Levetiracetam (By mouth)

Introduction

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

Treats seizures.

Brand Name(s)

Keppra, Keppra XR, Roweepra, Spritam

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Liquid, Tablet, Tablet for Suspension, Long Acting Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you. Take your medicine at the same time each day.
  • Regular-release or extended-release tablet: Swallow whole. Do not break, crush, or chew it.
  • Spritam® dissolving tablet: Make sure your hands are dry before you handle the tablet. Do not open the blister pack until you are ready to take a tablet. Peel back the foil and remove the tablet. Do not push the tablet through the foil.
    • To dissolve the tablet in your mouth, place the tablet on your tongue and take a sip of water. After the tablet has melted, swallow. Do not swallow the tablet whole.
    • To dissolve the tablet in liquid so you can drink it, put a small amount of liquid (1 tablespoon or enough to cover the medicine) into a cup and add the tablet. Swirl the liquid gently so the tablet dissolves. After the tablet has dissolved, swallow this mixture right away . Then add a small amount of liquid to the cup again, swirl gently, and swallow this liquid so you get the full amount of medicine.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

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

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease or high blood pressure.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Decreased numbers of blood cells, including anemia
    • Serious skin reactions
    • High blood pressure
  • This medicine may cause depression, thoughts of suicide, or changes in mood or behavior. Tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or mental health problems.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy, drowsy, or clumsy. Do not drive or do anything that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely. Your seizures may return or occur more often if you stop using this medicine suddenly.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

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
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Extreme sleepiness, tiredness, or weakness
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches
  • Problems with balance, coordination, or walking
  • Unusual changes in mood or behavior, depression, thoughts of hurting yourself
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

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

  • Decreased appetite, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
  • Headache, dizziness
  • 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 10/12/2016

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