Levetiracetam for Epilepsy
Levetiracetam comes in tablet form.
How It Works
It is not known exactly how levetiracetam prevents seizures.
Why It Is Used
Levetiracetam (Keppra) may be used to help control partial seizures in adults. It is usually used with, not instead of, other antiepileptic medicines (add-on, or adjunctive, therapy).
Levetiracetam may also be used alone or in combination with other epilepsy drugs to treat seizures that affect the entire brain (generalized) in adults. Or it may be used alone or in combination with other epilepsy medicines in children who have Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or absence seizures.
How Well It Works
Levetiracetam, when taken alone, may also work to control seizures in people who are newly diagnosed with epilepsy.1
Levetiracetam usually causes only mild side effects. The most common ones are:
Unlike many of the antiepileptic medicines, levetiracetam is not likely to cause an adverse reaction when used at the same time as other medicines.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning on antiepileptic medicines and the risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts. The FDA does not recommend that people stop using these medicines. Instead, people who take antiepileptic medicine should be watched closely for warning signs of suicide. People who take antiepileptic medicine and who are worried about this side effect should talk to a doctor.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
It may take time and careful, controlled adjustments by you and your doctor to find the combination, schedule, and dosing of medicine to best manage your epilepsy. The goal is to prevent seizures while causing as few side effects as possible. After you and your doctor figure out the program that works best for you, make sure to follow your program exactly as prescribed.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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