
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Re: Keppra to Topamax

This week I am on 25 at night and then 25 twice daily next week and then to 25 morning, 50 at night and then finally 50 twice daily.

Is it because I am switching medications do you think?

I meet with my new nuero on Friday so hopefully she will approve of this switch. The nuero I just left was a real winner. He wouldn't even tell me what kind of seizures I was having. He was afraid I would research it and freak out. My PCP got me the answer and is making me switch drs.

you are so sweet for answering all my petty questions. Thanks again.

 
Old 09-19-2007, 02:56 PM   #13
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Re: Keppra to Topamax

Keppra has a reputation for causing the side-effects you experienced in some people...so sorry you went through that.

Topamax is one of those meds, like Lamictal, that you titrate up veeery slowly. Sounds like you're right on track with your dosage, from what I remember when I started taking it... so don't worry. Be sure to write down any questions you have for your neuro. on Friday. Don't be afraid to ask...remember, he's working for YOU! You have the right to know what's going on! "Am I having simple partial seizures? Complex partial seizures? What's up, doc?"

Hang in there!
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Old 09-19-2007, 07:08 PM   #14
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Re: Keppra to Topamax

Laura, I remember you from when I was in my Topamax hell. I remember your experience was very similar to mine. I am on Keppra now and off the max. While on the max, I had all kinds of wacky side effects. It was like my body was saying "NO! THIS DRUG IS MAKING ME CRAZY!". My body even had this weird strip of discoloration right under my breasts. No doctor could tell me what it was. I finally made the connection that it appeared shortly after going on the max. Then when I got documentation from my pharmacist, I read that a minor side effect is skin discoloration. I am noticing my skin is starting to get back to it's normal tone and blending with the surrounding areas.

Topamax works great for some people so don't get scared just because of my experience from hell. I would advice you, however, to call your doctor if you start experiencing adverse effects. I have met a few people on the web who have had similar experiences to mine.

Topamax and Keppra aren't the only two anti-seizure drugs on the market. I was on dilantin for 16 years with no problems when I was first diagnosed with epilepsy. Not only is it an inexpensive medication (generically available), it has minimal side effects compared to most. The only downside is you have to get your blood levels checked regularly.

 
Old 09-20-2007, 04:56 AM   #15
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Re: Keppra to Topamax

Topo, I remember you too. I know eveeryone has diiferent reactions to different meds. You and I had horrible ones from Topomax. I had such bad reactions mentally I really don't remember about 2 years of my life. And I still think j2006 should notify doc. or hospital immediately. Suicidal thoughts should NEVER be taken lightly. They can be deadly. Literally.

if you continue to have these thoughts, PLEASE, PLEASE, don't tyr to "tough it out". Topo is right, there are many other seizure meds. out there. And every person taking them is going to react differently to them. I was on plain old phenobarbital for over 3 years. Worked fairly well, but I started to have liver prolems from long term use. It is one of the cheap ones.

Everyone take care, and best of luck to all. Laura

 
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