Side Effects of Levetiracetam
Drowsiness, weakness, and vomiting are some of the more common side effects seen with levetiracetam. While most side effects of levetiracetam are minor and do not require medical attention, certain problems may be more serious and should be reported to your healthcare provider right away. Some of these serious side effects can include depression, hallucinations, or seizures that are becoming worse.
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As with any medicine, side effects are possible with levetiracetam (Keppra®). However, not everyone who takes the medication will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate levetiracetam quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with levetiracetam. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of levetiracetam side effects with you.)
Levetiracetam has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occur in a group of people taking the drug are documented and then compared to the side effects that occur in another group of people not taking the medicine. As a result, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
In these studies, the most common side effects of levetiracetam included:
- Drowsiness -- in up to 23 percent of people
- Accidental injury -- up to 17 percent
- Weakness -- up to 15 percent
- Vomiting -- up to 15 percent
- Infections -- up to 13 percent
- Loss of appetite -- up to 13 percent
- An irritated, stuffy, or runny nose -- up to 13 percent
- Coughing -- up to 11 percent
- Nervousness -- up to 10 percent
- Sore throat -- up to 10 percent.
Other common side effects (occurring in 2 to 9 percent of people) included:
- Neck pain
- A spinning sensation (vertigo)
- Coordination problems
- Flu-like symptoms (such as chills or body aches)
- Conjunctivitis ("pink eye")
- Memory loss (amnesia)
- Unusual sensations, such as burning, tingling, or numbness
- Sinus infections
- Double vision
- Skin discoloration
- Lazy eye
- Ear pain.