Levetiracetam (leva-ti-RAS-e-tam)

 

Generic Name: Levetiracetam (leva-ti-RAS-e-tam)

Used to Treat: epilepsy

Seizure Type: Partial seizures (all types)

Forms of the medicine:
Pill

Dosing:
1000 mg. - 3000 mg.

General Info:
What is Keppra?
Keppra (KEPP-ra) is the brand name of the generic medication levetiracetam. Keppra is an anticonvulsant used in the treatment of various seizures such as partial-onset, myoclonic, or generalized tonic-clonic seizures. It is used in combination with other medications as well. Keppra is manufactured in the form of tablets, syrup (liquid), and injection.

How do I take Keppra?
Take this medication exactly as it is prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts or longer than recommended by your doctor. Do not change your dosage without your doctor's advice. Tell your doctor if the medication does not seem to work in treating your condition.

Keppra is usually taken twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. It may or may not be taken with food. However, try to take Keppra at the same time and manner every day. Swallow the tablets whole. Do not split, chew, or crush them. Shake the syrup well just before measuring a dose. To be sure you ingest the correct dose, measure the liquid with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup. Do not use a regular table spoon. Ask your pharmacist to provide you with one if you do not have a dose-measuring device.

What if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take an extra dose, unless prescribed by your doctor.

What if I experience side effects?
Various side effects may occur in taking this medicine. Most side effects are not serious and may disappear naturally. Call your doctor if you have any questions concerning your possible side effects. However, do not stop taking your medication without advice from your doctor. They will discuss and recommend possible options for you. At times it is necessary to continue taking your medication despite these side effects.

There are other side effects that may be serious and indicate that your body is not tolerating the drug properly. Call a doctor right away if these side effects become severe or cause considerable problems in your daily functions. If you experience a change in seizures, severe rash, or allergic reaction contact your doctor immediately as these may indicate potentially life threatening problems.

Contact your physician immediately if you experience any of the following side effects:

  • Depression
  • Hallucination
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Changes in seizure activity
  • Signs of infection (fever, sore throat)
  • Double vision
  • Itching
  • Allergic reactions (rash, swelling of the face, difficulty breathing, etc)

Storage
Keep this medication in its original container, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store your prescription at room temperature, away from excess heat and moisture (i.e. not the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

Recommendation for women
Safety in pregnancy has not been established. Women who are taking this medication and who wish to become pregnant should discuss treatment options with their physicians before the pregnancy begins.

Other helpful information
Keppra may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it. Do not suddenly stop taking Keppra or your other seizure medicines as you may have an increased risk of seizures. If you need to stop Keppra or add a new medicine, your doctor will gradually lower your dose. Contact your health care provider if your seizures become worse or if you have a new type of seizure. Keppra should be used with extreme caution in children younger than 4 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.

Side Effects

Behavior changes, Dizziness, Sleepiness, Unsteadiness, Infection, Fatigue, Poor coordination, Weakness, Vomiting, Tingling sensation of the skin, Irritability, Appetite loss, Nervousness, Headaches, Numbness of extremities