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Aptiom vs Keppra, what is the difference?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on April 17, 2022.

Official answer

by Drugs.com

Overview: Aptiom vs. Keppra

  • Aptiom (eslicarbazepine) is a once-daily oral seizure medicine (anticonvulsant) used alone or with other medicines to treat focal seizures (formerly called partial seizures).
  • Keppra (levetiracetam) is an oral seizure medicine used to treat focal seizures, but is additionally approved to treat myoclonic seizures and tonic-clonic seizures. It is usually given twice a day.
  • Both are prescription treatments used to treat adults and children of various ages with certain forms of epilepsy.
  • Aptiom and Keppra both come as oral tablets. Keppra is also available as an oral solution and as an injection. Aptiom tablets can be crushed or swallowed whole, but Keppra and Keppra XR tablets should not be crushed. The oral Keppra solution can be used if you cannot swallow tablets.
  • Keppra is available as a generic option known as levetiracetam at the pharmacy. Aptiom (eslicarbazepine) has only been tentatively approved by the FDA for generic use and may not yet be on the market. Ask your pharmacist about generic Aptiom availability.

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that leads to changes in electrical brain activity and results in repeated seizures over time. Changes in attention or behavior, unconsciousness and convulsions may occur. Most seizure medicines work by slow down electrical activity to stop seizures. Roughly 3.4 million people in the U.S. have some form of epilepsy.

Focal (partial) seizures only occur in one part of the brain and may or may not be associated with an aura (such as pain, fear, or unusual smells) or changes in consciousness.

Generalized seizures include myoclonic seizures, tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures and absence seizures (petit mal) seizure. A generalized seizure may last from a few seconds to a few minutes. It occurs in both sides of the brain with altered consciousness and may be accompanied by spasms, stiffness, collapsing, or repeated muscle contractions (convulsions). A tonic-clonic seizure lasting more than 5 minutes is a medical emergency. ‚Äč

Learn more: Epilepsy in Adults: A Healthcare Professional's Guide

What is Aptiom? How is Aptiom used?

Aptiom is classified as an oral dibenzazepine anticonvulsant. It is thought to work by decreasing nerve impulses (inhibition of voltage-gated sodium channels) that can lead to seizure activity.

  • It is used alone or with other medicines to treat partial-onset seizures in adults and children who are at least 4 years old.
  • When used alone, Aptiom can be started in patients who newly start therapy, or in patients who change from other seizure drugs to Aptiom.

Aptiom is taken once per day by mouth and can be taken with or without food. The tablets may be swallowed whole or crushed. Aptiom tablets come in 4 strengths: 200 mg, 400 mg, 600 mg and 800 mg.

The Aptiom dose is based on your age, weight, and kidney function.Your healthcare provider will start and increase your dose based on these factors and your need for seizure control. Your dose may be increased every week if needed until you reach the dose you need.

Take Aptiom exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to take it. Do not stop taking this medicine without talking to your healthcare provider. Stopping Aptiom suddenly can result in serious problems, such as seizures that will not stop (status epilepticus).

Talk with your healthcare provider about what to do if you miss a dose. In general, take your missed dose as soon as you remember it. But skip your missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Aptiom is manufactured by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals.

What is Keppra? How is Keppra used?

Keppra is in a class of medicines known as pyrrolidine anticonvulsants. It is thought to work by interacting with a protein called SV2A to help slow seizure activity in the brain.

  • Keppra is approved to treat partial-onset seizures in adults and children 1 month of age and older, either alone or with other seizure medicines. The immediate release tablets or oral solution forms of Keppra may be used in children as young as 1 month old.
  • Keppra is also used with other seizure medications to treat myoclonic seizures in people at least 12 years old and generalized tonic-clonic seizures in people who are at least 6 years old.

Keppra is usually taken twice a day by mouth. You can take Keppra with or without food. Swallow the tablet whole; do not crush, chew, or break it. Keppra also comes in an oral solution and as an injection. Keppra tablets come in 4 strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg, 750 mg and 1,000 mg. The Keppra injection form of Keppra is used only as an option for patients when oral use is not possible.

If you cannot swallow tablets, ask your healthcare provider if you can use the Keppra oral solution. Ask your pharmacist for a special measuring device for Keppra; do not use a household teaspoon or tablespoon.

Your Keppra dose may be based on your age, weight, and kidney function. Your dose may be different from other people’s dose. Your healthcare provider will start and increase your dose based on these factors and your need for seizure control. Your dose may be increased if needed until you reach the dose you need.

Take Keppra exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to take it. Do not stop taking this medicine without talking to your healthcare provider. Stopping Keppra suddenly can result in serious problems, such as seizures that will not stop (status epilepticus).

Talk with your healthcare provider about what to do if you miss a dose. In general, take your missed dose as soon as you remember it. But skip your missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Keppra is manufactured by UCB Inc.

Levetiracetam is available in generic and other brand names known as:

Are the side effects the same for Aptiom and Keppra?

No, they are not the same but they do share a few similar side effects like sleepiness and dizziness. Most drugs have common or serious side effects but they do not occur in all patients. If you experience any side effects with Aptiom or Keppra that concern you, contact your doctor right away.

  • Common side effects (>4%) with Aptiom include: dizziness, sleepiness, nausea, headache, double vision, vomiting, feeling tired, blurred vision, shakiness, problems with coordination or a spinning sensation.
  • Common side effects (>5%) with Keppra include: sleepiness, weakness, infection and dizziness. Children may also exhibit tiredness, decrease appetite, irritability, aggression, and nasal congestion.

Learn more: Serious and common side effects with Aptiom and Keppra (in more detail)

This is not all the information you need to know about Aptiom (eslicarbazepine) or Keppra (levetiracetam) for safe and effective use and does not take the place of your doctor’s directions. Review the full product information and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.

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