I just read the account of the tragic 'murder' in Hell's Kitchen which has cited epilepsy medications as a factor. I am 63 yrs old and have had epilepsy for the last 30 years. I take--or took--both of the medications that the young man takes: Keppra and Lamictal. I still take Lamictal, which I find free of any side effects other than overdose (I've had several.)
When I began taking 1500mg of Keppra daily, I found myself becoming angry and irritable every day. There were no warnings on the label, but in the info sheet from the Rx it mentioned "May cause change in behavior." I Googled Keppra, and found a list of frightening side effects. I decided that although it may have helped ease my seizures, it just wasn't worth the risk. I called my neurologist and asked--, no, I told her-- to find something else.
That was in 2009. If they knew about the problem back then, why hasn't the manufacturer recalled it, or corrected its flaws? Stupid question. I have had other clashes with anti—seizure meds. Stupid question #2. Why are we told by the FDA not to order drugs from countries’ such as Canada and the UK? Are they not as ‘safe’ as ours? If I had to pay cash for my meds, you can bet your ass I would buy them elsewhere, and avoid Big Pharm.
Now we find a young man in an awful black-out committing an unimaginable atrocity, whose life as he knew it is dead. I can feel the family’s grief, but I can also empathize with the young man. Other than the three million Americans with epilepsy, most people don’t have blackouts on a regular basis. They don’t suffer seizures, either. It remains among the least understood illnesses. No number of drugs will cure epilepsy, but one of those which are made to control our seizures now has a hand in a killing.
This situation is very difficult to swallow. It could have been any of the three million—it could have been me. I just don’t know what to feel tonight, except a kind of selfish pain, and a sadness that I feel in my bones.
Please use restraint. Please understand.