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
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.
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.
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