What is levetiracetam?
Levetiracetam is an anti-epileptic drug.
Levetiracetam is used to treat partial onset seizures in adults and children who are at least 4 years old.
Levetiracetam is also used to treat tonic-clonic seizures in adults and children who are at least 6 years old, and myoclonic seizures in adults and children who are at least 12 years old.
Levetiracetam may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to levetiracetam.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have kidney disease. You may need a dose adjustment or special tests during treatment.
You may have thoughts about suicide while taking this medication. Tell your doctor if you have new or worsening depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several months of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.
Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether levetiracetam is harmful to an unborn baby. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Levetiracetam can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give this medication to a child without the advice of a doctor.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase some of the side effects of levetiracetam and may also increase the risk of seizures.
Levetiracetam can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
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Seek emergency medical treatment if you think you have used too much of this medicine.
Overdose symptoms may include drowsiness, agitation, aggression, shallow breathing, weakness, or fainting.
If you have missed your dose by only a few hours, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, or if you feel agitated, hostile, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
- weakness, lack of coordination;
- increasing or worsening seizures; or
- nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Less serious side effects may include:
- dizziness, spinning sensation;
- feeling irritable;
- runny nose, sore throat; or
- neck pain.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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There may be other drugs that can interact with levetiracetam. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Keppra, levetiracetam, and Keppra XR
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