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Anti-epileptic Medication Keppra

Keppra is an anti- epileptic medication. It is also known as anticonvulsant drug. The generic name of Keppra is levetiracetam.

This drug is used to treat epilepsy in adults as well as children.

Keppra

Uses of Keppra

This drug is used for:

  • It is used as an adjunctive therapy for the treatment of partial onset seizures that occur in adults as well as in children who are 1 month of age or older and have epilepsy.
  • It is also used for the treatment of tonic- clonic seizures in children (who are up to 6 years of age) as well as adults.
  • It is also used in the treatment of myoclonic seizures in children (who are up to 12 years of age) as well as adults.

Side- effects of Keppra

The side- effects of Keppra can be categorized as serious side- effects and mild and common side- effects.

The serious side- effects of this anti- epileptic drug include:

  • Allergic reaction to Keppra manifesting as hives, difficulty in breathing and swelling on lips, tongue, throat and face. It needs emergency medical attention.
  • Mood or behavioural changes, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, feeling agitated, irritable, hostile, physically or mentally hyperactive, trouble in sleeping and increased suicidal tendency or thought of hurting self
  • Unusual mood swings or changes in behaviour like being talkative or irritable or unusual risk taking behaviour
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Hallucination, confusion, loss of coordination or balance
  • Problems in movement or walking properly
  • Easy bruising
  • Severe numbness or tingling sensations
  • Pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Skin reaction manifesting as fever, swelling on tongue or face, sore throat, burning in the eyes, pain on skin, followed by the occurrence of purple or red colored skin rashes spreading on the face as well as upper body causing blistering as well as peeling
  • Signs of infection like swollen gums, fever, painful sores in mouth, pain in swallowing, flu or cold symptoms, trouble in breathing, cough

The mild and common side- effects of Keppra include:

  • Weakness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling tired
  • Feeling irritated or aggressive
  • Infection
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stuffy nose

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Several tests have been carried out to determine the effect of Keppra on animals, but there is no well- controlled or adequate study of this drug on pregnant woman. In the animals, the off springs showed the signs of developmental toxicity (such as teratogenic effects). But, the effects are still unknown in human off- springs.

But, to be on the safer side, the pregnant women should always avoid the use of this drug. They should take the drug only when the positive effects overweigh the danger that can be caused to the mother and the fetus by this drug.

A breastfeeding lady should not take this anti- epileptic medication. Either she should discontinue the use of this drug or breastfeeding as this drug is passed into human milk.

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