About Your Medicine
LEVETIRACETAM is an anticonvulsant used to treat seizures in certain types of epilepsy. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
If any of the information in this leaflet causes you special concern or if you want more information about your medicine and its use, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
Remember to keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children. Never share your medicines with others.
Before Using This Medicine
Tell your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you:
▪ Are allergic to any medicine, either prescription or nonprescription.
▪ Are pregnant or intend to become pregnant while using this medicine.
▪ Are breast-feeding.
▪ Are taking any other prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal
preparation, or dietary supplement.
▪ Have any other medical conditions, including liver or kidney problems.
Proper Use of This Medicine
It is important to take levetiracetam exactly as your doctor prescribed in order to get the best results with the least chance of side effects.
Take this medicine by mouth, with or without food. Swallow this medicine whole.
IF YOU MISS A DOSE OF LEVETIRACETAM, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If you have missed a dose and it is within a few hours before your next dose, take only the next scheduled dose. Do not double up or take extra medicine, unless instructed to do so by your doctor. If you have any questions, talk to your pharmacist.
Do not suddenly stop taking levetiracetam without first talking to your doctor.
Store levetiracetam and all of your medicines in a cool, dry place.
Precautions While Using This Medicine
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOUR DOCTOR CHECK YOUR PROGRESS AT REGULAR VISITS. You doctor may want to do certain blood tests to see if you are receiving the right amount of medicine or if certain side effects are occurring.
This medicine may add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that slow down the nervous system). Check with your doctor before taking any such CNS depressants while you are using this medicine.
This medicine may cause drowsiness and/or dizziness, especially when starting treatment or increasing the dose. MAKE SURE YOU KNOW HOW YOU REACT TO THIS MEDICINE BEFORE YOU DRIVE OR DO POSSIBLY UNSAFE TASKS.
Contact your doctor if your seizures become worse or if you have a new type of seizure.
Levetiracetam is not known to interact with or affect other medicines at this time. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines.
Possible Side Effects of This Medicine
Side effects may occur with any medicine. Some side effects will go away on their own or when the dose of the medicine is changed. Other side effects may be more serious and may mean that your body is not tolerating the medicine. Tell your doctor about any side effects that occur, but do not stop taking the medicine without first talking to your doctor.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR RIGHT AWAY IF YOU NOTICE ANY OF THESE SIDE EFFECTS.
▪ Rash or hives
▪ Shortness of breath or wheezing
▪ Swelling of the face, lips, throat, or hands
▪ Fever or flu-like symptoms that don’t go away
▪ Depression, severe anxiety, or agitation
IF YOU NOTICE ANY OF THESE SIDE EFFECTS, TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR.
▪ Dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness
▪ General weakness or lack of energy
▪ Mood changes
▪ Loss of appetite
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
More Information from UW Hospital
Recent studies have shown an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in patients who take antiepileptic drugs. While people in the study who received these drugs were twice as likely to report suicidal thoughts, the increase was about one more case for every 500 patients treated with these drugs. Thus the overall risks appear to be small. If you are having any suicidal thoughts, you should contact your doctor right away.
Note: If you are taking antiepileptic medicines, do not make any changes without first talking to your health care provider. Stopping your medicines can lead to a huge increase in seizures, accidents, and death.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 09/19/2012
Copyright © 09/19/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6741
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