Levetiracetam (By mouth)

Introduction

Levetiracetam (lee-va-tye-RA-se-tam)

Treats seizures that are caused by epilepsy. This medicine is an antiepileptic.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Keppra, AvPak Levetiracetam, Keppra XR

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to levetiracetam.

How to Use This Medicine

Liquid, Tablet, Long Acting Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Try to take your medicine at the same time each day.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. Tell your doctor if you or your child have kidney disease or receive kidney dialysis.
  • This medicine may cause changes in mood or behavior, clumsiness or unsteadiness, or unusual tiredness or weakness. Tell your doctor right away if you or your child start to feel depressed, anxious, angry, irritable, or have thoughts about hurting yourself. Report any unusual thoughts or behavior that trouble you, especially if they are new or getting worse quickly.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Anxiety, agitation, confusion, irritability, depression, anger, or any mood or behavior changes.
  • Chest pain.
  • Extreme sleepiness or drowsiness.
  • Fever, chills, sore throat, cough, or body aches.
  • Hallucinations or thoughts of hurting yourself or others.
  • Increase in seizures.
  • Problems with walking, balance, or coordination.
  • Sudden and severe stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness.
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache or dizziness.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Rash.
  • Runny or stuffy nose.
  • Weight gain.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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