Keppra is an antiepileptic drug that belongs to the class of medications known as anticonvulsants. Its active ingredient, levetiracetam, works by reducing abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Keppra is primarily prescribed to control seizures in patients with epilepsy and can be used in both adults and children. It is available as tablets, oral solution, and injection form.
Avoiding Risks with Keppra
Keppra should not be taken by individuals with a known hypersensitivity to levetiracetam or any of the inactive components of the medication. It is important to inform your healthcare provider about any allergies or sensitivities you may have before starting Keppra treatment. Furthermore, Keppra is contraindicated in patients with a history of psychiatric disorders such as depression or psychosis, as it may worsen these conditions. It is crucial to discuss your medical history with your doctor to ensure Keppra is safe for you.
Side Effects and Solutions
Like any medication, Keppra may cause certain side effects. Common side effects of Keppra include drowsiness, dizziness, asthenia (lack of energy), headache, and infections. These side effects are usually mild and temporary. If they persist or become severe, consult your healthcare provider. In rare cases, Keppra may lead to serious side effects such as suicidal thoughts, mood changes, or allergic reactions. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms.
To mitigate side effects, it is crucial to follow the prescribed dose and schedule. Your doctor may start you on a low dose and gradually increase it to find the most effective and well-tolerated dose. It is important to never abruptly stop taking Keppra without consulting your healthcare provider, as doing so may increase the risk of seizures.
Keppra should be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Typically, it is taken orally twice a day, with or without food. The tablets should be swallowed whole and not crushed or chewed. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is close to the next scheduled dose. Do not double the dose to make up for a missed one. In case of an overdose, seek immediate medical help. Symptoms of overdose may include drowsiness, agitation, aggression, or loss of coordination.
How Other Drugs Affect Keppra
Keppra may interact with certain medications, potentially affecting their effectiveness or causing undesirable side effects. Inform your doctor about all the prescription, non-prescription, and herbal medications you are currently taking to avoid any interactions. Notable drug interactions include the concomitant use of Keppra with other antiepileptic drugs, oral contraceptives, and some antibiotics. Your doctor will carefully evaluate the risks and benefits before prescribing Keppra in combination with other medications.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can Keppra cure epilepsy?
Keppra is not a cure for epilepsy. It is prescribed to help control seizures and manage the symptoms of epilepsy. It should be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
2. Can Keppra be taken during pregnancy?
It is recommended to discuss the use of Keppra during pregnancy with your doctor. Studies have suggested that Keppra may be used during pregnancy with caution, as the benefits may outweigh the potential risks. Your doctor will assess the individual situation and provide guidance.
3. Can Keppra cause weight gain?
Weight gain is not a commonly reported side effect of Keppra. However, individual experiences may vary. If you are concerned about weight gain, consult your healthcare provider for further guidance.
4. Does alcohol interact with Keppra?
Alcohol consumption may increase the risk of certain side effects of Keppra, such as dizziness or drowsiness. It is advisable to limit or avoid alcohol while taking this medication. Always consult your doctor or pharmacist for personalized advice.
5. Can Keppra be safely used in children?
Keppra is approved for use in children aged 1 month and older with certain types of seizures. The dosage and safety profile may differ from adults. It is essential to follow the specific dosing instructions provided by your pediatrician for children using Keppra.