What Is Levetiracetam Used For?
Although levetiracetam is approved to treat partial, myoclonic, and generalized tonic-clonic seizures, it can also be prescribed off-label to treat several conditions. Some of these off-label levetiracetam uses include treating migraine headaches, nerve pain, and other types of seizures. Levetiracetam is approved to treat partial seizures in adults and children at least one month old, myoclonic seizures in adults and adolescents 12 years old and older, and generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures in children age 6 and older.
Levetiracetam (Keppra®) is a prescription epilepsy medication. Specifically, levetiracetam is approved for use in combination with other seizure medications to treat the following types of seizures:
- Partial seizures
- Myoclonic seizures
Generalized tonic-clonic seizures (also known as grand mal seizures).
Epilepsy is a condition that causes sudden, brief changes in the electrical system of the brain. These changes in brain activity can lead to seizures (see Epilepsy Symptoms). Depending on which parts of the brain are affected, seizures may affect the person's consciousness, body movements, emotions, or senses.
In over half of all cases, the cause of epilepsy is not known. When the cause of epilepsy is known, it may be one of the following:
- Other medical conditions, such as a stroke or Alzheimer's disease
- Head trauma
- A brain tumor or brain infection, such as meningitis
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Genetics (see Genes and Epilepsy).
Epilepsy treatments may include medications (see Epilepsy Medication), surgery (see Epilepsy Surgery), diet changes (see Epilepsy Diet), and biofeedback.
There are over 30 different types of seizures a person with epilepsy may experience. Levetiracetam is approved to treat three types of seizures -- partial seizures, myoclonic seizures, and generalized tonic-clonic seizures.