Keppra XR (Levetiracetam)
Keppra XR (Levetiracetam) Dosage and Side Effects
KEPPRA is a prescription medicine used to help reduce the number of seizures when taken together with other seizure medicines, in adults 18 years and older. KEPPRA belongs to the family of medicines called antiepileptics for treating epilepsy.
Proper Use of this medication
Usual adult dose:
KEPPRA tablets are taken orally twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, at about the same time each day. The treatment with KEPPRA usually starts with a dose of 1000 mg given half (500 mg) in the morning and half (500 mg) in the evening. After two weeks your dose may be increased. The typical daily maintenance dose is between 1000 mg and 3000 mg.
Your doctor may use a different dose if you have problems with your kidneys.
KEPPRA can be taken with or without food.
If your doctor decides to stop your treatment with KEPPRA, he/she will decrease the dose step by step. This is to prevent your symptoms from coming back again or becoming worse.
It is very important that you take KEPPRA exactly as your doctor has instructed. Do not stop taking it abruptly. Never change the dose yourself. Do not stop taking KEPPRA or any other seizure medicine unless your healthcare provider told you to. Stopping a seizure medicine all at once can cause seizures that will not stop (status epilepticus), a very serious problem.
Tell your healthcare provider if your seizures get worse or if you have any new types of seizures.
Remember: This medicine has been prescribed only for you. Do not give it to anybody else. If you require any further information or advice, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
In case of drug overdose, contact a health care practitioner, hospital emergency department or regional Poison Control Centre immediately, even if there are no symptoms.
If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember, and then go on as usual. However, if it is almost time for your next dose; skip the dose you forgot and go on as usual. Do not take two doses at the same time.
The most frequently observed side effects are:
infection (such as a common cold)
Other side effects include:
mood and behaviour changes such as anxiety, irritability or anger, depression, nervousness, personality disorder, and hostility
lack of coordination
vertigo (sensation of rotation)
loss of memory (amnesia)
sore throat, runny nose, stuffed nose/head (sinusitis)
Some people may experience extreme sleepiness and tiredness and difficulty coordinating muscles normally.
Hair loss (alopecia) has been reported; in several cases when KEPPRA was discontinued, the hair grew back.
For any unexpected effects while taking KEPPRA, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Warnings and Precautions
Because KEPPRA can affect your mental alertness and coordination, it is very important not to perform any potentially hazardous tasks such as driving a car or operating machinery until you know how KEPPRA affects you.
A small number of people may have thoughts of suicide (harming or killing themselves) when taking antiepileptic drugs such as KEPPRA.
If at any time you have these thoughts, immediately contact your doctor. Do not discontinue KEPPRA on your own.
Severe Allergic Reaction Involving the Skin and Other Organs:
There is no way to tell if a mild skin rash will become a severe reaction. Serious skin reactions known as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN), and Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS) have been reported with KEPPRA. Although very rare, severe forms of these reactions may lead to death. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop any combination of:
a rash or any serious skin reaction such as blistering or peeling of the lips, eyes or mouth
problems related to the liver, kidneys, heart, lungs or other organs.
BEFORE you use KEPPRA talk to your doctor or pharmacist if:
you have any health problems, including ones you have had in the past;
you have kidney disease;
you have ever shown unusual sensitivity (rash or any other signs of allergy) to any other antiepileptic drugs;
you are taking any medication, including ones you can get without a prescription;
you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant. Taking more than one antiepileptic medication during pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects. You and your doctor will have to decide if KEPPRA is right for you while you are pregnant. Women who are pregnant and planning to take KEPPRA should call the pregnancy registry to enable collection of valuable data about KEPPRA use in pregnancy.
you are breastfeeding. KEPPRA is known to pass into breast milk and may harm your baby. You and your doctor should decide whether you should take KEPPRA or breastfeed, but not both.
Interactions with this medication
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription or non-prescription medicines, vitamins or herbal supplements. KEPPRA and other medicines may affect each other.
If you are a female patient taking an oral contraceptive, watch for irregular menstruation or spotting and immediately report such occurrences to your doctor as this may be an indication that the oral contraceptive many not be working properly and you may get pregnant.
Other related products
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.