Saturday, May 31, 2014

Things they do not tell you about Keppra

When the label says, "dizziness and drowsiness may occur", they are not kidding.  The dizziness ends after about 10 days, for me, in each case, but I also resemble a domestic abuse case in the process.

The drowsiness is a bit tougher.  Having a somewhat full stomach prior to doses helps, but if I'm stressed or drink something alcoholic, say, a beer or a glass of wine, I can go from 60-0 in less than 30 minutes.  I have learned to have a practiced "wingperson" around if I'm out or just have that beer / glass of wine at home.  Even after half a glass of wine, I'm told that I can fall in to a "several hour, deathless slumber and wake adorably affectionate."  This is good at home.  Not as good on MUNI or a public place.  Be aware of that combination.

Keppra can also make you see tracers in the dark for the first 90 minutes of taking it when you turn out lights; for example, walking from the bathroom to your bedroom [Google "tracers" if you are lost.] It makes walking a trial and if it involves steps, a dangerous experience.

Setting an alarm on your phone for your doses is an incredibly helpful idea.  It's easy to get distracted, miss doses [hello seizure], or double dose to the point where you are dopey as heck.  Let technology help you; keep some doses in your pocket and stay on track.  It takes 60-90 minutes for the dose to fully hit your system, but a couple hours too late can mean the start of seizures. Don't let that mess happen.

[Update] This post appears to be fairly popular lately and I wanted to note that, shortly, I'll be launching a blog about my experiences with TBI and epilepsy; basically the circus that it can be and somewhat continues to be.  It will be plain spoken and it will be full of dark humor and healthy [and I do mean healthy in a good way] dose of self deprecation as these are my coping mechanisms. I most definitely err on the side of respect and kindness, but laughter and love are the only things that have gotten me through a full reboot of my life and brain.  I do, however, respect that not everyone is comfortable with that, so please know that upfront.  For the time being this will be a private blog, but if anyone is interested in reading what I am not quite ready to share publicly, drop me a note in the comments box or email me at frisbee.girl at  Thanks!

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