How Prescription Keppra® (levetiracetam) Helps Treat Epileptic Seizures

2019-09-27

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Levetiracetam is a prescription medication that belongs to the drug class known as anticonvulsants. It is used for the treatment of epilepsy and may help decrease the number and frequency of seizures someone with epilepsy may have.

Keppra ® is the brand name for the generic medication, levetiracetam.

What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder, affecting all ages and genders. The Epilepsy Foundation states:

A person is considered to have epilepsy if they meet any of the following conditions.

At least two unprovoked (or reflex) seizures occurring greater than 24 hours apart.

One unprovoked (or reflex) seizure and a probability of further seizures similar to the general recurrence risk (at least 60%) after two unprovoked seizures, occurring over the next 10 years.

Diagnosis of an epilepsy syndrome

Epilepsy is considered to be resolved for individuals who had an age-dependent epilepsy syndrome but are now past the applicable age or those who have remained seizure-free for the last 10 years, with no anti-seizure medicines for the last 5 years.

How does Keppra® (levetiracetam) work?

While many anti-seizure medications slow down the electrical discharges in the brain to stop seizures, Keppra® (levetiracetam) actually works a little differently by joining with SV2A, a protein that is involved in the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. Keppra® is usually an add-on therapy (i.e. used with other medications).

Keppra® (levetiracetam) is used to treat:

Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy

Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Focal Impaired Awareness or Complex Partial Seizures

Myoclonic Seizures

Secondarily Generalized Seizures or Bilateral Tonic Clonic Seizure

Focal Aware or Simple Partial Seizure

Tonic-Clonic Seizures

Keppra® (levetiracetam) is available in the following doses. Click on the links to compare prices:

Keppra® – Brand-name – 250 mg tablets

Keppra® – Brand-name – 500 mg tablets

Keppra® – Brand-name – 750 mg tablets

Keppra® – Brand-name – 1000 mg tablets

Keppra® Oral Solution – Brand-name – 100 mg/mL

Levetiracetam – Generic – 250 mg tablets

Levetiracetam – Generic – 500 mg tablets

Levetiracetam – Generic – 750 mg tablets

Levetiracetam – Generic – 1000 mg tablets

This medication needs to be taken exactly as your doctor prescribes it. Do not increase or decrease your dose without specific medical instructions. Stopping this medication suddenly may cause dangerous ongoing seizures, known as status epilepticus.

This medication is usually taken twice a day, usually 12 hours apart. The pills are swallowed whole and may be taken with or without food. The liquid form must be measured carefully to ensure you are taking the right dosage each time.

What are the side effects of Keppra® (levetiracetam)?

Common side effects may include:

Sleepiness

Mood changes

Loss of energy or strength

Headache

Irritability

Dizziness

This is not a complete list of side effects. Speak to your pharmacist about what side effects may occur while taking this prescription medication.


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