Keppra (Levetiracetam): Uses, Dosage, Price, Side Effects, Precautions & More

What is Keppra?

  • Keppra belongs to a group of drugs called as “antiepileptic”.
  • Active ingredient of Keppra is “Levetiracetam” and it is available in tablet form (250mg, 500mg, 750mg and 1000mg) and syrup form (100mg/ml) for oral use.
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Uses of Keppra

Keppra is used for the treatment of epilepsy (seizures) in both children and adults.


How does Keppra work?

  • The exact mechanism of action of Keppra is unknown.
  • Levetiracetam may act on specific sites of the surface of neurons (nerve cells) which may inhibit the excessive activity of neurons in the brain and thereby prevent excessive electrical signals that cause seizures.

Keppra Price In India

SpecificsKeppra Price
250 mg Strip of 10 TabletsRs 61
500 mg Strip of 10 TabletsRs 124
750 mg Strip of 10 TabletsRs 190.5
1000 mg Strip of 10 TabletsRs 462

How to Take Keppra?

  • For oral administration, Keppra is available in tablet form (250mg, 500mg, 750mg and 1000mg) and syrup form (100mg/ml).
  • When taken in oral form, it is advised to take this medicine at a fixed time daily with or without food.
  • When taken in tablet form, swallow the tablet as a whole with plenty of fluids. Do not chew, break, or crush the tablet.
  • When used in syrup form, always use a measuring cup to measure the accurate dose and shake the bottle well before each use.
  • Always use Keppra in a dose and frequency as advised. Never use more than the recommended dose or for longer periods as it can lead to severe side effects.
  • Do not stop using Keppra suddenly even if you feel better as it might worsen or increase the frequency of seizures.
  • In case of non-improvement of symptoms or symptoms getting worse, seek medical attention immediately.
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Common Dosage & when to take Keppra (Levetiracetam)?

  • The dose and frequency of Keppra intake depend upon the weight of the patient and initial response to the treatment.
  • In order to reduce the incidence of side effects, the initial dose is usually smaller which can be gradually increased. As soon as desired results are achieved, the dose can be gradually reduced to the minimum effective level.
  • For adults and children above 16 years suffering from epilepsy, the initial dose is 1000mg per day given in two doses (500mg each).
  • Dosage can be incremented depending upon the need up to a maximum dose of 3000mg per day.
  • For patients less than 16 years of age, the initial dose is 20mg/kg body weight divided into two doses. The dose can be increased up to 60mg/kg body weight of the child.
  • Attempts should be made to reduce the minimum dose required for maintenance of symptoms.

When to avoid Keppra?

Keppra (Levetiracetam) should not be used or should be used with caution when:

  • Allergic to any of its components
  • People with liver or kidney problem
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding females
  • Patients on antidepressants or monoamine oxidase inhibitor drugs
  • Patients having suicidal thoughts or suffering from depression

Side effects of Keppra?

Keppra (Levetiracetam) may produce multiple side effects, although they may not be common in all the patients. Commonly observed side effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired coordination
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Rash
  • Allergic reactions
Also Read: Reglan Side Effect | Risperdal Side Effect

Effects on organs?

  • Patients with liver and kidney disease should administer Keppra (Levetiracetam) with caution and under the observation of a doctor.
  • Central nervous system side effects are frequently seen in patients on Keppra therapy. Commonly observed effects- suicidal thoughts, dizziness, impaired coordination, impaired behaviour, weakness, headache etc.

Reported Allergic Reactions?

Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Allergy with Keppra may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Rash
  • Chest tightness
  • Itching
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Drug Interactions to Be Careful About?

Drug interactions refer to the effect of drugs on each other and on human body following ingestion. Large numbers of medicine have shown interaction with each other. It is advised that the patient must always inform the physician about all the medicines/over the counter products/vitamin supplements used. Consult your doctor before administering any other drugs concomitantly with Keppra (Levetiracetam). All the possible drug interactions might not be listed here. Few important ones include:

  • Alcohol
  • Phenytoin
  • Valproate
  • Digoxin
  • Warfarin
  • Carbamazepine
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Probenecid

Shows Effects / Results In?

  • Keppra (Levetiracetam) doesn’t work immediately after oral administration. It may take few days to few weeks for complete recovery.
  • Even if symptoms disappear, it should be taken until advised to stop by the doctor.

FAQs

Is Keppra Addictive?

No such tendency has been reported.

Can I have Keppra (Levetiracetam) with alcohol?

Concomitant administration of Keppra with alcohol should be avoided as it may increase the risk of adverse effects like dizziness, drowsiness, confusion and impaired decision making.

Any particular food item to be avoided?

No alteration in its action seen with any food product.

Can I have Keppra (Levetiracetam) when Pregnant?

  • Keppra should be avoided during pregnancy as it may lead to adverse effects in foetus. It should only be used if the potential benefits justify the risks to the foetus.
  • Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the future before initiating Keppra therapy.

Can I have Keppra when feeding a baby?

Keppra (Levetiracetam) should not be used in breastfeeding women as the drug may pass into breast milk and lead to adverse effects in foetus.

Can I drive after taking Keppra?

Few patients on Keppra (Levetiracetam) might exhibit drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion. Such patients should use Keppra with caution while driving or operating heavy machinery.

What happens if I overdose on Keppra?

  • It should not be administered in more than prescribed dose or frequency.
  • Taking more medication or with increased frequency can cause serious toxicity (agitation, aggression, decreased consciousness, respiratory depression etc.)

What happens if I eat expired Keppra (Levetiracetam)?

  • The medicine may not work as well as the potency of the medicines decreases and also it may lead to some adverse effects.
  • To be on the safer side, always check and never use an expired drug.

What happens if I miss a dose of Keppra?

  • The medicine may not work well if you miss a dose because, for effective working of the drug, a certain amount of drug must be present in your body at all times.
  • Always consume the missed dose as soon as you remember. But, if it is already time for the next dose – do not double the dose.

Storage of Keppra (Levetiracetam)

Storage at room temperature away from direct heat and light.

Keep medicines away from children and pets.


Pro Tips When Taking Keppra

  • Keppra (Levetiracetam) should never be stopped abruptly even after symptoms have disappeared as it might lead to increased frequency or worsening of seizures.
  • Mood and behaviour changes (anger, aggression, anxiety, depression, irritability) are common in patients taking long-term Keppra therapy.

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