Precautions and Warnings With Levetiracetam
An awareness of the precautions and warnings with levetiracetam can help to ensure a safe treatment process. The drug is not suitable for everyone, including those who are allergic to any of the ingredients in the medication. Taking levetiracetam can also cause behavioral or emotional changes and should not be suddenly stopped. Other precautions and warnings with levetiracetam include possible side effects, such as coordination problems and drowsiness.
Levetiracetam: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking levetiracetam (Keppra®) 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 of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Precautions and Warnings With LevetiracetamSome warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking levetiracetam include the following:
- Levetiracetam can cause drowsiness and problems with coordination. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you develop any of these levetiracetam side effects, especially if they are severe and do not improve with time. Also, make sure to see how levetiracetam affects you before driving or operating any machinery.
- Levetiracetam can cause behavioral or emotional changes. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop bothersome or disturbing changes, such as depression, personality changes, anxiety, or hallucinations.
- As with all seizure medications, levetiracetam should not be suddenly stopped (see Keppra Withdrawal).
- In studies, levetiracetam 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 from your body. If you have kidney disease, your healthcare provider may suggest a lower levetiracetam dosage.
- Levetiracetam 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 and Pregnancy).
- Levetiracetam passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Keppra and Breastfeeding).