Health Guide
Drug Guide

Levetiracetam (Intravenous route)

Pronunciation:

lee-va-tye-RA-se-tam

Brand Names:

Dosage Forms:

Classifications:

Therapeutic

Anticonvulsant

Uses of This Medicine:

Levetiracetam injection is used to help control partial onset seizures in adults and children 1 month of age and older in the treatment of epilepsy. It is also used to help treat myoclonic seizures in adults and children 12 years of age and older with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. Levetiracetam injection is also used to help treat primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures in adults and children 6 years of age and older with idiopathic generalized epilepsy. This medicine cannot cure epilepsy and will only work to control seizures for as long as you continue to use it.

This medicine is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of a doctor.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of levetiracetam injection for the treatment of partial onset seizures in children 1 month to 16 years of age, or for the treatment of myoclonic seizures in children 12 years of age and older with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, or for the treatment of primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures in children 6 years of age and older with idiopathic generalized epilepsy.

Older adults

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of levetiracetam injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require caution or an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving levetiracetam injection.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersCAnimal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast-feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Other interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

Proper Use of This Medicine:

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you or your child this medicine in a hospital. Levetiracetam is given through a needle that is placed in one of your veins. The medicine must be injected slowly, so your IV tube will need to stay in place for 15 minutes.

Your doctor will give you or your child a few doses of this medicine until your condition improves, and then switch you to an oral medicine that works the same way. If you have any concerns about this, talk to your doctor.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

It is very important that your doctor check your progress closely while you or your child is receiving this medicine. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.

Levetiracetam may cause changes in mood or behavior, problems with coordination, or unusual tiredness or weakness. Tell your doctor right away if you or your child starts to feel depressed, anxious, or angry, getting upset easily, restless, or if you have thoughts about hurting yourself. Report any unusual thoughts or behavior that trouble you or your child, especially if they are new or getting worse quickly.

This medicine may cause some people to become dizzy, drowsy, tired, or less alert than they are normally. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or not alert.

Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have blistering, peeling, or loose skin, red skin lesions, severe acne or skin rash, sores or ulcers on the skin, or fever or chills while you are using this medicine.

Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you or your child is using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.

Do not interrupt or stop receiving this medicine without checking first with your doctor. Your doctor may want you or your child to gradually reduce the amount you are using before stopping it completely.

This medicine may cause an increase in blood pressure in children 1 month to 4 years of age. If you notice any changes to your child's normal blood pressure, tell your child's doctor right away.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
Cough or hoarseness
fever or chills
lower back or side pain
painful or difficult urination
Incidence not known
Black, tarry stools
bleeding gums
blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
bloating
blood in the urine or stools
changes in behavior
constipation
darkened urine
diarrhea
fast heartbeat
general tiredness and weakness
indigestion
itching
joint or muscle pain
light-colored stools
loss of appetite
nausea and vomiting
pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
pale skin
pinpoint red spots on the skin
red skin lesions, often with a purple center
red, irritated eyes
restlessness or agitation
sore throat
sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
thoughts or attempts at killing oneself
twitching, twisting, or uncontrolled repetitive movements of the tongue, lips, face, arms, or legs
ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
uncontrolled jerking or twisting movements of the hands, arms, or legs
uncontrolled movements of the lips, tongue, or cheeks
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual tiredness or weakness
upper right abdominal or stomach pain
yellow eyes or skin

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:

Symptoms of overdose
Anxiety
attack, assault, or force
decrease, loss, or change in consciousness
difficult or troubled breathing
dry mouth
hyperventilation
irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
irregular heartbeats
irritability
pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
restlessness
shaking
sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
trouble sleeping

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
Body aches or pain
congestion
dizziness
headache
lack or loss of strength
pain
runny nose
tender, swollen glands in the neck
trouble swallowing
voice changes
Less common
Aggressive or angry
burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
crying
depersonalization
discouragement
double vision or seeing double
dysphoria
euphoria
feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
feeling sad or empty
lightheadedness
loss of interest or pleasure
loss of memory
loss or lack of appetite
pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
paranoia
problems with memory
quick to react or overreact emotionally
rapidly changing moods
rash
sensation of spinning
shakiness and unsteady walk
sneezing
stuffy nose
tightness of the chest or wheezing
tiredness
trouble concentrating
unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
weight loss
Incidence not known
Hair loss or thinning of the hair

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 10/12/2016

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