Levetiracetam - Use | Dosage | Side Effects
This article was medically reviewed by M.Pharm, Marko Tanaskovic on August 12, 2018. To read more about an author, click here.
Levetiracetam is an antiepileptic (a medicine used to treat seizures). Levetiracetam is used alone in the treatment of partial seizures in patients over 16 years age. Levetiracetam is used in patients who are already taking other antiepileptic
- in the treatment of partial seizures in adults and children over 4 years of age;
- in the treatment of primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures in adults and adolescents over 12 years.
Do not use Levetiracetam
- If you are allergic (hypersensitive) to levetiracetam or any of the other ingredients.
- If you suffer from kidney problems, follow your doctor's instructions. He / she will decide whether it is necessary to adjust your dose.
- It is observed that there is no impact on growth and puberty in children who are taking Levetiracetam. However, there is limited experience in relation to the long-term effects in children.
- If you notice increased strength attacks (eg increased number), please contact your doctor.
- If you have any symptoms of depression and / or suicidal ideation, please contact your doctor.
Interactions (The usage of other medicines)
Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any medication, including medicines obtained without a prescription. Levetiracetam can be taken with or without food. For security reasons, do not take this medicine with alcohol.
Medicines use during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before you start using any medicine. Please tell your doctor if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant. You should not take this medicine during pregnancy unless it is necessary. The potential risk to your unborn child is unknown. Levetiracetam has shown unwanted reproductive effects in animal studies at doses larger than those needed by you to control the attacks. Breastfeeding is not recommended during treatment.
The effect of this medicine on the management of motor vehicles and machinery operation
Levetiracetam can reduce your ability to drive or operate any tools and machines, since the medicine administration may feel drowsy. This is more likely at the beginning of treatment or after a dose increase. You should not drive or operate machinery until you find that your ability to perform these activity is not compromised.
Dosage in adults and adolescents (12 to 17 years) with a body weight of 50 kg or more: Take as many medicines as your doctor has prescribed.
- General dose: between 1,000 mg (4 tablets) and 3,000 mg (12 tablets) daily.
- Levetiracetam must be taken twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, at about the same time every day. Example: if your daily dose is 1,000 mg, you must take 2 tablets in the morning and 2 tablets in the evening.
Dosage in children (4 to 11 years) and adolescents (12 to 17 years) weighing less than 50 kg: Give your child as many tablets as prescribed by a doctor.
- General dose: between 20 mg / kg and 60 mg / kg daily.
- Levetiracetam must be taken twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, at about the same time every day.
Swallow Levetiracetam with a sufficient amount of liquid (eg a glass of water). Treatment duration:
- Levetiracetam is used for chronic treatment. Treatment should last as long as your doctor determined.
- Do not interrupt treatment without consulting a doctor because it may increase your attacks. If the doctor decides to stop treatment, he / she will instruct you how to gradually discontinue Levetiracetam from treatmen.
Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you have taken more medicines than you should.
If you forget to take the medicine
Tell your doctor if you forget to take one or more doses. Do not take a double dose to make up because you forget to take the medicine.
If you stop taking this medicine
If you stop the therapy, as with other antiepileptic medicines, Levetiracetam should be phased out gradually in order to avoid amplification attacks. If you have any questions regarding the use of this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Levetiracetam can cause side effects. Tell your doctor if you have any of the following side effects and if they worry you.
Very common side effects (> 10 %)
- Somnolence ( drowsiness );
- Asthenia / fatigue ;
Common side effects (1% - 10%)
- Nervous system disorders : dizziness (feeling instability ) , cramps , headache , hyperkinesia ( hyperactivity ) , ataxia (reduced coordination of movements ) , tremor ( shaking unconsciously ) , amnesia ( loss of memory ) , balance disorder ( balance disorder ) , attention ( loss of concentration ) , worsening memory ( forgetfulness );
- Psychiatric disorders: anxiety , depression, emotional instability / mood swings , hostility or aggression , insomnia , nervousness or irritability , personality disorders ( behavioral problems ) , abnormal thinking ( slow thinking , inability to concentrate );
- Digestive disorders: abdominal pain , nausea , dyspepsia ( indigestion ) , diarrhea , vomiting ;
- Eating disorders : anorexia (loss of appetite ) , weight gain;
- Disorders Ear and labyrinth : dizziness ( sensation of rotation );
- Eye disorders : diplopia ( double vision ) , blurred vision ;
- Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders : myalgia ( muscle aches );
- Injuries: accidental injury ;
- Infection : infection , nasopharyngitis ;
- Breathing disorders : cough (reinforced existing cough) ;
- Skin disorders : rash , eczema, itching ;
- Blood disorders: decreased number of blood platelets .
Other side effects
- Nervous system disorders : paresthesia ( tingling );
- Psychiatric disorders: abnormal behavior , be angry , agitation , confusion , hallucinations , mental disorder , suicide, suicide attempt and suicidal ideation ;
- Digestive disorders: pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas ) , cancellation of liver function , hepatitis ( liver inflammation ) , abnormal liver function tests ;
- Eating disorders : weight loss ;
- Skin disorders: hair loss;
- Blood disorders: decreased number of red blood cells, and / or white blood cells.
Some of the side effects, such as drowsiness, fatigue and dizziness may be more common at the beginning of treatment or after a dose increase. This effect however decreases with time. If any of the side effects gets serious, or if you notice any side effects not listed here, please tell your doctor or pharmacist. This medicine is also known as: Keppra
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If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.