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Levetiracetam Side Effects

In Summary

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

For the Consumer

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

Other dosage forms:

Along with its needed effects, levetiracetam may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while 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
  • fever with or without chills
  • 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

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

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

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

Postmarketing reports: Erythema multiforme, leukopenia, neutropenia, pancytopenia (with bone marrow suppression in some cases), Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), thrombocytopenia, toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), alopecia, angioedema[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]

Cardiovascular

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

Hypersensitivity

Postmarketing reports: Anaphylaxis

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.

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.

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