Levetiracetam is an antiepileptic medicine that is used to treat various forms of seizures. It is widely prescribed due to its effectiveness and tolerability in managing epilepsy.
Levetiracetam can be administered both alone and in combination with other medicines. It treats partial-onset seizures in adults, children, and babies one month and older. It is also used with other medications to treat seizures in adults and children aged 12 and above with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. Levetiracetam also helps improve epilepsy in adults and children six years or older.
Levetiracetam has shown promising results in treating myoclonic seizures and primary generalised tonic-clonic seizures.
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Side effects to keep an eye for
Levetiracetam can have side effects like any medication, although not everyone experiences them. Common side effects may include:
- Drowsiness or fatigue: Levetiracetam can cause mild to moderate drowsiness, affecting alertness and concentration. It is important to avoid activities requiring mental focus until the body adjusts to the medication.
- Headache and dizziness: Some individuals may experience headaches or dizziness during the initial stages of treatment.
- Gastrointestinal issues: Levetiracetam may cause digestive disturbances such as nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain. Taking the medication with food can help alleviate these effects.
- Behavioural changes: In rare cases, Levetiracetam can lead to mood swings, irritability, or aggression. It is crucial to inform healthcare providers if any unusual changes in behaviour occur.
- Allergic reactions: Although rare, Levetiracetam can potentially cause allergic reactions. Seek immediate medical attention if symptoms such as rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing occur.
Administration of Levetiracetam
Levetiracetam is available in the following forms:
- Solution (liquid)
- Immediate-release tablet
- Extended-release (long-acting) tablet, and
- Tablet for suspension
The solution, immediate-release tablet, and suspension tablet are typically administered twice daily, with or without food. Extended-release tablets are typically taken once a day, with or without meals.
Be sure not to split, chew, or crush immediate-release and extended-release tablets but swallow whole.
Carefully remove the foil off the blister packing with dry hands; do not attempt to force the pills through the foil. Take out the tablets your doctor has instructed and put them on your tongue with a sip of water. Swallow the mixture only when the pill(s) fully dissolves on your tongue. You can also gently mix the tablets with a small amount of liquid. Do not keep the mixture aside, be sure to consume it immediately.
Proper administration of Levetiracetam is essential to ensure optimal therapeutic effects. Here are a few points to remember:
- Dosage: The dosage is determined by a healthcare professional based on the individual’s age, weight, and type of seizure. Be sure to follow the dosage instructions properly.
- Regular intake: It is important to consume the medication at the same time every day to maintain consistent levels of the medication in the body.
- Avoid abrupt discontinuation: Do not suddenly stop taking the medication, as it can increase the risk of seizure recurrence. If there is a need to discontinue the medication, consult a healthcare professional for proper guidance.
- Interactions: Levetiracetam may interact with other medications, including birth control pills. Inform healthcare providers about all current medications to ensure safe and effective use.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Levetiracetam may pose a risk to unborn babies. Pregnant women must discuss the potential benefits and risks with their healthcare provider. It is also recommended to consult regarding medication use during breastfeeding.
- Liver or kidney problems: Individuals with liver or kidney issues may require dose adjustments or close monitoring while taking the medication.
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Anzen Export’s blog posts have been written with information gathered from approved medical journals and websites online. Our research and technical team strive to provide relevant information through such articles. To be best informed, we advise consulting a doctor about an ingredient or medicine before taking it.