I'm so glad I found this forum!
I was diagnosed with "atypical epilepsy" a couple of years ago. The reason for the diagnosis was that no brain damage could be found, neither on EEG:s nor on MRI:s (and I have had several of them).
For a long time, my only symptoms were blackouts lasting 1-2 minutes. I would stop talking in the middle of a sentence, stare straight ahead and not react when spoken to. About a year after the first blackout, I started talking crazy during a blackout, but would remember nothing afterwards.
So, the second neurologist I was referred to (the first one gave up when several EEG:s and MRI:s did not show anything and referred me to a neurologist specialising in epilepsy) decided that I suffer from "epilepsy without a known cause". It seems it used to be called cryptogenic epilepsy. I was told it's not that unusual.
I was put on Keppra (Levetiracetam) 500 mg x 2, but never managed to get 100% symptom free on it. The dose was later raised to 750 x 2 and then to 1000 x 2. At that stage, I started having more blackouts, so it was decided that I should try a new drug. I have just received my first prescription for Lamictal (Lamotrigine) and told to start low and go slow. For the first three weeks, I'm to take 25 mg daily, along with 500 mg of Keppra in the morning and 750 mg at night. Then, I am supposed to increase Lamictal to 50 mg daily, and decrease Keppra to 500 x 2 where I am supposed to stay for the next three months, while continuing to add 25 mg of Lamictal every other week, until I reach 125 mg daily. I assume I'm then to stop the Keppra completely.
The doctor who prescribed Lamictal said we could always try Depakine Chrono (Valproat) if I don't want to wait 2-3 months to reach a full maintenance dose of Lamictal. I have been reading a lot about Depakine Chrono, and although it seems to be a very effective anti-epileptic drug, it also has some pretty nasty side effects, such as substantial weight gain which is said to be due to insulin resistance caused by the drug. It also seems impossible to have even a single glass of wine when on Depakine.
This all feels very new and confusing to me, and I'd love some input from others who have tried various anti epileptic drugs. Please tell me which one(s) worked for you and which didn't!
I was very disappointed Keppra didn't work out for me as it seems to have few side effects and good tolerability.
I am 49 years old and live in Belgium, so I hope the brand names are more or less the same...just to make sure, I've included the generic names as well.