Levetiracetam is an anticonvulsant medication that is utilized both alone and in combination with other medications to manage partial-onset seizures in adults, children, and infants as young as 1 month of age.
It is employed in combination with other medications to treat juvenile myoclonic epilepsy in individuals aged 12 years or older, as well as primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures in individuals aged 6 years or older with epilepsy.
Levetiracetam operates by reducing excessive brain activity, thereby controlling seizures.
Uses and Dosage
Take the liquid and regular-release tablet forms of this medication orally, usually twice daily, with or without food.
If utilizing the liquid form of this medication, accurately measure the dose using a specialized measuring device or spoon. Avoid using a household spoon, as it may result in incorrect dosing.
For extended-release tablets, take the medication as instructed by your physician, typically once daily. Crushing or chewing extended-release tablets should be avoided, as it can result in the release of the entire drug at once and increase the risk of side effects. Do not divide the tablets unless they have a scored line and your doctor or pharmacist has instructed you to do so.
The dosage is tailored to your medical condition and response to treatment, and for children, it is also based on weight. To minimize the risk of side effects such as dizziness and drowsiness, your doctor may start you on a low dose and gradually increase the dose.
In order to derive maximum benefit from the medication, use it regularly and at the same times each day to aid in remembering to take it.
Discontinuing the use of this medication should only be done after consulting with your physician, as suddenly stopping the drug may worsen your seizures. The dose should be gradually decreased.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness, weakness
- feeling aggressive or irritable
- loss of appetite
- stuffy nose
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- unusual changes in mood or behavior
- extreme drowsiness
- feeling very weak or tired
- loss of balance or coordination, problems with walking or movement
- a skin rash
- easy bruising
- unusual bleeding
Before administering levetiracetam, inform your physician or pharmacist of any allergies you may have, including those to the medication itself or any other substances.
Before starting treatment with levetiracetam, inform your physician or pharmacist of your medical history, specifically any history of kidney disease or dialysis treatment, as well as any mental health disorders such as depression.
During the initial phase of treatment, levetiracetam may cause dizziness or drowsiness, especially when combined with alcohol or cannabis. Avoid operating heavy machinery, driving, riding a bicycle or engaging in any activity that requires alertness until you are confident that you can do so safely.
Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of levetiracetam, particularly those related to mental and mood changes such as irritability, aggression, agitation, anger, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Children younger than 4 years of age may be at an increased risk for elevated blood pressure while taking this medication.
During pregnancy, the use of levetiracetam should only be considered if deemed necessary by your physician after weighing the risks and benefits. This medication may be present in breast milk.
Form and Strength
Keppra is available in the following forms and strengths:
Does Keppra make you sleep a lot?
A side effect of all anti-convulsants is sleepiness. It gets worse when you’re on high doses.
What exactly does Keppra do to the brain?
It works by stabilising electrical activity in the brain. The brain and nerves are made up of many nerve cells that communicate with each other through electrical signals.