Skip to Content

Levetiracetam Side Effects

In Summary

Commonly reported side effects of levetiracetam include: infection, psychoneurosis, drowsiness, weakness, headache, nasopharyngitis, nervousness, abnormal behavior, hostility, anxiety, depersonalization, depression, agitation, aggressive behavior, fatigue, personality disorder, mental disorders, outbursts of anger, apathy, hyperkinesia, mood changes, emotional lability, laceration, and irritability. Other side effects include: tonic clonic seizure, dizziness, vertigo, decreased neutrophils, neck pain, pain, abnormal behavior, influenza, depressed mood, and nasopharyngitis. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to levetiracetam: oral solution, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release

Other dosage forms:

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by levetiracetam. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Major Side Effects

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking levetiracetam:

More common:
  • Aggressive or angry
  • anxiety
  • change in personality
  • chills
  • cough or hoarseness
  • crying
  • depersonalization
  • diarrhea
  • dry mouth
  • euphoria
  • fever
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • headache
  • hyperventilation
  • irregular heartbeats
  • irritability
  • joint pain
  • loss of appetite
  • lower back or side pain
  • mental depression
  • muscle aches and pains
  • nausea
  • painful or difficult urination
  • paranoia
  • quick to react or overreact emotionally
  • rapidly changing moods
  • restlessness
  • shaking
  • shivering
  • shortness of breath
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • sore throat
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • sweating
  • trouble sleeping
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting
Less common:
  • Bloody nose
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • discouragement
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • double vision
  • earache
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • feeling sad or empty
  • increase in body movements
  • loss of bladder control
  • loss of memory
  • mood or mental changes
  • outburst of anger
  • pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  • problems with memory
  • redness or swelling in the ear
  • seizures
  • sensation of spinning
  • shakiness and unsteady walk
  • shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  • tightness of the chest
  • tiredness
  • trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
  • trouble concentrating
  • unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
Incidence not known:
  • Attempts at killing oneself
  • being forgetful
  • bleeding gums
  • blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • bloating
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • bloody, black, or tarry stools
  • blurred vision
  • changes in vision
  • chest pain
  • constipation
  • dark urine
  • difficulty with moving
  • fast heartbeat
  • general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • high fever
  • increase in body movements
  • indigestion
  • itching
  • light-colored stools
  • muscle pains or stiffness
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  • pale skin
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • red, irritated eyes
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • stomach pain, continuing
  • swollen glands
  • swollen joints
  • thoughts or attempts at killing oneself
  • trouble with balance
  • twitching, twisting, or uncontrolled repetitive movements of the tongue, lips, face, arms, or legs
  • uncontrolled jerking or twisting movements of the hands, arms, or legs
  • uncontrolled movements of the lips, tongue, or cheeks
  • unexplained bleeding or bruising
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • upper right abdominal or stomach pain
  • weight loss
  • yellow eyes or skin

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with levetiracetam may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:
  • Loss of strength or energy
  • muscle pain or weakness
  • pain
  • tender, swollen glands in the neck
  • trouble swallowing
  • unusual weak feeling
  • voice changes
Less common:
  • Body aches or pain
  • burning, dry, or itching eyes
  • change in the color of the skin
  • congestion
  • cough increased
  • rash
  • sneezing
Incidence not known:
  • Hair loss or thinning of the hair
  • skin rash, encrusted, scaly, and oozing

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to levetiracetam: intravenous solution, oral solution, oral tablet, oral tablet dispersible, oral tablet extended release

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (14%), somnolence (14%)
Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness, ataxia, vertigo, paresthesia
Postmarketing reports: Choreoathetosis, dyskinesia[Ref]

Respiratory

Common (1% to 10%): Pharyngitis, rhinitis, increased cough, sinusitis[Ref]

Psychiatric

Common (1% to 10%): Depression, nervousness, amnesia, anxiety, hostility, emotional lability, irritability, mood swings, hypersomnia, insomnia, apathy, tearfulness, negativism
Frequency not reported: Suicidal ideation, delusional behavior[Ref]

Gastrointestinal

Common (1% to 10%): Diarrhea
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Nausea
Postmarketing reports: Pancreatitis[Ref]

Ocular

Common (1% to 10%): Diplopia[Ref]

Hematologic

Frequency not reported: Leukopenia, neutropenia, pancytopenia (with bone marrow suppression identified in some of these cases), thrombocytopenia, decreases in total mean RBC count (0.03 x 1,000,000/mm2), mean hemoglobin (0.09 g/dL), and mean hematocrit (0.38%)[Ref]

Dermatologic

Very common (10% or more): Increased blood pressure in patients 1 month to less than 4 years of age (up to 17%)[Ref]

Hepatic

Postmarketing reports: Abnormal liver function tests, hepatic failure, hepatitis[Ref]

Musculoskeletal

Common (1% to 10%): Neck pain[Ref]

Immunologic

Very common (10% or more): Infection (13%)
Common (1% to 10%): Influenza[Ref]

Metabolic

Common (1% to 10%): Anorexia
Postmarketing reports: Weight loss[Ref]

Other

Very common (10% or more): Asthenia (15%), fatigue (10%)
Common (1% to 10%): Pain, vertigo[Ref]

References

1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

2. Pharmaceutical Society of Australia "APPGuide online. Australian prescription products guide online. Available from: URL: http://www.appco.com.au/appguide/default.asp." ([2006]):

3. "Product Information. Keppra (levetiracetam)" UCB Pharma Inc, Smyrna, GA.

Not all side effects for levetiracetam may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. 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 substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

Hide