Keppra is also known as levetiracetam which is an anticonvulsant (anti-epileptic drug). Keppra or levetiracetam has the effect to impair your thinking and reactions.
Therefore you must be more cautious if you drive or do anything that requires a lot of attention. If you are planning to become pregnant or pregnant you must tell your doctor. Do not stop or start taking keppra or levetiracetam during pregnancy unless your doctors tell. This is because if you have a seizure it would hard both the child and mother. During pregnancy seizure control is very important and you must take effective measures to prevent seizures.
How Effective is Keppra?
Keppra or levetiracetam is used as an adjunctive therapy for effective treatment of partial onset seizures mainly in children of one month age, adults and older people with epilepsy.
Keppra or levetiracetam is also used for effective treatment of tonic-clonic seizures mainly in children above six years, adults with myoconic seizures and children minimum of 12 years of age.
You should not stop using keppra or levetiracetam even if you feel fine, you must talk to your doctor about it before you stop. If you stop using keppra or levetiracetam all of a sudden you will end up having high possibilities of seizures. Therefore, your doctor will determine your treatment and dosage, in normal cases; doctor will slowly reduce your dosages little by little before stopping the treatment.
There are high chances of you having mood changes when you first take keppra or levetiracetam; as a result a lot of people have had the thought of suicide. Therefore you must inform your doctor if you feel any new or worsening symptoms.
It is important to wear a medical alert tag or ID card that shows you are taking keppra or levetiracetam. This is because any doctor who treats you should know that you are on this medicine.
Prior to Taking Keppra
If you are allergic to keppra or levetiracetam you must not take this medicine. In order to make keppra or levetiracetam safe for you, tell your doctor if you have any of these conditions:
- Mood problems or depression
- Kidney disease
- If you are on dialysis
- Any history of suicidal thoughts
- Any history of psychosis or mental illness.
There are very high chances of you having thoughts of suicide when you take keppra or levetiracetam. Therefore, if you have any signs of suicidal thoughts or depression especially in the first week or when the dosages are changed you must tell you doctor. It is also important for your family members and care givers to know that you are taking keppra or levetiracetam.
Do not stop or start taking keppra or levetiracetam during pregnancy unless your doctors tell. This is because if you have a seizure it would hard both the child and mother. It is important to tell your doctor if you become pregnant when you are taking seizure medicine such as levetiracetam.
It is very important to have seizure control during pregnancy. The advantages of preventing seizures will help and reduce the risk taking keppra or levetiracetam. You can also use other seizures medicines during pregnancy. Therefore, always listen to your doctors instructions while taking keppra or levetiracetam and pregnant.
Keppra or levetiracetam has the ability to pass through breast milk and harm the child therefore you should never breast feed a child when you are on this medication.
It is important to make sure you do not give keppra or levetiracetam to children without the consent of doctor treating. The dosages given to children will differ depending on their weight and age. When a child is given keppra or levetiracetam he or she must be in doctor’s observation.
What are the Side Effects of Keppra?
If you have any allergic reactions such as swelling of lips, throat, face or tongue, difficulty in breathing or hives, get immediate medical assistance.
You must report to your doctor if you have any of these mixed reactions or any new symptoms such as behavior changes, trouble sleeping, mood changes, hostile, anxiety, hyperactive (physically or mentally), feeling agitated, panic attacks, irritable, thoughts to harm yourself or suicidal thoughts.
If you have any of these below mentioned severe side effects of keppra or levetiracetam, get immediate medical help:
- Feeling very weak, extreme drowsiness, tired
- Hallucinations, coordination, confusion, loss of balance
- Behavior or mood changes (being talkative or irritable, unusual risk taking behavior)
- Skin rashes even if they are very mild
- Problem with movement or walking
- Numbness, bruising, muscle weakness, sever tingling
- Infection symptoms: painful mouth sores, difficulty breathing, swallowing, flu or cold symptoms, swollen gums, skin sores, fever, pain when swallowing
- Skin reaction severe: burning in eyes, sore throat, fever, purple or red skin rash that spreads mainly to upper body or face which later results in peeling or blistering, skin pain
Common side effects of keppra or levetiracetam are:
- Stuffy nose
- Feeling tired
- Loss of appetite is also a side effect of keppra or levetiracetam
- Feeling aggressive or irritable;
What Other Medicine Will Effect Keppra?
There are other medicines that can have effects on keppra or levetiracetam which includes over the counter medicines, herbal products, vitamins and prescribed medicines. Therefore, it is important to tell each of your doctors about all the medical conditions and medicines you are taking.