- What is levetiracetam (Keppra), and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for levetiracetam?
- Is levetiracetam available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for this medication?
- What are the side effects of levetiracetam?
- What is the dosage, and how do I take levetiracetam?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with this drug?
- Is this drug safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about this medication?
What is levetiracetam (Keppra), and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Levetiracetam (Keppra) 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.
What brand names are available for levetiracetam?
Keppra, Keppra XR, Roweepra, and Spritam are the brand names available for levetiracetam in the US.
Is levetiracetam available as a generic drug?
Yes, it is available in generic form.
Do I need a prescription for this medication?
Yes, you need a prescription from your doctor or other health care professional for this drug.
What are the side effects of levetiracetam?
Common side effects associated with levetiracetam include:
- Difficulty walking or moving
- A decrease in red or white blood cell counts
In some patients Keppra causes behavioral abnormalities such as:
- Mood swings
- Personality disorder
Other side effects include:
- Steven-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis (severe skin reactions) in children and adults
- High blood pressure
Like other antiseizure medications, levetiracetam should not be discontinued suddenly because of the risk of increased seizure activity.
Antiepileptic medications have been associated with increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior. Anyone considering the use of antiepileptic drugs must balance this risk of suicide with the clinical need. Patients who are started on therapy should be closely observed for clinical worsening, suicidal thoughts, or unusual changes in behavior.
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