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Levetiracetam

Anticonvulsant

Brand names:

Keppra®, Spiratam®

Often used for:

Seizures

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About Levetiracetam

Levetiracetam is an anticonvulsant medicine that can help control seizures.

Patients may have blood draws to check the amount of levetiracetam in the blood. The dose of levetiracetam may change over time based on levels in the blood.

This medicine is available in regular and extended-release form. Follow dosing instructions carefully.

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May be given as a liquid into a vein by IV

 
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May be taken as a tablet by mouth

 
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May be taken as a liquid by mouth

 
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Possible Side Effects

  • Feeling sleepy
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache
  • Stuffy nose
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability, change in mood or personality

Not all patients who take levetiracetam will experience these side effects. Common side effects are in bold, but there may be others. Please report all suspected side effects to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Tips for Families

Be sure to discuss these and other recommendations with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • This medicine can cause dizziness and drowsiness and may increase the risk of falls.
  • Patients should not stop taking levetiracetam without medical supervision.
  • Female patients of child-bearing age receiving levetiracetam should talk to their doctor before becoming pregnant.
  • Patients should tell their doctor if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Levetiracetam at home:

  • Take medicine at the same time each day.
  • Immediate and extended-release tablets should be swallowed whole. Do not crush or chew before swallowing.
  • Oral-disintegrating tablets (Spritam®) should be allowed to melt on the tongue (about 10 seconds) and then swallowed with a sip of liquid. Or, the tablet may be dissolved in a cup with 1 tablespoon of liquid and then swallowed immediately. Add more liquid to the cup and drink to make sure all medicine is swallowed. Do not swallow this type of tablet whole; do not crush or chew.
  • For liquid levetiracetam, use the measuring device that comes with the medicine.
  • Store medicine at room temperature.
  • Give a missed dose as soon as possible. If it is within 4 hours of the next dose, skip the dose. Do not give 2 doses at the same time.
  • Do not use the medicine past the expiration date.
  • Follow instructions for safe storage and disposal.