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Levetiracetam Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings

Levetiracetam is also known as: Elepsia XR, Keppra, Keppra XR, Spritam

Levetiracetam Pregnancy Warnings

This drug has produced evidence of developmental toxicity (including teratogenic effects) in animal studies at doses similar to or greater than human therapeutic doses. There are no adequate and well controlled studies in pregnant women. AU TGA pregnancy category B3: Drugs which have been taken by only a limited number of pregnant women and women of childbearing age, without an increase in the frequency of malformation or other direct or indirect harmful effects on the human fetus having been observed. Studies in animals have shown evidence of an increased occurrence of fetal damage, the significance of which is considered uncertain in humans. US: US FDA pregnancy category C: Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks. UCB, Inc. has established the UCB AED Pregnancy Registry to advance scientific knowledge about safety and outcomes in pregnant women being treated with all UCB antiepileptic drugs. Either a healthcare provider or the patient can initiate enrollment in the UCB AED Pregnancy Registry by calling (888) 537-7734 (toll free). Patients may also enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry by calling (888) 233-2334 (toll free).

This drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. AU TGA pregnancy category: B3 US FDA pregnancy category: C Comment: The risk of having an abnormal child as a result of antiepileptic medication is far outweighed by the dangers to the mother and fetus of uncontrolled epilepsy.

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Levetiracetam Breastfeeding Warnings

A decision should be made to discontinue breastfeeding or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother. Excreted into human milk: Yes Comment: The effects in the nursing infant are unknown.

Maternal doses of this drug up to 3500 mg daily produce low levels in milk and would not be expected to cause any adverse effects in breastfed infants, especially if the infant is older than 2 months. If therapy with this drug is required by the mother, it is not a reason to discontinue breastfeeding. However, the infant should be monitored for drowsiness, adequate weight gain, and developmental milestones, especially in younger, exclusively breastfed infants and when using combinations of anticonvulsants. Maternal serum level monitoring and dosage adjustment is advisable in the early postpartum period if the drug was taken throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding. Some evidence suggests that this drug might reduce the maternal breastmilk supply in some women.

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References for pregnancy information

  1. "Product Information. Keppra (levetiracetam)" UCB Pharma Inc, Smyrna, GA.
  2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0
  3. Pharmaceutical Society of Australia "APPGuide online. Australian prescription products guide online. Available from: URL:" ([2006]):
  4. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

References for breastfeeding information

  1. "Product Information. Keppra (levetiracetam)" UCB Pharma Inc, Smyrna, GA.
  2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0
  3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0
  4. United States National Library of Medicine "Toxnet. Toxicology Data Network. Available from: URL:" ([cited 2013 -]):

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