Levetiracetam

Pronunciation

Generic Name: levetiracetam (LEE-ve-tye-RA-se-tam)
Brand Name: Keppra

Levetiracetam is used for:

Treating partial-onset, myoclonic, or generalized tonic-clonic seizures in patients with epilepsy. It is used in combination with other medicines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Levetiracetam is an anticonvulsant. Exactly how it works is not known, but it may work by slowing abnormal nerve impulses in the brain.

Do NOT use levetiracetam if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in levetiracetam

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using levetiracetam:

Some medical conditions may interact with levetiracetam. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney problems or you are on dialysis
  • if you have a history of mental or mood problems (eg, depression), or suicidal thoughts or actions

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with levetiracetam. However, no specific interactions with levetiracetam are known at this time.

Ask your health care provider if levetiracetam may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use levetiracetam:

Use levetiracetam as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Levetiracetam is given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • If you miss a dose of levetiracetam, contact your doctor right away.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use levetiracetam.

Important safety information:

  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take levetiracetam before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Levetiracetam may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use levetiracetam with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not suddenly stop taking levetiracetam or your other seizure medicines. You may have an increased risk of side effects (eg, seizures). If you need to stop levetiracetam, 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.
  • Levetiracetam may cause behavior changes and mental or mood problems. Patients who take levetiracetam may also be at increased risk for suicidal thoughts or actions. The risk of suicidal thoughts or actions may be greater in patients who have had suicidal thoughts or actions in the past. Watch patients who take levetiracetam closely. Contact the doctor at once if new, worsened, or sudden symptoms such as depressed mood; anxious, restless, or irritable behavior; panic attacks; or any unusual changes in mood or behavior occur. Contact the doctor right away if any signs of suicidal thoughts or actions occur.
  • Serious skin reactions (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) have been reported with the use of levetiracetam. They can cause serious health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Most of the serious skin reactions developed within the first 14 to 17 days after starting treatment. However, skin reactions have also been reported to occur at least 4 months after starting treatment. Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes. Treatment with levetiracetam should be stopped if rash occurs, unless it is clearly determined that the medicine did not cause the rash. Talk with your doctor for more information.
  • Lab tests may be performed while you use levetiracetam. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use levetiracetam with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Children younger than 4 years old will need to have blood pressure checked often. Discuss any questions or concerns with the doctor.
  • Caution is advised when using levetiracetam in CHILDREN; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially weakness and mood or behavior changes.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using levetiracetam while you are pregnant. Levetiracetam's effectiveness may decrease in women who become pregnant. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor. Levetiracetam is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking levetiracetam.

Possible side effects of levetiracetam:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Cough; decreased appetite; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; headache; irritability; nausea; nose or throat irritation; stomach pain; stuffy nose; tiredness; trouble sleeping; vomiting; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); abnormal thoughts; dark urine; decreased coordination; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; hallucinations; memory loss; muscle or neck pain; new or worsening mental, mood, or behavior changes (eg, aggression, agitation, anger, anxiety, apathy, depression, hostility, irritability, panic attacks, restlessness); new or worsening seizures; pain, itching, or redness at the injection site; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; severe or persistent dizziness, drowsiness, or headache; suicidal thoughts or attempts; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; vision changes; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of levetiracetam:

Levetiracetam is handled and stored by a health care provider. You will not store it at home. Keep all medicines out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about levetiracetam, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Levetiracetam is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take levetiracetam or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about levetiracetam. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to levetiracetam. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using levetiracetam.

Issue Date: May 6, 2015
Database Edition 15.2.1.002
Copyright © 2015 Clinical Drug Information, LLC

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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