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Levetiracetam

Formula Drugs

Where is Levetiracetam used?

Levetiracetam is a prescription used alone or with other medications to:

  • Control seizures
  • For primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures
  • Myoclonic seizures

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication. Levetiracetam comes as a tablet for oral use.

How does Levetiracetam work?

Levetiracetam is in the class of medications called anticonvulsants that stabilizes electrical activity in the brain. The brain and nerves are made up of many nerve cells. These cells communicate with each other through electrical signals. For them to work successfully, these signals must be sensibly controlled for the brain and nerves. It becomes over-stimulated when unusually rapid and repetitive electrical signals are released in the brain. There is also a normal function disturbed. 

This medication prevents excessive electrical activity in the brain. This is thought to prevent sodium from entering nerve cells when they begin to fire rapid and repetitive electrical signals. A build-up of sodium in the nerve cells is needed for the electrical signal to build-up. It also passes on to the other nerve cells. 

How is Levetiracetam taken?

Levetiracetam is to be taken usually twice a day by mouth or as directed by your doctor. You may take each dose with or without a meal. The recommended dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to the treatment. Your doctor may direct you to start at a low dose and eventually increase it to prevent side effects. It may take several weeks to reach the best dose for you. You should take the right dose, not more or less.

This medication works best when the amount of drugs in your body is at a constant level. Therefore, remember to take it at the same time and in the same way each day. Do not suddenly stop taking this medication without the consent of your doctor. It may worsen your current condition or may cause another complication. Withdrawal from this product can be severe and include seizures and rarely death. Let your doctor know right away if you have withdrawal.

What are the side effects of Levetiracetam?

  • Decreased appetite 
  • Tiredness
  • Cough
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Hoarseness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Nausea
  • Unusual drowsiness
  • Vomiting 

Let your doctor know if these side effects occur:

  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Mood changes
  • Double vision
  • Clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • Trouble concentrating

What are the precautions in using Levetiracetam?

  • This medicine may lessen your ability to drive safely. Do not drive until you are sure it won’t affect your performance. 
  • This medicine is not recommended for children under one month of age. As there is insufficient information about its safety and effectiveness in this age group. 
  • Levetiracetam should not be used if you are allergic to this drug. Inform your doctor if you have previously had such an allergy.
  • Some medications should not be used during breastfeeding or pregnancy. On the other hand, other prescriptions may be safely used in breastfeeding or pregnancy. Before using any medicine, always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy.
  • Let your doctor know if you have any medical history especially of kidney disease or mental/mood disorders.