Generic Name: levetiracetam (LEE ve tye RA se tam)
Brand Name: Keppra, Keppra XR
Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on March 7, 2021.
What is Keppra?
Keppra is a prescription medicine used to treat partial-onset seizures in patients 1 month of age and older.
Keppra is used along with other medicines to treat:
myoclonic seizures in people 12 years of age and older with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy
primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures in people 6 years of age and older with certain types of generalized epilepsy.
Keppra XR tablets are used with other medicines to treat partial onset seizures in people 12 years of age and older with epilepsy.
Do not stop using Keppra without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel fine. You may have increased seizures if you stop using this medicine suddenly. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.
Some people have thoughts about suicide when first taking this medicine. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.
Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you take Keppra. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you take seizure medication.
Levetiracetam 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 Keppra 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 this medicine.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Keppra if you are allergic to levetiracetam.
To make sure Keppra is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
depression or other mood problems;
mental illness or psychosis; or
suicidal thoughts or actions.
Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking Keppra. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
Follow your doctor's instructions about taking seizure medication if you are pregnant. Seizure control is very important during pregnancy, and having a seizure could harm both mother and baby. Your dose needs may be different during pregnancy. Do not start or stop taking this medicine without your doctor's advice, and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of levetiracetam on the baby.
It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.
Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice. Different brands of this medicine are for use only in children of certain ages.
How should I take Keppra?
Take Keppra exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose.
Take the medicine at the same time each day, with or without food.
Your dose needs may change if you switch to a different brand, strength, or form of this medicine. A child's dose needs may change if the child gains or loses weight. Avoid medication errors by using only the brand, form, and strength your doctor prescribes.
Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).
Swallow the Keppra XR extended-release tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break the tablet.
Use all seizure medications as directed and read all medication guides you receive. Do not change your dose or dosing schedule without your doctor's advice.
You should not stop using this medicine suddenly, unless your doctor tells you to stop the medicine because of a serious side effect. Stopping suddenly may cause increased seizures. Follow your doctor's instructions very carefully.
In case of emergency, wear or carry medical identification to let others know you use seizure medication.
Your kidney function may need to be tested often.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
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?
Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.
Keppra side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Keppra (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, 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:
unusual changes in mood or behavior (unusual risk-taking behavior, being irritable or talkative);
confusion, hallucinations, loss of balance or coordination;
extreme drowsiness, feeling very weak or tired;
problems with walking or movement;
a skin rash, no matter how mild;
easy bruising, unusual bleeding; or
fever, chills, weakness, or other signs of infection.
Common Keppra side effects may include:
dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness;
feeling aggressive or irritable;
loss of appetite;
stuffy nose; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect Keppra?
Other drugs may interact with levetiracetam, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
Frequently asked questions
- How long does it take to get Keppra out of your system?
- What is the difference between Briviact and Keppra?
More about Keppra (levetiracetam)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Patient Tips
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 233 Reviews
- Generic Availability
- Drug class: pyrrolidine anticonvulsants
- FDA Alerts (4)
- Advanced Reading
- Keppra Intravenous (Advanced Reading)
- Keppra (Levetiracetam Injection)
- Keppra (Levetiracetam Oral Solution)
- Keppra (Levetiracetam Tablets)
Related treatment guides
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Keppra only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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