levetiracetam, Keppra, Keppra XR (cont.)

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Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

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.

NURSING MOTHERS: Levetiracetam is excreted in breast milk. To avoid potential serious side effects in infants who are breastfeeding mothers should consider not breast-feeding while taking levetiracetam.

SIDE EFFECTS: Common side effects associated with levetiracetam include headache, sleepiness, weakness, dizziness, infection, and difficulty walking or moving. A small number of patients may experience a decrease in red or white blood cell counts.

In some patients Keppra causes behavioral abnormalities such as hostility, irritability, mood swings, anxiety, hallucinations, and delusions. 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.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/10/2014

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