Levetiracetam (Keppra) Side Effects
Keppra (levetiracetam) is an anti-epileptic (anticonvulsant) medication used commonly for treating partial seizures, myoclonic seizures, and generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Epilepsy is a chronic medical condition where the person experiences recurrent unprovoked seizures. Here we outline some common or serious side effects of Keppra and provide some information about how to deal with these side effects. Patients should report all side effects to their healthcare provider and inquire about possible treatment options.
Common side effects of Keppra may occur at any time during treatment but most often occur within the first 4 weeks of treatment.
Vomiting has been reported in 15% of patients treated with Keppra in pediatric clinical trials that enrolled kids aged 4 to 16. Reducing the dose or discontinuing Keppra may be required if vomiting becomes severe. Over the counter medications such as meclizine (Antivert), dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), and bismuth Subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol) may be used for managing nausea and vomiting. Some of these medications may have age restrictions, however, pediatric formulations may be available for some of them.
Asthenia is an abnormal lack of energy or physical weakness. Asthenia typically occurs during the first four weeks of treatment with the immediate release formulation of Keppra. It has been reported in 15% of adult patients taking Keppra. In clinical studies, some patients required a dose reduction because of asthenia.
Headaches have been reported in 14% to 19% of patients taking Keppra. Over the counter medications such as Tylenol or NSAIDs (for example, naproxen, ibuprofen) may be used to treat headaches.