November 21, 2014
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

Drug Factsheets

 Health Home >> Medications 

Keppra

(levetiracetam)

DIN (Drug Identification Number)

02247027 KEPPRA 250MG TABLET
02247028 KEPPRA 500MG TABLET
02247029 KEPPRA 750MG TABLET

What side effects are possible with Keppra?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • feeling weak
  • infection such as the common cold
  • weakness

Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • abnormal thoughts
  • loss of memory or problems with memory
  • mood or behaviour changes (e.g., aggression, rage, anxiety or excitation)
  • problems with muscle control or coordination
  • sensation of spinning
  • signs of depression (e.g., poor concentration, changes in weight, changes in sleep, decreased interest in activities, thoughts of suicide)
  • signs of infection (symptoms may include fever or chills, shortness of breath, prolonged dizziness, headache, weight loss, or listlessness)
  • toothache
  • unexplained bruising

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • symptoms of an allergic reaction (e.g., difficulty breathing, hives, itchy skin rash, or swelling of the mouth or throat)
  • signs of a severe skin reaction such as blistering, peeling, a rash covering a large area of the body, a rash that spreads quickly, or a rash combined with fever or discomfort
  • thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.





Are there any other precautions or warnings for Keppra?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Anemia: Levetiracetam may cause low levels of red blood cells. If you experience symptoms of reduced red blood cell count (anemia) such as shortness of breath, feeling unusually tired or pale skin, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Your doctor will do blood tests regularly to monitor the number of specific types of blood cells, including red blood cells, in your blood.

Behaviour problems: Some people have reported changes in behaviour associated with taking levetiracetam. There have been occasional reports of aggressive behaviour, anxiety, hostility, and mood swings in people with or without a history of having these problems. Talk to your doctor as soon as possible if you experience these feelings or behaviours.

Drowsiness/reduced alertness: People with uncontrolled epilepsy should not drive or handle potentially dangerous machinery. Levetiracetam may cause drowsiness or problems with muscle control. If you are taking this medication, do not participate in activities requiring mental alertness or physical coordination until you have determined how this medication affects you.

Hypersensitivity syndrome: A severe allergic reaction called hypersensitivity syndrome has occurred for some people with the use of levetiracetam. Stop taking the medication and get immediate medical attention if you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, including fever, swollen glands, yellowing of the skin or eyes, or flu-like symptoms with skin rash or blistering.

Infection: Levetiracetam can reduce the number of cells that fight infection in the body (white blood cells). If you experience fever, sore throat, fatigue, weakness, or generally feel unwell while taking levetiracetam, contact your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will do blood tests regularly to monitor the number of specific types of blood cells in your blood.

Kidney disease: Kidney disease or reduced kidney function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have kidney disease or reduced kidney function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. People with poor kidney function may need a lower dose of levetiracetam.

Skin rash: Rarely, people taking levetiracetam experience a severe skin reaction that can be life-threatening. If you experience a rash that gets worse, or develops into blisters, sores on the lips or eyes or covers a large area of the body, contact your doctor immediately.

Stopping the medication: As with other medications used to control seizures, stopping this medication suddenly is not recommended because of the possibility of increased seizure frequency. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.

Suicidal thoughts and behaviour: Occasionally, people taking this medication may experience thoughts of suicide. If you experience these symptoms or any other behaviour change while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately. Family members or caregivers of people who are taking this medication should contact the person's doctor immediately if they notice unusual behaviour changes.

Pregnancy: Levetiracetam may cause harm to the developing baby if the mother takes it when she is pregnant. This medication should only be used during pregnancy if the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking levetiracetam, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children and adolescents: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for use by children and adolescents less than 18 years of age.

Seniors: Seniors may need a lower dose of levetiracetam.

What other drugs could interact with Keppra?

There may be an interaction between levetiracetam and any of the following:

  • alcohol
  • antihistamines (e.g., cetirizine, doxylamine, diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine, loratadine)
  • antipsychotics (e.g., chlorpromazine, clozapine, haloperidol, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone)
  • aripiprazole
  • azelastine
  • baclofen
  • barbiturates (e.g., butalbital, pentobarbital phenobarbital)
  • benzodiazepines (e.g., alprazolam, diazepam, lorazepam)
  • brimonidine
  • buspirone
  • carbamazepine
  • chloral hydrate
  • clonidine
  • cyclobenzaprine
  • dimenhydrinate
  • dronabinol
  • droperidol
  • efavirenz
  • entacapone
  • gabapentin
  • ketorolac
  • lamotrigine
  • magnesium sulfate
  • mefloquine
  • methotrimeprazine
  • mirtazapine
  • muscle relaxants (e.g., cyclobenzaprine, methocarbamol, orphenadrine)
  • nabilone
  • narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone)
  • olopatadine
  • orlistat
  • orphenadrine
  • paraldehyde
  • perampanel
  • phenytoin
  • pramipexole
  • pregabalin
  • primidone
  • ropinirole
  • rotigotine
  • scopolamine
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs; e.g., citalopram, duloxetine, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline)
  • sodium oxybate
  • tapentadol
  • thalidomide
  • topiramate
  • tramadol
  • tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, clomipramine, desipramine, trimipramine)
  • zolpidem
  • zopiclone

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

Previous | 1 | 2 | 


Did you find what you were looking for on our website? Please let us know.

Ad

The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are meant to be discussed with your physician or other qualified health care professional before being acted on. Never disregard any advice given to you by your doctor or other qualified health care professional. Always seek the advice of a physician or other licensed health care professional regarding any questions you have about your medical condition(s) and treatment(s). This site is not a substitute for medical advice.

© 1996 - 2014 MediResource Inc. - MediResource reaches millions of Canadians each year.