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Keppra is an FDA-approved antiepileptic medication used to treat various types of seizures. The prescription medication contains levetiracetam as its active ingredient, which helps control excessive nerve activity in the brain, thus preventing seizures. It comes in tablets, oral, and injectable solutions with different strengths. The form and dosage of the medication are based on the patient’s age, condition, weight, and response to treatment. For safe and efficient medication use, consult a licensed healthcare professional before starting to take Keppra. Ask your physician or healthcare provider if you have any medication-use queries or concerns. To ensure your medication is authentic, you can buy Keppra online from Canada. 

Keppra Overview

Keppra (levetiracetam) is an antiepileptic medication primarily used to treat various types of seizures, including myoclonic, partial onset, and primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures. The main ingredient, levetiracetam, helps to control excessive nerve activity in the brain, thus preventing seizures. While Keppra’s exact mechanism of action is not completely understood, it is believed to work by modulating neurotransmitter release, thereby stabilizing neuronal activity.

Keppra is available in different forms: tablets (250 mg, 500 mg, 750 mg, 1000 mg), oral solution (100 mg/ml), and injectable solution (05 mg/ml, 10 mg/ml and 15 mg/ml, 100 mg/ml). The dosage varies depending on the type of seizure and the patient’s condition. Typically, the initial dose for adults with myoclonic seizures is 500 mg twice daily, with adjustments made every two weeks to reach a maximum dose of 1500 mg twice daily. For partial onset seizures, the starting dose is also 500 mg twice daily, adjustable to a maximum of 1500 mg. Pediatric dosages are based on weight.

Common side effects of Keppra may include dizziness, headache, and sleepiness. More severe side effects can include mood changes, confusion, and severe allergic reactions like DRESS syndrome. Patients are advised to take Keppra exactly as prescribed, without crushing or chewing tablets. It should be stored at room temperature, away from moisture and sunlight, and out of reach of children. If a dose is missed, take it as soon as possible unless it’s nearly time for the next dose. For overdose concerns, seek immediate medical help. You should always consult a healthcare provider before making any changes to the medication regimen.

Uses of Keppra

It is used to:

  • Epilepsy 
  • Seizures 

Keppra Dosage

It is available in the form of tablets, injectable solutions, and oral solutions, with the strength of:

Form: Tablets

Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg, 750 mg or 1000 mg

Form: Oral solution 

Strengths: 100mg/ml

Form: Injectable solution

Strengths: 5mg/ml, 10mg/ml, 15mg/ml, 100mg/ml

Recommended Keppra Dosage for Different Patients

For Myoclonic Seizures

  • The initial dose of Keppra for myoclonic seizures is 500 mg orally or IV twice a day, with a gap of 12 hours between the two doses. 
  • Your doctor may increase the dosage every two weeks by 500 mg per dose to a maximum maintenance dose of 1500 mg twice daily. 

For Partial Onset Seizure

  • The initial dose of keppra for partial onset seizures is 500 mg orally or IV every 12 hours. Your doctor may increase the dosage by 500 mg per dose every two weeks, up to a recommended daily dose of 1500 mg twice daily.
  • The need for an oral loading dose has not been established.

For Primary Generalized Tonic-Clonic Seizures

  • The initial dose of Keppra for primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures is 500 mg orally or IV twice a day, with a gap of 12 hours between the two doses. 
  • Your doctor may increase the dosage every two weeks by 500 mg per dose to a maximum maintenance dose of 1500 mg twice daily. 

[Note: These recommendations may vary from person to person. Discuss it with your doctor, and they’ll customize your dosage accordingly.]

How to Take Keppra ?

  • Before using the medication and each time you get a refill, carefully read and follow the instructions for use given in the patient information leaflet provided by your pharmacist.
  • If you have any questions or concerns regarding your medication, consult your doctor or healthcare professional. 
  • Take the medication usually twice daily, with or without meals, exactly as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. 
  • Do not break, crush, or chew the Keppra tablet, as crushing or chewing the tablet may cause a bitter taste in the mouth.
  • If you are using liquid suspension solution, carefully measure the dose of the medication using a special measuring spoon or device, as ordinary spoons may cause an incorrect dose. 
  • If you are using the extended-release tablets, you should take Keppra exactly as directed by your doctor, usually once daily orally by mouth. 
  • You should swallow the extended-release tablet whole; do not crush, chew, or break it. Doing so may release the medication all at once, raising the possibility of undesirable side effects. 
  • The dosage is based on age, the condition being treated, and your body’s response to treatment.
  • The dosage of the medication for pediatric patients is based on their weight. 
  • To minimize your risks of unwanted side effects such as drowsiness and lightheadedness, your doctor may advise you to start taking your medication at a low dose and gradually increase it until you determine the best dose for you. 
  • To get the most benefit from your medication, you should maintain consistency in dosage and take it around the same time every day. To help you remember to take your dose, you should fix a time that is most convenient for you and take it at the same time daily. 
  • Do not use this medication more frequently than prescribed, in large quantities, or more than recommended by your doctor. 
  • Do not increase your dosage without consulting your doctor. If you do, your condition will not get better any faster, increasing the risk of unwanted side effects. 
  • You should not stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor, as it will make your seizures worse. So, if you are planning to discontinue your medication, you should tell your doctor. They may help you taper off the dose. 
  • Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve or worsen. 
  • Do not share your medications with others, even if they have the same conditions as you. 

[Note: Your doctor will decide the right amount for you based on your condition, following guidelines and studies on the drug. They’ll adjust it as needed over time.]

How Does Keppra Work?

Keppra (levetiracetam) is an antiepileptic medication used to treat certain types of seizures. While the exact mechanism isn’t fully understood, experts believe Keppra works by dampening excessive nerve firing and reducing seizure propagation. It may impact pathways involving calcium, glycine, and GABA. Essentially, it helps calm brain activity to prevent seizures from occurring. 

Keppra Side Effects

Common side effects of Keppra may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Mood swings
  • Sleepiness
  • Nasal congestion
  • Chills
  • Difficulty with moving
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea

Mild side effects of Keppra may include:

  • Psychomotor agitation
  • Chills
  • Anxiety
  • Chest pain
  • Constipation
  • Dark urine
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Infection
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bloating
  • Blurred vision
  • Depression
  • Irritability

Adverse side effects of Keppra may include:

  • Confusion 
  • Difficulty walking or moving
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Feeling very weak or tired 
  • Hallucinations 
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Skin rash 
  • Unusual changes in mood or behavior

[Note: This list may not cover all possible side effects. Always consult with your healthcare giver for medical advice about side effects.]

Keppra Warnings

  • You should not stop taking Keppra without consulting your doctor, even if you feel better. If you abruptly stop taking this medication, you may experience increased seizures. If you have decided to discontinue the medication, you should tell your doctor or healthcare provider. They will help you taper off the medication gradually and stop the medication completely. 
  • Some people may experience suicidal thoughts and behaviors when they start to take this medication. You should lookout for signs and symptoms of mood changes. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor. 
  • You can wear a medical alert tag or ID card stating that you are taking Keppra. You should also let your doctor and other medical professionals who treat you know that you are taking this medication to treat seizures. 
  • Keppra may impair your thinking or reactions. Be cautious while driving, operating heavy machinery, or engaging in any activity that requires alertness. 
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, suspect a pregnancy, or if you are planning to become pregnant while using Keppra. Do not start or stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor while pregnant. Having a seizure during pregnancy may cause harm to the mother and unborn child. 

Keppra Boxed Warning

The FDA has issued a warning for antiseizure medications, including Keppra, that they can cause a rare but serious condition called a drug reaction, which may be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated quickly. This reaction is called a Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS), and it may be fatal if not diagnosed and treated right away. 

This reaction can start as a rash and progress quickly, resulting in internal organs injury, requiring immediate medical attention and hospitalization, and even death. DRESS includes rash, fever, swollen lymph nodes, or injury to organs, including kidneys, liver, heart, or pancreas. 

Keppra Precautions

  • Before taking Keppra, let your healthcare provider know if you have hypersensitivity to it or any of its ingredients or have any other allergies. This drug contains inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions. To learn more about the ingredients in this product, contact your physician, pharmacist, or healthcare provider. 
  • Before using Keppra, share your complete medical history with your doctor, especially if you have  the following conditions:
    • Kidney disease 
    • Dialysis 
    • Mental/mood disorders 
  • This medication may make you feel dizzy or affect your vision, especially during the first month of treatment. You should not drive, operate machinery, or engage in activities that need alertness and clear vision. 
  • It is not recommended to consume large amounts of tobacco or alcohol while you are taking this medication. Tell your doctor if you use marijuana (cannabis). 
  • If you are planning to have surgery, including a dental procedure, tell your doctor, surgeon, or dentist about all the medications you are taking, including prescription medication, over-the-counter drugs, and herbal supplements. 
  • Pediatric patients may be more sensitive to side effects caused by this medication, such as anxiety, depression, irritability, aggression, and thoughts of suicide. Children aged less than four years may be at a greater risk of hypertension while taking Keppra. 
  • Keppra may pass into your breast milk. Consult a licensed healthcare professional before breastfeeding an infant. 

Keppra Contraindications

Keppra is contraindicated in patients with:

  •  A known hypersensitivity to keppra, levetiracetam, or any inactive ingredient.

Keppra Missed Dose

  • If you missed a keppra dose, you should take it as soon as possible. 
  • However, if it is almost time for your next dose, you may omit the missed dose and continue as per your regular dosing schedule. 
  • Do not take two doses of the same medication to compensate for the missed dose. 
  • You can set a reminder on your phone to prevent missing doses further. 

[Note: If you have missed a medication dose and are still determining when to take the next one, immediately consult your doctor or pharmacist.]

Keppra Overdose

If you or someone else has taken an overdose of Keppra, call 911 or your local emergency helpline or head to the nearest emergency room immediately. Patients who have overdosed on Keppra will typically be kept under close medical observation for several hours or days, depending on the severity of the overdose and the presence of unwanted side effects. 

[Note: If you consumed more than the recommended dose, get medical help immediately or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.]

Keppra Storage

  • You should store this medication in a tightly closed container at controlled room temperature, away from direct sunlight, moisture, and excess heat. 
  • Do not keep it in the bathroom. 
  • Keep Keppra in a safe place, away from the sight and reach of children. 
  • Do not keep medications that are outdated or no longer needed. 
  • Discard unwanted medications in such a way that children, pets, and others cannot consume them. 
  • Do not throw the medication carelessly in your household garbage bin or pour it into the drain. 
  • Do not flush it in the toilet or pour it in the wastewater. 
  • The best way to eliminate unwanted medication is to give it away through a medicine take-back program. 
  • Call your healthcare provider, pharmacist, or local waste disposal company to learn more about the proper disposal of unwanted medications. 

[Note: Discuss with your healthcare professional the proper disposal of unused medicine and any questions you may have regarding its storage.]

Keppra Interactions

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

[Note: This isn’t a complete list, and there could be other drugs that interact with Keppra. Tell your doctor about prescription, over-the-counter medicines, and herbal products.]

Keppra Alternatives

[Note: Your doctor will choose what’s best for you. Don’t use any of these alternative medications without consulting your healthcare provider. Taking them by yourself may cause serious side effects.] 

Frequently Asked Questions For Keppra 

What Are the Potential Long-term Effects of Taking Keppra?

When taken long-term, Keppra can have varying effects on different individuals. Some patients may experience ongoing side effects such as dizziness, fatigue, and mood changes. Rarely, long-term use can lead to issues such as bone density loss or increased risk of infections because of its impact on the immune system. It’s important to make regular visits to your healthcare provider to monitor any potential long-term effects and to make sure that the medication continues to be the best option for managing your seizures.

How Does Keppra Interact with Other Medications and Substances?

Keppra can interact with several other medications, including antiepileptic drugs like phenytoin, valproate, and carbamazepine, as well as non-epileptic medications such as warfarin and oral contraceptives. These drug interactions can either increase or decrease the effectiveness of Keppra or the other drugs. Additionally, substances such as alcohol and marijuana may exacerbate side effects like dizziness and drowsiness. You should always inform your doctor about all the medications and supplements you are taking to avoid adverse interactions.

Is Keppra Safe to Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding?

The safety of Keppra during pregnancy and breastfeeding is a critical concern. While seizures can pose risks to both the mother and the fetus, Keppra has been categorized as a Category C drug by the FDA, indicating that risk cannot be ruled out. Some studies suggest potential risks, such as congenital disabilities or neurodevelopmental issues. During breastfeeding, Keppra can pass into breast milk, potentially affecting the infant. Therefore, it’s essential to discuss with your physician or healthcare professional to weigh the benefits and potential risks and to consider alternative treatments if necessary.

What Strategies Can Help Manage Keppra’s Side Effects?

Managing Keppra’s side effects involves several strategies. Dizziness and fatigue may be alleviated by sticking to a regular sleep schedule and avoiding tasks requiring full attention. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or consulting a mental health professional might be beneficial to address mood changes. Staying adequately hydrated and eating small, frequent meals can help manage gastrointestinal side effects like nausea. Always report any severe or persistent side effects to your doctor or healthcare provider, as they may need to adjust your dosage or switch medications.

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