Levetiracetam is a drug to relieve seizures caused by epilepsy. This drug can be used as a single treatment or in combination with other drugs. This medicine should only be used according to a doctor's prescription.
How this drug works is not known with certainty. However, the anti-seizure effects of these drugs are thought to stem from their ability to inhibit electrical activity associated with calcium channels or their ability to influence the release of certain chemicals in the brain ( neurotransmitters ).
Levetiracetam trademarks: Keppra , Lethira, Levetiracetam, Levexa
What is Levetiracetam
|Benefit||Relieves seizures caused by epilepsy|
|Consumed by||Adults and children|
Levetiracetam for pregnant and lactating women
Category C: Animal studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus, but there have been no controlled studies in pregnant women.
Drugs should only be used if the expected benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus.
Levetiracetam can be absorbed into breast milk. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medicine without consulting your doctor first.
Precautions Before Taking Levetiracetam
Levetiracetam should only be used as prescribed by a doctor. The following are some things you need to pay attention to before taking levetiracetam:
- Tell your doctor about any history of allergies you have. Levetiracetam should not be given to patients who are allergic to this drug.
- Tell your doctor if you have or currently have kidney disease or a mental disorder, such as depression or psychosis .
- Tell your doctor if you have ever hurt yourself or have had suicidal thoughts .
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy.
- Avoid driving a vehicle or doing activities that require alertness while on treatment with levetiracetam, because this drug can cause dizziness and drowsiness.
- Tell your doctor that you are taking levetiracetam if you are planning to have surgery or certain medical procedures.
- Discuss with your doctor about using levetiracetam for children under 4 years of age or the elderly, because its use in these age groups can increase the risk of side effects.
- Do not consume alcoholic beverages while you are taking levetiracetam treatment, because this will increase the risk of side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you are taking certain medications, supplements or herbal products.
- See a doctor immediately if you have an allergic drug reaction , serious side effects, or an overdose after taking levetiracetam
Dosage and Rules for Using Levetiracetam
The dosage of levetiracetam varies for each patient. The doctor will determine the dosage according to the patient's age and the condition he wants to treat. The following is an explanation:
Purpose: As sole therapy to relieve seizures
- Adult: Initial dose is 250 mg twice daily. Dosage may be increased to 500 mg, twice daily, after 2 weeks of treatment. Maximum dose of 1500 mg, 2 times a day.
Purpose: As adjunctive therapy to relieve seizures
- Adult: Initial dose is 500 mg twice daily. The dose may be reduced or increased from the initial dose after 2–4 weeks of treatment. Maximum dose of 1500 mg, 2 times a day.
- Children 1–5 months: The initial dose is 14 mg/kg per day. The dose may be increased after 2 weeks. The maximum dose is 42 mg/kgBW per day.
- Children aged ≥6 months, weighing < 50 kg: The initial dose is 20 mg/kg per day. Dosage can be added after 2 weeks. The maximum dose is 60 mg/kgBW per day.
How to Take Levetiracetam Properly
Take levetiracetam as directed by your doctor and the instructions on the drug packaging. Do not change the dosage without consulting your doctor first. Levetiracetam can be taken before or after meals.
Consume levetiracetam tablets intact. Do not crush, chew, or split this medication as this can affect its effectiveness.
If you forget to take levetiracetam, take it as soon as you remember. If it is nearing time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not double your levetiracetam dose to make up for a missed dose.
Do not stop treatment with levetiracetam even if you feel better, unless advised by your doctor.
During treatment, you will periodically have kidney function tests to monitor your condition, response to therapy, and possible side effects.
Store levetiracetam in a place protected from direct sunlight. Keep levetiracetam out of reach of children.
Levetiracetam Interactions with Other Drugs
There are several interaction effects that can occur if levetiracetam is consumed with certain drugs, including:
- Increased risk of side effects, such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, or difficulty concentrating, when taken with propoxyphene, sodium oxybate, or ketamine
- Enhanced toxic effects of methotrexate
- Increased risk of fatal side effects, such as coma, if taken with buprenorphine
Levetiracetam Side Effects and Dangers
Some of the side effects that can arise after consuming levetiracetam are:
- Dizziness or headache
- Nasal congestion
- Nausea and vomiting
Check with your doctor if the complaints mentioned above do not go away or get worse. Immediately see a doctor if you experience a drug allergic reaction or serious side effects, such as:
- There is a desire to hurt yourself or commit suicide
- Impaired kidney function , which may be characterized by infrequent urination, very little urine, or swelling of the legs
- Severe or increasingly frequent seizures
- Loss of balance, hallucinations , anxiety, restlessness, or irritability
- Infectious disease, which can be characterized by symptoms such as fever or sore throat that does not improve
- Easy bruising
- Anemia , which can be characterized by symptoms of pale skin, weakness, fatigue, or lethargy