levetiracetam (Keppra) Side Effects

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    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.

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What is levetiracetam?

Brand name(s): Keppra, Keppra XR

Levetiracetam (Keppra, Keppra XR) is an antiseizure medication used in combination with other antiseizure medications to treat myoclonic, partial onset, or tonic seizures in children and adults. (The safety and effectiveness in patients younger than 4 years of age has not been established.)

Common side effects are:

Keppra has few drug interactions, and it should be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding only if the potential benefits of the drug justifies the potential risk to the fetus and infant. The abuse and potential dependence on this drug hasn't been studied in humans.

While there are no known incidences of overdose with Keppra, signs and symptoms of overdose are sleepiness, agitation, aggression, a depressed level of consciousness, respiratory depression, and coma. Discuss any concerns about this drug with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health-care professional.

Read the entire levetiracetam (Keppra) drug consumer monograph >>

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

What are the side effects of levetiracetam?

Common side effects associated with levetiracetam include:

In some patients Keppra causes behavioral abnormalities such as:

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.

If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Read the entire levetiracetam (Keppra) drug consumer monograph >>

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Other consumer levetiracetam (Keppra) side effects*

SIDE EFFECTS: Drowsiness, dizziness, and weakness may occur. These side effects are more common during the first 4 weeks and usually lessen as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if any of these serious side effects occur:

  • loss of coordination (such as difficulty walking and controlling muscles),
  • mental/mood changes (such as irritability, aggression, agitation, anger, anxiety).

A small number of people who take anticonvulsants for any condition (such as seizures, bipolar disorder, pain) may experience depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, or other mental/mood problems.

Tell your doctor right away if you or your family/caregiver notice any unusual/sudden changes in your mood, thoughts, or behavior including signs of depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, thoughts about harming yourself.

evetiracetam can cause a rash that is usually not serious. However, you may not be able to tell it apart from a rare rash that could be a sign of a severe reaction. Therefore, tell your doctor immediately if you develop any rash. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Read the entire levetiracetam – oral, Keppra side effects, uses, interaction, overdose and precautions >>

* Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

REFERENCES:

FDA Levetiracetam Prescribing Information

FDB levetiracetam monograph

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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.

Reviewed on 5/22/2017
References
REFERENCES:

FDA Levetiracetam Prescribing Information

FDB levetiracetam monograph

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