levetiracetam, Keppra, Keppra XR

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

GENERIC NAME: levetiracetam

BRAND NAME: Keppra, Keppra XR

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Levetiracetam is an antiseizure (antiepileptic) drug. Its mechanism of action is unknown, but it inhibits the spread of seizure activity in the brain. In studies, addition of levetiracetam to other antiseizure drugs reduced the frequency of seizures more than placebo. The FDA approved levetiracetam in November 1999.

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablets (immediate release): 250, 500, 750 and 1000 mg. Tablets (extended release): 500 and 750 mg. Oral solution: 100 mg/ml. Injection solution: 5, 10, 15, and 100 mg/ml.

STORAGE: Levetiracetam should be stored at 25 C (77 F). Brief storage at 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F) is acceptable.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Levetiracetam is used in combination with other anti-seizure medications to treat myoclonic, partial onset, or tonic clonic seizures in children and adults.

DOSING: The recommended daily dose of levetiracetam in adults is 3000 mg. Therapy is initiated with 1000 mg daily (500 mg twice daily) and increased by 1000 mg/day every two weeks up to the maximum recommended dose of 3000 mg/day.

Immediate release tablets, oral solution, and intravenous solutions are administered twice daily, and extended release tablets are administered once daily.

The recommended daily dose for children is 60 mg/kg (30 mg/kg twice daily). Therapy is initiated with 20 mg/kg (10 mg/kg twice daily) and increased by 20 mg/kg every two weeks until the recommended daily dose of 60 mg/kg is reached.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Probenecid (Benemid) reduces the elimination of levetiracetam by the kidneys, potentially doubling the concentration of levetiracetam in the body. This could lead to side effects from probenecid.

PREGNANCY: Levetiracetam has not been adequately studied in pregnant women. Levetiracetam is used during pregnancy only if the benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Quick GuideEpilepsy: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Epilepsy: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

RxList Logo

Need help identifying pills and medications?

Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Newsletters

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors