Epilev - Dose | Use | Side Effects

This article was medically reviewed by M.Pharm, Marko Tanaskovic on August 12, 2018. To read more about an author, click here.

Epilev is the drug from the family of medications known as antiepileptic medicines (anticonvulsants) and contains active ingredient levetiracetam, which is not chemically similar to other antiepileptic medications. How this drug works is not fully understood but it is confirmed that this medication has a wide range of pharmacological effects. Epilev is used in many types of epileptic seizures, such as:

  • Partial seizures with or without secondary generalization in all ages
  • Myoclonic seizures in patients older than 12 years
  • Primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures in patients older than 12 years


The only contraindication for the use of Epilev is allergy to the active substance - levetiracetam.

When Epilev should be used cautiously?

  • If you have impaired kidney function (renal failure). In this case, it is necessary to adjust the dose
  • If you suffer from depression - especially if you have or have ever had suicidal thoughts. There are reports of patients who had suicidal thoughts and even attempted suicide while taking Epilev! If you or your family notice changes in mood or behavior, immediately inform your doctor
  • If you need to stop using Epilev, then you should do it by gradually decreasing the dose (your doctor will explain how to do that)

This medicine can be applied even in infants, but its impact on intelligence and other mental functions during the growth and development of the child is unknown.

Application of Epilev during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Studies in animals have shown that Epilev has reproductive toxicity. Taking Epilev during pregnancy is not recommended. Talk to your doctor to evaluate the benefits and risks of applying this drug during pregnancy. Stopping the epilepsy treatment is definitely not recommended because seizures can cause complications for both, mother and the baby.

Since it is excreted in milk, Epilev should not be used during breastfeeding.

How to take Epilev?

Epilev recommended dosage is as follows:

Table 1 - Recommended dosage on the basis of age (according to PIL)

Age Recommended dosage
16-65 years

The initial dose is 250 mg twice a day

The maintenance dose is 500 mg twice a day

The maximum dose is 1500 mg twice a day

>65 years Depending on renal function (see table 2)
>16 years 10 mg / kg body weight, two times a day. If the child weighs more than 50 kg, then the dosage is the same as for adults.

Table 2 - Recommended dosage and kidney function (according to PIL)

Creatinine clearance Recommended dosage
50 - 80 ml/min 500 - 100 mg two times per day
30 - 50 ml/min 250 - 750 mg two times per day
30 ml/min > 250 - 500 mg two times per day

Take your tablet regardless of meals. Epilev is always applied twice a day (every 12 hours).


Symptoms of an overdose include: somnolence (consciousness disorder characterized by indifference to the events that are happening around you), agitation (restlessness and irritability), aggressiveness, respiratory depression and coma.

How to treat overdose?

  • Gastric lavage
  • Emesis
  • Symptomatic treatment
  • Hemodialysis

Epilev and its use with other drugs

It should not be administered in combination with the following drugs:

  • Buprenorphine - an opioid pain reliever. Concomitant use can lead to respiratory depression and coma!
  • Propoxyphene - also an opioid analgesic. Simultaneous use will lead to adverse effects (drowsiness, confusion, difficulty thinking and difficulty concentrating).
  • Drugs used for narcolepsy treatment, such as: sodium oxybate. Concomitant administration with Epilev increases the risk of adverse reactions.

Alcoholic beverages should not be taken in combination with this drug!

Epilev side effects

Very common side effects include:

  • Somnolence
  • Chronic exhaustion

Common side effects include:

  • Nasopharyngitis
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Double vision (diplopia)
  • Myalgia
  • Hyperactivity
  • Ataxia
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Involuntary shaking of hands
  • Depression
  • Aggressiveness
  • Frequent mood swings

Side effects with unknown frequency:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Hallucinations
  • Weight loss
  • Pancreatitis
  • Hepatitis
  • Alopecia

Tell your doctor if you notice any side effects.

Information on this website are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.

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