Levetiracetam (By mouth)

Introduction

Levetiracetam (lee-va-tye-RA-se-tam)

Used to help control certain types of seizures caused by epilepsy. This medicine is an antiepileptic.

Brand Name(s)

Keppra, Keppra XR

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to levetiracetam.

How to Use This Medicine

Liquid, Tablet, Long Acting Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Take your medicine at the same time each day.
  • Swallow the tablet or the extended-release tablet whole. Do not break, crush, or chew it. There is an oral liquid form of this medicine if you or your child cannot swallow the tablets.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • This medicine can be used with other seizure medicines. Keep using all of your seizure medicines unless your doctor tells you to stop.
  • Use only the brand of this medicine that your doctor prescribed. Different brands may not work the same way.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease or are receiving dialysis. Tell your doctor if you have a history of depression, mood disorders, or mental illness.
  • This medicine may cause changes in mood or behavior, clumsiness or unsteadiness, or unusual tiredness or weakness. Tell your doctor right away if you start to feel depressed, anxious, angry, irritable, restless, or have thoughts about suicide. Report any unusual thoughts or behavior that trouble you, especially if they are new or getting worse quickly.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely. Stopping the medicine suddenly may cause your seizures to return or to occur more often.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy, drowsy, or less alert. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Serious skin reactions can occur. Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin; red skin lesions; severe acne or skin rash; sores or ulcers on the skin; or fever or chills.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Anxiety, agitation, confusion, hostility, irritability, depression, anger, or any mood or behavior changes
  • Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash
  • Extreme sleepiness or drowsiness
  • Problems with balance, coordination, or walking
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or others

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dizziness
  • Lack or loss of strength
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stuffy or runny nose

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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