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    Levetiracetam

    Information about Levetiracetam

    Levetiracetam uses

    Levetiracetam is used in the treatment of epilepsy/seizures.

    How levetiracetam works

    Levetiracetam is an antiepileptic medication. It works by attaching to specific sites (SV2A) on the surfaces of nerve cells. This suppresses the abnormal activity of the nerve cells in the brain and prevents the spread of electrical signals that cause seizures.

    Common side effects of levetiracetam

    Fatigue, Headache, Sleepiness, Dizziness, Nasopharyngitis (inflammation of the throat and nasal passages), Anxiety, Weakness, Nausea, Infection, Behavioural changes, Depression, Vertigo, Cough, Irritability, Loss of appetite, Aggression, Balance disorder (loss of balance), Tremor, Abdominal pain, Diarrhea, Indigestion, Rash, Nervousness, Nasal congestion, Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping), Convulsion, Vomiting
    Content Details
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    Written By
    Dr. Swati Mishra
    BDS
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    Reviewed By
    Dr. Khushbu Goel
    DM (Neurology), MD (Internal Medicine)
    Last updated on:
    16 Jul 2019 | 02:55 PM (IST)
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    Expert advice for Levetiracetam

    • Your doctor has prescribed Levetiracetam to reduce the frequency of seizures.
    • Levetiracetam should be taken at the same time every day to maintain consistent levels in your body.
    • Do not change the brand of your medicine and make sure that you have sufficient amount of medicine present with you.
    • Do not miss even a single dose as it may be life-threatening. 
    • It causes sleepiness or drowsiness. If this happens to you, do not drive or use machinery.
    • Avoid consuming alcohol when taking the Levetiracetam as it may cause excessive drowsiness and calmness.
    • Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to conceive or breastfeeding.
    • Do not stop using Levetiracetam without talking to your doctor, even if you feel better.

    Frequently asked questions for Levetiracetam

    Levetiracetam

    Q. Can the use of Levetiracetam cause sleepiness?

    Yes, Levetiracetam can make you feel sleepy. At the beginning of your treatment: do not drive, operate machinery, work at heights, or participate in potentially dangerous activities, until you know how this medicine affects you.

    Q. Will the use of Levetiracetam affect my fertility?

    Levetiracetam is not known to affect fertility in males or females. However, talk to your doctor if you are facing fertility issues while taking this medicine.

    Q. I have gained weight since I started taking Levetiracetam. Is it because of Levetiracetam? What should I do?

    Weight gain is an uncommon side effect of Levetiracetam though it may also cause weight loss. It may vary from person to person. To prevent weight gain you can eat a healthy balanced diet, avoid snacking with high-calorie food, include more vegetables and fruits in your diet and exercise regularly. If you still have issues with your weight, consult your doctor.

    Q. What should I do if I forget to take Levetiracetam?

    If you have missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip it and take the next dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose that you missed. This may increase the chance of side effects. If you are not sure what to do, you can contact your doctor.

    Q. How long does Levetiracetam take to show its effect?

    Levetiracetam may take a few weeks to start working properly since the dose is increased slowly. Your seizures may continue until Levetiracetam starts working completely.

    Q. For how long do I need to take Levetiracetam?

    You should continue to take Levetiracetam for as long as your doctor advises you to. Do not stop taking it suddenly because this may increase the risk of seizures which may be difficult to control.

    Q. Will I get addicted to Levetiracetam if I use it for a long time?

    No, Levetiracetam is not habit forming. No physical or psychological dependence has been reported with Levetiracetam.

    Q. What symptoms can occur if someone takes excess of Levetiracetam?

    Overdose of Levetiracetam can cause sleepiness, agitation, aggression, decrease of alertness, inhibition of breathing and coma. In case of an overdose, the patient should be provided immediate medical care in a nearby hospital.

    Q. How do I wean myself off Levetiracetam?

    The dose of Levetiracetam should be slowly reduced and it may take a few months before you can stop it completely. If you get a serious side effect, such as a severe skin condition, your doctor may tell you to stop taking Levetiracetam straight away, even if you have epilepsy.

    Content on this page was last updated on 16 July, 2019, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)