Precautions and Warnings With Levetiracetam XR
There are many precautions and warnings with levetiracetam XR to be aware of before starting treatment, including potential side effects of the drug. It is important to know that the medication can cause drowsiness and behavioral changes. If you have anemia, kidney disease, or any allergies, you should also let your healthcare provider know before taking levetiracetam XR.
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You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking levetiracetam XR (Keppra XR™) if you have:
- Anemia or any other blood disorder
- Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking levetiracetam XR include the following:
- Levetiracetam XR can cause drowsiness. Make sure to see how the drug affects you before driving or operating any machinery.
- Levetiracetam XR can cause behavioral or emotional changes. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop bothersome or disturbing changes, such as depression, personality changes, anxiety, irritability, aggression, or hallucinations.
- As with all seizure medications, levetiracetam XR should not be stopped suddenly.
- In studies, Keppra (the short-acting version of levetiracetam XR) caused minor changes in blood counts, especially changes in red blood cells and a certain type of white blood cells called neutrophils. This is not expected to cause problems in most people, unless you already have a problem with anemia or other blood disorders.
- The kidneys help remove levetiracetam XR from your body. If you have kidney disease, your healthcare provider may suggest a lower levetiracetam XR dosage.
- Levetiracetam XR is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for pregnant women. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of taking the drug during pregnancy (see Keppra XR and Pregnancy).
- Levetiracetam XR passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Keppra XR and Breastfeeding).