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Levetiracetam (oral/injection)

Generic name: levetiracetam (oral/injection) (LEE ve tye RA se tam)
Brand name: Elepsia XR, Keppra, Keppra XR, Roweepra, Spritam, Roweepra XR
Dosage forms: intravenous solution (100 mg/mL; 1000 mg/100 mL-NaCl 0.75%; 1500 mg/100 mL-NaCl 0.54%; 500 mg/100 mL-NaCl 0.82%); oral solution (100 mg/mL); oral tablet (1000 mg; 250 mg; 500 mg; 750 mg); oral tablet, dispersible (1000 mg; 250 mg; 500 mg; 750 mg); oral tablet, extended release (1000 mg; 1500 mg; 500 mg; 750 mg)
Drug class: Pyrrolidine anticonvulsants

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Jun 4, 2021. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is levetiracetam?

Levetiracetam is used to treat certain types of seizures in people with epilepsy, including partial onset seizures, myoclonic seizures, and tonic-clonic seizures.

When used for partial onset seizures:

  • Extended-release (XR) levetiracetam is for adults and children at least 12 years old.

  • Spritam is for children at least 4 years old who weigh at least 44 pounds (20 kilograms).

  • Roweepra and Keppra may be used in children as young as 1 month old.

Levetiracetam is also used with other seizure medications to treat tonic-clonic seizures in people who are at least 6 years old, and myoclonic seizures in people at least 12 years old.

Levetiracetam injection is for use only in people who are least 16 years old.

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

Warnings

Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking levetiracetam. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.

Seizures may increase if you stop using levetiracetam suddenly.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use levetiracetam if you are allergic to it.

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.

Do not give levetiracetam to a child without medical advice. Different brands of this medicine are for use only in children of certain ages.

Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking levetiracetam. 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.

Do not start or stop seizure medication during pregnancy without your doctor's advice. Having a seizure during pregnancy could harm both mother and baby. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant. Your dose needs may be different during pregnancy.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of levetiracetam on the baby.

Ask a doctor if it is safe to breastfeed while using this medicine.

How should I take levetiracetam?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Levetiracetam oral is taken by mouth at the same time each day, with or without food.

Levetiracetam injection is given in a vein if you are unable to take the medicine by mouth.

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.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Measure liquid medicine with the supplied syringe or a dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

Swallow the extended-release tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.

Do not swallow or chew a Spritam dispersible tablet for oral suspension. Place the tablet on your tongue and take a sip of liquid. Do not swallow until the tablet has completely dissolved on your tongue.

Your kidney function may need to be tested.

Use all seizure medications as directed. Do not change your dose or stop using a medicine without your doctor's advice.

Seizures may increase if you stop using levetiracetam suddenly.. Ask your doctor before stopping the medicine.

Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card to let others know you have seizures.

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 levetiracetam?

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how levetiracetam will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.

Levetiracetam side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (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, extreme drowsiness, feeling very weak or tired;

  • loss of balance or coordination, 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 side effects may include:

  • dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness, weakness;

  • feeling aggressive or irritable;

  • loss of appetite;

  • stuffy nose; or

  • infection.

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 levetiracetam?

Other drugs may affect levetiracetam, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.

Does Levetiracetam interact with my other drugs?

Enter other medications to view a detailed report.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.