Levetiracetam is used in combination with other medications to treat certain types of seizures in adults and children with epilepsy. Levetiracetam is in a class of medications called anticonvulsants. It works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain.
Levetiracetam comes as a solution (liquid), an immediate-release tablet, an extended-release (long-acting) tablet, and as a tablet for suspension (a tablet to take with liquid) to take by mouth. The solution, immediate-release tablet, and tablet for suspension are usually taken twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, with or without food. The extended-release tablets are usually taken once daily with or without food. Try to take levetiracetam at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take levetiracetam exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the levetiracetam immediate-release and extended-release tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them. Take the whole levetiracetam tablets for suspension according to directions; do not split, chew, or crush them.
To take levetiracetam tablet(s) for suspension, use dry hands to peel the foil from the blister packaging; do not try to push the tablets through the foil. Immediately take out the number of tablet(s) that your doctor has told you to take and place the tablet(s) on your tongue with a sip of liquid. Once the tablet completely dissolves on your tongue, swallow the mixture. The tablet(s) may take about 10 seconds to dissolve.
You can also take levetiracetam tablets for suspension by dissolving them in a liquid. Place the number of tablet(s) your doctor has told you to take into a cup and add a small amount of liquid (about 1 tablespoon [15 mL] or enough to cover the medication in a cup). Swirl the cup gently. After the tablet(s) for suspension dissolve, drink the mixture right away. If there is any medication left in the cup, add some more liquid and swirl the cup gently. Drink the mixture water right away to be sure that you swallow all of the medication.
If you are taking the levetiracetam oral solution, do not use a household spoon to measure your dose. You might not get the right amount of medication. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to recommend a medicine dropper, spoon, cup, or syringe and to show you how to use it to measure your medication.
Your doctor may start you on a low dose of levetiracetam and gradually increase your dose, not more often than once every 2 weeks.
Levetiracetam controls epilepsy but does not cure it. Continue to take levetiracetam even if you feel well. Do not stop taking levetiracetam without talking to your doctor, even if you experience side effects such as unusual changes in behavior or mood. If you suddenly stop taking levetiracetam, your seizures may become worse. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with levetiracetam and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website ( Web Site) or the manufacturer's website to obtain the Medication Guide.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before taking levetiracetam,
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
If it has only been a few hours since the time you were scheduled to take the dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Levetiracetam may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms or those listed in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section, call your doctor immediately:
Levetiracetam may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from light, excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( Web Site) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. Web Site
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at Web Site. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
Keep all appointments with your doctor. If an infant or child younger than 4 years of age receives levetiracetam, your doctor will check their blood pressure regularly.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.