What is this medicine?
LEVETIRACETAM is an anti-epileptic drug, also called an anticonvulsant.
Levetiracetam is used to treat partial onset seizures in adults and children who are at least 1 month old.
Levetiracetam is also used to treat tonic-clonic seizures in adults and children who are at least 6 years old, and myoclonic seizures in adults and children who are at least 12 years old.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
You should not use Levetiracetam if you are allergic to levetiracetam.
To make sure you can safely take Levetiracetam, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease or high blood pressure.
You may have thoughts about suicide while taking this medicine. Tell your doctor if you have symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several weeks of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.
Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Levetiracetam will harm an unborn baby, but having a seizure during pregnancy could harm both the mother and the baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication. Do not start or stop taking Levetiracetam during pregnancy without your doctor’s advice. Seizure control is very important during pregnancy. The benefit of preventing seizures may outweigh any risks posed by taking Levetiracetam. Follow your doctor’s instructions about taking Levetiracetam while you are pregnant. Levetiracetam can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using Levetiracetam. Do not give this medication to a child without the advice of a doctor. Your child’s dose needs are based on age and weight. The child should remain under the care of a doctor while using this medicine.
How should I take this medicine?
Take Levetiracetam exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
Levetiracetam is usually taken twice per day. Take the medicine at the same time each day. You may take Levetiracetam with or without food.
Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Do not crush, chew, or break a controlled release, delayed-release, or extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole. Breaking the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.
Use Levetiracetam regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
Do not stop using Levetiracetam without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel fine. You may have increased seizures if you stop using this medicine suddenly. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.
Seizures are often treated with a combination of different drugs. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor’s advice. .
Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you take Levetiracetam. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you take seizure medication.
To be sure Levetiracetam is not causing harmful effects, your kidney function may need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.
What if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What may interact with this medicine?
There may be other drugs that can interact with Levetiracetam. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
What should I watch for while taking this medicine?
Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase some of the side effects of Levetiracetam and may also increase the risk of seizures. This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
What side effects may I notice from this medicine?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Levetiracetam: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, or if you feel agitated, hostile, irritable, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;
- bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;
- feeling very weak or tired;
- fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
- problems with walking or movement;
- the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild; or
- severe skin reaction — fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Less serious Levetiracetam side effects may include:
- mild dizziness or drowsiness;
- mild tired feeling;
- loss of appetite; or
- stuffy nose.
Where can I keep my medicine?
Store Levetiracetam at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.