Keppra: Side Effects, How to use, Dosage

Keppra: Side Effects, How to use, Dosage

What is Keppra?

Keppra is brand name of levetiracetam. (Brand names: Keppra, Keppra XR, Roweepra, Spritam Generic name: levetiracetam)

KEPPRA is an antiepileptic drug available as 250 mg (blue), 500 mg (yellow), 750 mg (orange), and 1000 mg (white) tablets and as a clear, colorless, grape-flavored liquid (100 mg/mL) for oral administration.

The chemical name of levetiracetam, a single enantiomer, is -S)-α-ethyl-2-oxo-1-pyrrolidine acetamide, its molecular formula is C8H14N2O2 and its molecular weight is 170.21. Levetiracetam is chemically unrelated to existing antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Levetiracetam is a white to off-white crystalline powder with a faint odor and a bitter taste. It is very soluble in water (104.0 g/100 mL). It is freely soluble in chloroform (65.3 g/100 mL) and in methanol (53.6 g/100 mL), soluble in ethanol (16.5 g/100 mL), sparingly soluble in acetonitrile (5.7 g/100 mL) and practically insoluble in n-hexane. (Solubility limits are expressed as g/100 mL solvent.)

Please if you have any questions about Keppra, you can ask us by commenting below this text, we'll answer you as soon as possible.

Keppra forms:

250 mg

Each blue, oblong, film-coated tablet, debossed with "ucb" and "250" on one side, contains 250 mg of levetiracetam. Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal anhydrous silica, FD&C Blue No. 2 (indigo carmine Aluminum Lake), magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol 3350, polyethylene glycol 6000, polyvinyl alcohol, sodium croscarmellose, talc, and titanium dioxide.

500 mg

Each yellow, oblong, film-coated tablet, debossed with "ucb" and "500" on one side, contains 500 mg of levetiracetam. Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal anhydrous silica, iron oxide yellow, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol 3350, polyethylene glycol 6000, polyvinyl alcohol, sodium croscarmellose, talc, and titanium dioxide.

750 mg

Each orange, oblong, film-coated tablet, debossed with "ucb" and "750" on one side, contains 750 mg of levetiracetam. Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal anhydrous silica, FD&C Yellow No. 6 (sunset yellow FCF Aluminum Lake) and iron oxide red, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol 3350, polyethylene glycol 6000, polyvinyl alcohol, sodium croscarmellose, talc, and titanium dioxid

KEPPRA tablets contain the labeled amount of levetiracetam. Inactive ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol 3350, polyethylene glycol 6000, polyvinyl alcohol, talc, titanium dioxide, and additional agents listed below:

250 mg tablets: FD&C Blue #2/indigo carmine aluminum lake

500 mg tablets: iron oxide yellow

750 mg tablets: FD&C yellow #6/sunset yellow FCF aluminum lake, iron oxide red.

Keppra uses

Keppra (levetiracetam) is an anti-epileptic drug, also called an anticonvulsant.

Keppra is used to treat partial onset seizures in adults and children who are at least 1 month old.

Keppra is also used to treat tonic-clonic seizures in people who are at least 6 years old, and myoclonic seizures in people who are at least 12 years old.

Levetiracetam is used with other medications to treat seizures (epilepsy). It belongs to a class of drugs known as anticonvulsants. Levetiracetam may decrease the number of seizures you have.

Dosage of Keppra

KEPPRA is given orally with or without food. The KEPPRA dosing regimen depends on the indication, age group, dosage form (tablets or oral solution), and renal function.

Prescribe the oral solution for pediatric patients with body weight ≤ 20 kg. Prescribe the oral solution or tablets for pediatric patients with body weight above 20 kg.

When using the oral solution in pediatric patients, dosing is weight-based (mg per kg) using a calibrated measuring device (not a household teaspoon or tablespoon).

KEPPRA tablets should be swallowed whole. KEPPRA tablets should not be chewed or crushed.

How to use Keppra?

Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking levetiracetam and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take the liquid and regular-release tablets by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily with or without food. Crushing or chewing the tablet may cause a bitter taste.

If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.

If you are using the extended-release tablets, take this medication as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Do not crush or chew extended-release tablets. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Do not split tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.

The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. The dosage in children is also based on weight. To reduce your risk of side effects (such as dizziness and drowsiness), your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.

Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.

Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Your seizures may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose should be gradually decreased.

Tell your doctor if your seizures lasts, change, or gets worse.

Side effects of Keppra

Common side effects of Keppra include: infection, psychoneurosis, drowsiness, asthenia, headache, nasopharyngitis, nervousness, abnormal behavior, aggressive behavior, agitation, anxiety, apathy, depersonalization, depression, fatigue, hostility, hyperkinetic muscle activity, personality disorder, emotional lability, irritability, laceration, and mood changes. Other side effects include: tonic clonic epilepsy, dizziness, vertigo, decreased neutrophils, depressed mood, neck pain, and pain.

Keppra

Please if you have any questions about Keppra, you can ask us by commenting below this text, we'll answer you as soon as possible.

comprehensive list of adverse effects:

  • More Common
  • Aggressive or angry
  • anxiety
  • change in personality
  • chills
  • cough or hoarseness
  • crying
  • depersonalization
  • diarrhea
  • dry mouth
  • euphoria
  • fever
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • headache
  • hyperventilation
  • irregular heartbeats
  • irritability
  • joint pain
  • loss of appetite
  • lower back or side pain
  • mental depression
  • muscle aches and pains
  • nausea
  • painful or difficult urination
  • paranoia
  • quick to react or overreact emotionally
  • rapidly changing moods
  • restlessness
  • shaking
  • shivering
  • shortness of breath
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • sore throat
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • sweating
  • trouble sleeping
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting
  • Less Common
  • Bloody nose
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • discouragement
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • double vision
  • earache
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • feeling sad or empty
  • increase in body movements
  • loss of bladder control
  • loss of memory
  • mood or mental changes
  • outburst of anger
  • pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  • problems with memory
  • redness or swelling in the ear
  • seizures
  • sensation of spinning
  • shakiness and unsteady walk
  • shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  • tightness of the chest
  • tiredness
  • trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
  • trouble concentrating
  • unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination.

Warnings of Keppra

Pregnancy:

Levetiracetam may cause harm to the developing baby if the mother takes it when she is pregnant. This medication should only be used during pregnancy if the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding:

This medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking levetiracetam, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children and adolescents:

The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for use by children and adolescents less than 18 years of age.

Seniors:

Seniors may need a lower dose of levetiracetam.

Drugs that may interact with Keppra

  • alcohol
  • antihistamines (e.g., cetirizine, doxylamine, diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine, loratadine)
  • antipsychotics (e.g., chlorpromazine, clozapine, haloperidol, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone)
  • azelastine
  • barbiturates (e.g., butalbital, pentobarbital phenobarbital)
  • benzodiazepines (e.g., alprazolam, diazepam, lorazepam)
  • brimonidine
  • buprenorphine
  • buspirone
  • cannabis
  • chloral hydrate
  • clonidine
  • dimenhydrinate
  • efavirenz
  • entacapone
  • general anesthetics (medications used to put people to sleep before surgery)
  • kava kava
  • mefloquine
  • methotrexate
  • mirtazapine
  • muscle relaxants (e.g., baclofen, cyclobenzaprine, methocarbamol, orphenadrine)
  • nabilone
  • narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone)
  • orlistat
  • pramipexole
  • pregabalin
  • ropinirole
  • rotigotine
  • rufinamide
  • scopolamine
  • seizure medications (e.g., carbamazepine, clobazam,  phenytoin, primidone, topiramate, valproic acid, zonisamide)
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs; e.g., citalopram, duloxetine, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline)
  • sodium oxybate
  • tapentadol
  • tolcapone
  • thalidomide
  • tramadol
  • tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, clomipramine, desipramine, trimipramine)
  • zolpidem
  • zopiclone

Note: If you are using these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

stop taking one of the medications,

change one of the medications to another,

change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or

leave everything as is.

Suicidal thoughts and behavior: Occasionally, people taking this medication may experience thoughts of suicide. If you experience these symptoms or any other behavior change while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately. Family members or caregivers of people who are taking this medication should contact the person's doctor immediately if they notice unusual behavior changes.

Skin rash: Rarely, people taking levetiracetam experience a severe skin reaction that can be life-threatening. If you experience a rash that gets worse, or develops into blisters, sores on the lips or eyes or covers a large area of the body, contact your doctor immediately.

Behaviour problems: Some people have reported changes in behaviour associated with taking levetiracetam. There have been occasional reports of aggressive behaviour, anxiety, hostility, and mood swings in people with or without a history of having these problems. Talk to your doctor as soon as possible if you experience these feelings or behaviours.

Please if you have any questions about Keppra, you can ask us by commenting below this text, we'll answer you as soon as possible.

Add comment

Your message is required.