Keppra is a prescription medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1999. Keppra is prescribed for the treatment of partial onset seizures in people with epilepsy ages one month and older; myoclonic seizures in adults and adolescents 12 years and older with Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy; and primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures in adults and children 6 years and older with idiopathic generalized epilepsy. Keppra is usually prescribed as an adjunctive medicine to be taken with other antiepileptic drugs. Keppra is also known by its drug name, Levetiracetam.
Keppra should not be used by people who have shown past sensitivity to Levetiracetam. Keppra should be used with caution in people with a history of depression or kidney problems. Keppra may not be suitable for use by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Keppra is an anticonvulsant, or drug that is used to control seizures. It is believed that Keppra works in cases of epilepsy by inhibiting nerve signals.
How do I take it?
Keppra is taken orally as a liquid or tablet twice a day. Try to take Keppra at the same times each day. Keppra may be taken with or without food. Your doctor will likely start you on a low dose of Keppra and gradually increase the dosage. Keppra may be given as an injection by medical professionals in situations where it is not possible to take it orally.
Avoid driving or operating machinery until you are certain you understand how Keppra affects you.
Do not stop taking Keppra suddenly. If you decide to stop taking Keppra, consult your physician for a plan to taper off gradually.
Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Keppra.
Levetiracetam (Keppra) has proven significantly more effective than a placebo in several clinical trials. On average, between 21 and 40 percent of trial participants reduced their frequency of partial seizures by at least 50 percent when Levetiracetam was added to their drug regimen.
The results of at least one clinical trial have indicated that Levetiracetam can be effective as a stand-alone therapy, without using other antiepileptic medications.
Older adults may experience some side effects of Keppra more intensely than other people.
The most serious potential side effects of Keppra are psychological changes including suicidal thoughts and behavior and aggression toward others.
Common side effects of Keppra include sleepiness, weakness, fatigue, unsteadiness, nervousness, headache, mood swings, constipation, and diarrhea.
Call your doctor if you experience mood swings, changes in behavior, or suicidal thoughts while taking Keppra.
Keppra can also cause increases in blood pressure and changes in the blood cell count.
Many drugs can cause allergic reactions that, in the most serious cases, can result in death. Seek immediate medical help if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing or swelling of the face, throat, eyes, lips or tongue.