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Keppra Experiences (and lots of questions!)

  • By HighPockets

    I’ve had chronic migraine with aura for 10+ years now; migraine with aura for a little over 11. While I’ve been on too many medications to remember, a combination of topamax, botox injections, and verapamil have been holding me for about the last three. Until March 31, when I went into status migrainus. Nothing has helped. I have an appointment with a headache specialist on August 27, but in the meantime, a new neurologist that I saw this morning wants to titrate me off the topamax while titrating me on to keppra.

    Being the person I am, I put on my sunglasses and did some research on keppra (perhaps the one thing I *haven’t* been on! lol), and what I’ve found re: keppra and migraine isn’t much nor encouraging, and the lawsuit didn’t help.

    So. I’m coming to you, the knowledgeable people of migraine.com, to get the truth from the people who REALLY know – the people who live with the beast, day in and day out, just like me. Does keppra work or not? And if you’ve tried it, what were your experiences? Is it worth giving trying, or should I just wait for my headache specialist appointment, as my gut is telling me? So many questions…

    Thanks everyone; hope you’re all having a beautiful day! 🙂

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi HighPockets,

    Welcome and thank you for your question. Let’s see what I can do to help.

    I tried Keppra, but it didn’t do much to reduce my migraine frequency and severity. Now having said that, that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. In 2012 the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society came out with migraine prevention guidelines you may find interesting. You can read more about that here; https://migraine.com/blog/new-migraine-prevention-recommendations-from-the-american-academy-of-neurology/.

    The thing is when we start new medications it can take up to 90 days, at the right dose, before we see a reduction in our migraine frequency and severity. During this time potential side effects may lessen as our body adjusts to the new medication. So if it were me, I would probably hold off on trying yet another new medication until I saw the headache specialist in August. Is this new doctor board certified in headache medicine, which is different than neurology?

    Good luck and please let us know how it goes,
    Nancy

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  • By brokenangel2003

    I take Keppra as part of my migraine prevention regimen. I started on a dose of 250 milligrams twice a day. I stayed on that dose for 6 months. I noticed a significant reduction in the severity of my migraines within a couple of weeks of being on it. 6 months after starting the Keppra at my next appointment with my neurologist he said since it was helping me some that he wanted to increase my dose. He increased my dose to 500 milligrams twice a day. That has been the magic number for me. My preventive regimen also includes 100 milligrams of Co-Q 10 twice a day and Botox injections every 3 months. Between the 3 medications I don’t have very many migraine days anymore (maybe 2 a month instead of everyday). My Botox is wearing off so I am having more migraines right now. It’s almost time for my next dose of Botox. The Keppra is keeping the migraines from being as severe even though the Botox is wearing off. I have no side effects at all from the Keppra and I have been on it for about a year now. When I first started it, I did experience some drowsiness but that went away within a couple of weeks as I got used to the medicine.

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    • By HighPockets

      Thank you both for your responses; I appreciate them both. I’ve decided NOT to start the Keppra, since I have an appointment the end of August with a migraine specialist and don’t want to start something new that won’t be fully in my system when I see him (makes no sense to me), but am still curious about your experience in particular, brokenangel; had you tried anything prior to taking the Keppra, or was this the first preventative med you tried? (I’m guessing not, but you never know! *grin*)

      Thanks again for the responses, ladies; I truly appreciate it!

      Have a lovely week!

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  • By brokenangel2003

    I have been on probably 20-30 migraine prevention meds over the years. I have had chronic migraines since age 19 and I’m 30 now. Some of the meds I have been on for migraine prevention include Topamax, Depakote, Amitriptyline, Doxepin(allergic), Effexor XR(allergic), Cymbalta (allergic), Zonegran, Verapamil, Cardizem LA and magnesium. There are many others that I have tried but those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Before I started the Keppra, I was with a different neurologist that just wanted to keep giving me new vitamins every time I saw her. I got tired of the constant vitamins she was always trying to push on me and she wasn’t trying to do anything to treat the migraines. She wouldn’t even treat the migraines I was having with actual medications. She just wanted to keep giving me more vitamins. She wouldn’t let me try any new preventives at all so I requested a referral for a new neurologist from my primary care doctor. The new doctor immediately told me to quit taking all of the vitamins the other doctor had me on. He said I didn’t need all of them and said my levels of some of them were too high based on my labs. I have even had Greater Occipital Nerve blocks and epidural steroid injections for bad discs in my neck. None of that has worked for me. Keppra, Co-Q10, and Botox works for me.

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