Generic name: LevetiracetamBrand names: Keppra
Keppra helps reduce the frequency of partial epileptic seizures, a form of epilepsy in which neural disturbances are limited to a specific region of the brain and the victim remains conscious throughout the attack. The drug is used along with other epilepsy medications, never by itself.
Keppra can cause dizziness and drowsiness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or engage in other hazardous activities until you're sure the drug won't interfere.
Keppra may be taken with or without food.
Do not stop taking Keppra on your own. If the doctor decides to discontinue Keppra, he will tell you how to taper off slowly. Abrupt discontinuation of Keppra can increase the frequency of seizures.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Keppra.
You will not be able to use Keppra if it gives you an allergic reaction.
Especially during the first few weeks of treatment, Keppra sometimes triggers psychological problems, including psychosis, hallucinations, aggression, agitation, anger, hostility, irritability, anxiety, apathy, emotional instability, depression, and attempted suicide. These problems usually pass, but be sure to alert your doctor if you feel one developing; your doctor may have to discontinue the drug or change your dosage.
At the start of treatment, Keppra also can cause extreme drowsiness, unusual weakness, and coordination difficulties. Bring such symptoms to your doctor's attention. In a few patients, therapy must be stopped or reduced.
This drug has not been tested in children under age 16.
No unwanted interactions have been identified to date.
In animal tests, Keppra has produced fetal abnormalities. Accordingly, Keppra is recommended for pregnant women only if its potential benefits outweigh the potential risk to the baby. Notify your physician immediately if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Keppra makes its way into breast milk and could cause serious reactions in a nursing infant. Do not take Keppra while nursing.
For adults and children over 16, the usual starting dosage of Keppra is 500 milligrams twice a day. The dose may be increased every 2 weeks up to a maximum dose of 1,500 milligrams twice a day. If you have kidney disease, your dosage will be lower.
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.