bob skye

I have only nine lives

bob skye

bob skye
Hoboken, New Jersey, US
October 18
His Satanic Majesty
Retired factory worker, school bus driver, truck driver, taxi driver, carpenter, maker of cabinets, editor, freelance photographer, writer, traveler and general boulevardier. Writing fiction, memoir and traveling now. Does anyone ever read these things? Really? If you have, IM me.


APRIL 13, 2012 2:18AM

Death in Hell's Kitchen Last Night

Rate: 5 Flag

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.  

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I'm dealing with type II diabetes, thank heaven there are no major side effects for Metformin or Glipizide... and thanks be to whatever deity may be that they're available as generics... even then, along with test strips, I'm out of pocket over $1200 a year. I can't imagine what folks with cancer, epilepsy, kidney disease, schizophrenia and major depression go through.

Here's stupid question #3: Why does the elected government of the richest country in the world leave their sickest people to flounder with the most expensive, least effective mix of medical care and drug therapies?
The answers are blowing in the wind!! RATED!
Keppra rage is a common side-effect of the drug. I take Keppra...and I take B12 to combat the rage, because Nancy says she will chuck my worthless ass out if I don't.

Keppra has saved my life.
Truly awful for the family and I really feel for the young man. As you said, his life as he knew it is over and he will have to live with this for the rest of his life. Rated.
Bob, there is nothing selfish about the pain you feel. Pharmaceutical companies are cold, calculating corporations that balance the deaths they cause against profits made. They consciously do a profit/loss assessment calculating the amount of money they can make against the money they will have to pay out in the future in damages and decide whether to market any particular drug.
Think Vioxx. Vioxx increased your chances of having a heart attack. Merck knew it. They marketed the drug for arthritis pain relief knowing that someday the pieces would all add up.
I didn't know about this story, but I do know that medications can definitely have dangerous side effects. I feel so sorry for everyone involved in this....
I'm surprised that so many of ypu have had experience with Keppra, especially at the way B-12 eases the 'rage.' The drug worked very well for me, too, and I would have stayed on it if not for the behavioral changes. As the child of an alcoholic father, unpredictable behavior frightens me.
As a person who orders drugs for a living I can tell you the answer to stupid question #2... Ordering drugs outside of the U.S. shouldn't be a dangerous proposition as long as you are using a legitimate pharmacy. The drugs we have access to here in the U.S. are frequently the exact same drugs found in other countries, however, the FDA ensures the safety standards of the drugs you purchase here in the U.S., hence the added expense. American pharmaceutical companies have to jump through so many hoops just to get drugs approved much less manufactured that the added expense has to be covered by the the consumer. Drugs from other countries are not so strictly regulated and the consumer also has little or no legal recourse should they encounter a problem.

I know people who routinely purchase drugs outside of the U.S. Would I give those drugs to my mother? My pets? Probably not. But everyone has to make their own decisions and if it is a financial hardship and worth the risk then maybe it's an option to consider.