Keppra XR

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

What is Keppra XR (levetiracetam)?

Levetiracetam is an anti-epileptic drug, also called an anticonvulsant.

Levetiracetam is used to treat partial onset seizures in adults and children who are at least 1 month old.

Levetiracetam is also used to treat tonic-clonic seizures in adults and children who are at least 6 years old, and myoclonic seizures in adults and children who are at least 12 years old.

Levetiracetam may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Keppra XR (levetiracetam)?

Do not stop using levetiracetam without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel fine. You may have increased seizures if you stop using levetiracetam suddenly. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.

You may have thoughts about suicide while taking this medication. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Slideshow: Flashback: FDA Drug Approvals 2013

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, or if you feel agitated, hostile, irritable, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you take levetiracetam. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you take seizure medication.

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication. Do not start or stop taking levetiracetam during pregnancy without your doctor's advice. Having a seizure during pregnancy could harm both the mother and the baby. Seizure control is very important during pregnancy and the benefits of preventing seizures may outweigh any risks posed by using levetiracetam.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Keppra XR (levetiracetam)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to levetiracetam.

To make sure you can safely take levetiracetam, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease or high blood pressure.

You may have thoughts about suicide while taking this medicine. Tell your doctor if you have symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several weeks of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.

Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether levetiracetam will harm an unborn baby, but having a seizure during pregnancy could harm both the mother and the baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

Do not start or stop taking levetiracetam during pregnancy without your doctor's advice.

Seizure control is very important during pregnancy. The benefit of preventing seizures may outweigh any risks posed by taking levetiracetam. Follow your doctor's instructions about taking levetiracetam while you are pregnant.

Levetiracetam can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using levetiracetam.

Do not give this medication to a child without the advice of a doctor. Your child's dose needs are based on age and weight. The child should remain under the care of a doctor while using levetiracetam.

How should I take Keppra XR (levetiracetam)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Levetiracetam is usually taken twice per day. Take the medicine at the same time each day. You may take levetiracetam with or without food.

Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Do not crush, chew, or break a controlled release, delayed-release, or extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole. Breaking the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

Use levetiracetam regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Do not stop using levetiracetam without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel fine. You may have increased seizures if you stop using levetiracetam suddenly. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.

Seizures are often treated with a combination of different drugs. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice. .

Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you take levetiracetam. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you take seizure medication.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your kidney function may need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.

Store levetiracetam at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, agitation, aggression, shallow breathing, weakness, or fainting.

What should I avoid while taking Keppra XR (levetiracetam)?

Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase some of the side effects of levetiracetam and may also increase the risk of seizures.

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Keppra XR (levetiracetam) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, or if you feel agitated, hostile, irritable, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;

  • bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;

  • feeling very weak or tired;

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;

  • problems with walking or movement;

  • the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild; or

  • severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild dizziness or drowsiness;

  • mild tired feeling;

  • loss of appetite; or

  • stuffy nose.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Keppra XR (levetiracetam)?

There may be other drugs that can interact with levetiracetam. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about levetiracetam.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.02. Revision Date: 2012-02-27, 6:18:33 PM.

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