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Keppra (Levetiracetam) is used to treat seizures (epilepsy). It belongs to a class of drugs known as anticonvulsants. Levetiracetam may decrease the number of seizures you have.
Take the liquid and regular-release tablets by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily with or without food. Crushing or chewing the tablet may cause a bitter taste.
If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
If you are using the extended-release tablets, take this medication as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Do not crush or chew extended-release tablets. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Do not split tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. The dosage in children is also based on weight. To reduce your risk of side effects (such as dizziness and drowsiness), your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.
Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Your seizures may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose should be gradually decreased.
Tell your doctor if your seizures last, change, or gets worse.
Before taking levetiracetam, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy, especially during the first month of treatment. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, ride a bicycle, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Drowsiness, dizziness, unusual tiredness, or weakness may occur. These side effects are more common during the first 4 weeks and usually lessen as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, such as:
- Loss of coordination (such as difficulty walking and controlling muscles)
- Mental/mood changes (such as irritability, aggression, agitation, anger, anxiety)
- Signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever, chills)
- Signs of anemia (such as unusual tiredness that doesn't go away, pale skin, fast breathing, fast heartbeat)
- Easy bruising/bleeding.
Levetiracetam can commonly cause a rash that is usually not serious. However, you may not be able to tell it apart from a rare rash that could be a sign of a severe reaction. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any rash.
What if I miss a dose?
- If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your usual schedule.
- Avoid taking 2 doses at the same time or taking extra doses.
- Write down any missed doses in your seizure calendar. Share this with your health care provider at each visit.
Can Levetiracetam be taken with other medicines?
Sometimes one kind of medicine changes the way another kind of medicine works in the body. Taking levetiracetam does not seem to cause this kind of problem.
- Levetiracetam does not affect the level of other medicines in the body, and other medicines do not affect levetiracetam.