Levetiracetam, Levetiracetam ER, Roweepra
Generic Spritam, Keppra, Keppra XR, Elepsia XR
Levetiracetam (lee va tye RA se tam) oral tablet is prescribed for certain kinds of seizures in adults and some children with epilepsy. It’s a generic version of the brand-name drug Keppra. Levetiracetam belongs to a group of drugs called antiepileptics.
Medically reviewed by Victor Nguyen, PharmD, MBA on April 7, 2023
Written by Amber Watson, PharmD
This article describes levetiracetam oral tablet’s uses and dosage, ways to save on cost, and more. Below you’ll find coupon options for levetiracetam.
This article doesn’t describe or provide coupons for all forms of levetiracetam. To find out more about levetiracetam extended-release tablet, see this article.
Side effects of levetiracetam
Levetiracetam may cause mild or serious side effects. More common mild side effects of levetiracetam oral tablet and its serious side effects are listed below. This article doesn’t include all possible side effects of the drug. Side effects can vary based on your age and overall health and any other medications you take.
To learn more about levetiracetam oral tablet’s side effects, ask your doctor or pharmacist. You can also read the prescribing information for levetiracetam oral tablet.
Mild side effects
More common mild side effects reported with levetiracetam oral tablet are listed below.
With many drugs, mild side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If the side effects are bothersome, tell your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest ways to manage them.
Levetiracetam oral tablet’s mild side effects include:
- changes in certain lab tests, such as low levels of white blood cells or red blood cells
- fatigue (low energy)
- increased risk of infection
- loss of appetite
- stuffy nose
- mild allergic reaction*
* For details about this side effect, see the “Warnings for levetiracetam” section below.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects of levetiracetam oral tablet are listed below. With many drugs, serious side effects are possible but not common.
If you have serious side effects from this drug, call your doctor right away. If you’re having severe symptoms or a medical emergency, call 911 or a local emergency number.
Levetiracetam oral tablet’s serious side effects include:
- loss of coordination, which could lead to problems with driving, speaking, or walking
- mood or behavior changes, such as aggression, depression, irritability, or suicidal thoughts and behaviors
- severe skin reactions, such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis
- severe allergic reaction*
- increased blood pressure†
* For details about this side effect, see the “Warnings for levetiracetam” section below.
† In studies, this side effect was seen in children ages 1 month to 3 years.
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- Call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.
- Text HOME to the Crisis Textline at 741741.
- Not in the United States? Find a helpline in your country with Befrienders Worldwide.
- Call 911 or your local emergency services number if you feel safe to do so.
If you’re calling on behalf of someone else, stay with them until help arrives. You may remove weapons or substances that can cause harm if you can do so safely.
If you are not in the same household, stay on the phone with them until help arrives.
Uses of levetiracetam
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as levetiracetam for certain conditions. Approved uses for levetiracetam oral tablet are described below.
Use for certain kinds of seizures
Doctors may prescribe levetiracetam oral tablet for treating certain kinds of seizures that occur with epilepsy. Specifically, it’s used for:
- focal onset seizures (also known as complex partial-onset seizures) in adults and children ages 1 month and older
- myoclonic seizures in adults and children ages 12 years and older
- primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures (also known as grand mal seizures) in adults and children ages 6 years and older
For these uses, the drug is usually prescribed as a long-term treatment.
With epilepsy, you have unusual electrical activity in your brain that leads to repeated seizures. Symptoms can vary depending on the specific seizure kind you have. Possible symptoms include muscle stiffness, jerking body movements, loss of consciousness, and unusual movements of your head, eyes, or mouth.
For partial-onset seizures, levetiracetam may be prescribed by itself or together with other seizure drugs. For myoclonic seizures and primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures, levetiracetam is prescribed together with other seizure drugs.
Dosage of levetiracetam
The dosage of levetiracetam oral tablet your doctor prescribes may vary based on your condition and certain other factors. Talk with your doctor about the dosage you should take.
Levetiracetam oral tablet is swallowed. It can be taken with or without food.
Your doctor will talk with you about how to take levetiracetam oral tablet. They’ll explain how much to take and how often. Always follow your doctor’s recommendation.
See the “Common questions about levetiracetam” section for information on missed doses and the best time to take this drug.
Overdose of levetiracetam
You should not take more levetiracetam than your doctor prescribes. For some drugs, doing so may lead to serious side effects or overdose.
If you think you’ve taken too much levetiracetam, call your doctor or pharmacist right away. Or you could call 800-222-1222 to speak with someone at America’s Poison Centers. You can also use its online resource. If you have concerning symptoms, call 911 or a local emergency number immediately. You can also go to the closest emergency room.
Common questions about levetiracetam
Below you’ll find answers to a few commonly asked questions about levetiracetam oral tablet.
Does levetiracetam cause long-term side effects?
Yes, in some cases levetiracetam oral tablet may cause long-term side effects. These are problems that last for a while after you’ve stopped taking the drug.
Examples of long-term side effects include severe skin reactions, such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis.
Talk with your doctor to learn more about these side effects and how to best manage them. Ask your doctor for more information about how long these side effects of levetiracetam may last.
How does levetiracetam compare with Keppra?
Levetiracetam oral tablet is a generic version of the brand-name drug Keppra.
Generic drugs are exact copies of the active ingredient in a brand-name medication. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) Generics are considered to be as safe and effective as the original brand-name version. But generics often cost less than the brand-name drug.
To learn more about how generics compare with brand-name drugs, see this article.
If you have other questions about how levetiracetam compares with Keppra, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Is levetiracetam a controlled substance? Will I experience withdrawal when I stop taking the drug?
No, levetiracetam is not a controlled substance. But you may have withdrawal seizures if you suddenly stop taking it. (Withdrawal symptoms are side effects that can occur when you stop taking a drug that your body has become dependent on.)
Controlled substances are drugs that are closely regulated by the federal government. These medications have a risk of misuse. (With misuse, a drug is taken in a way other than how a doctor prescribes it.) Levetiracetam isn’t known to have this risk.
Suddenly stopping treatment with levetiracetam may cause withdrawal seizures. These seizures may be more severe or occur more often than the seizures you were taking the drug to treat. For this reason, it’s important that you do not stop taking levetiracetam without first talking with your doctor.
Your doctor will tell you when it’s safe to stop taking the drug. They will lower your levetiracetam dosage slowly over time. They’ll do this to reduce your risk of withdrawal seizures after stopping the drug. Your doctor can recommend whether you should switch to a different seizure treatment instead.
If you have questions about stopping treatment with levetiracetam, talk with your doctor.
How does levetiracetam work? And how long does it take to start working?
The way levetiracetam works isn’t fully understood. The drug is thought to attach to a certain protein found on the nerve cells in your brain. By attaching to this protein, levetiracetam may help calm the electrical activity in your brain. In doing so, the drug helps treat seizures.
It may take several weeks for levetiracetam to start working. You’ll likely notice that seizures occur less often or are less severe during treatment.
You may also be wondering how long levetiracetam will stay in your system. This can be determined by the drug’s half-life. This is the time it takes your body to get rid of half of a drug’s dose.
Levetiracetam’s half-life is about 7 hours. This means it takes about 7 hours for your body to get rid of half a dose. It usually takes about five half-lives for a drug to leave your system completely.
If you have questions about what to expect with levetiracetam treatment, talk with your doctor.
Is there a best time of day to take levetiracetam? What should I do if I miss a dose of levetiracetam?
No, there isn’t a best time of day to take levetiracetam. You’ll likely take the drug twice per day (about every 12 hours). You can take levetiracetam any time of day.
If you miss a dose of levetiracetam, take it as soon as you remember. But if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one at your usual time. It’s important that you do not take two doses of levetiracetam at once to make up for a missed dose. Doing so can increase your risk of side effects from the drug. (To learn more, see the “Side effects of levetiracetam” section above.)
If you have other questions about taking levetiracetam, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Can levetiracetam tablets be crushed, split, or chewed?
No, levetiracetam oral tablets should not be crushed, split, or chewed. You’ll swallow the tablets whole.
If you have trouble swallowing levetiracetam oral tablets, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also view this article.
Interactions of levetiracetam
Levetiracetam oral tablet isn’t known to interact with any medications or supplements. (Interactions can affect how a drug works.) But this doesn’t mean drug interactions with levetiracetam oral tablet won’t happen or be reported sometime. For instance, medications created at a later time could interact with levetiracetam oral tablet.
Because of this, you should check with your doctor and pharmacist about possible interactions with levetiracetam oral tablet. They can check for any interactions that may affect you, such as those with:
- foods or alcohol
- other drugs
Pregnancy or breastfeeding and levetiracetam
Information about levetiracetam and pregnancy and breastfeeding is described below.
Levetiracetam and pregnancy
It’s not known whether levetiracetam oral tablet should be taken during pregnancy. If you’re planning a pregnancy or can become pregnant, talk with your doctor before taking this medication.
If you become pregnant while taking levetiracetam and your doctor recommends you continue treatment, you can enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry. This registry collects information about how certain drugs, such as levetiracetam, may affect pregnancy.
To learn more, talk with your doctor. You can also visit the registry website or call 888-233-2334.
Levetiracetam and breastfeeding
It’s not known whether levetiracetam oral tablet should be taken while breastfeeding. If you’re currently breastfeeding or planning to do so, talk with your doctor before taking this medication.
Warnings for levetiracetam
Levetiracetam should be taken cautiously by certain people. Precautions for taking this drug are described below.
Levetiracetam could cause harm to people with certain health conditions. This effect is called a drug-condition interaction. Other factors can also affect whether levetiracetam oral tablet is a safe option for you.
Tell your doctor about your overall health and any past health conditions before you take levetiracetam oral tablet. Health conditions and other factors you and your doctor should discuss include:
- depression or another mental health condition, including suicidal thoughts or behaviors
- kidney problems, such as kidney failure
Levetiracetam can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Severe allergic reactions are rare but possible.
If you’ve had an allergic reaction to levetiracetam or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe levetiracetam. They can tell you about medications that are safer options for you.
A mild allergic reaction may cause the following symptoms:
A severe allergic reaction may cause the following symptoms:
- swelling under your skin, usually in your hands, feet, eyelids, or lips
- swelling of your mouth, throat, or tongue, which can cause breathing problems
If you have an allergic reaction to levetiracetam, call your doctor right away. If you have severe symptoms, call 911 or a local emergency number.
You may be able to save money on your prescription for levetiracetam oral tablet by using our Perks discount coupons. These can be found at the end of this article.
If you have questions about how to pay for levetiracetam, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Note: Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with insurance copays or benefits.
What to ask your doctor
This article describes levetiracetam oral tablet’s uses and dosage, ways to save on cost, and more. Let your doctor know if you have questions about levetiracetam or would like more details about it.
Here’s a list of some possible questions you may want to ask your doctor:
- If I am an older adult, will I experience different side effects of levetiracetam?
- Can levetiracetam cause weight gain?
- How should I manage side effects I may have from levetiracetam?
- Food and Drug Administration. (2023). Orange Book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/ob/index.cfm
- Levetiracetam tablets USP, for oral use. (2023). https://nctr-crs.fda.gov/fdalabel/services/spl/set-ids/920dace0-474f-4015-b4d0-6d6764146f41/spl-doc
Disclaimer: Optum Perks has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
- 36 Tablets
Levetiracetam Oral Solution
(lee va tye RA se tam)
Brand Names: US
What is this drug used for?
It is used to treat seizures.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?
If you are allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had. If you have kidney disease or are on dialysis. This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?
Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists. Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how this drug affects you. Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol or use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions. Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor. If seizures are worse or not the same after starting this drug, talk with the doctor. Do not stop taking this drug all of a sudden without calling your doctor. You may have a greater risk of seizures. If you need to stop this drug, you will want to slowly stop it as ordered by your doctor. A very bad reaction called angioedema has happened with this drug. Sometimes, this may be life-threatening. Signs may include swelling of the hands, face, lips, eyes, tongue, or throat; trouble breathing; trouble swallowing; or unusual hoarseness. Get medical help right away if you have any of these signs. If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects. Use with care in children. Talk with the doctor. Children younger than 4 years old will need to have their blood pressure checked often. Talk with the doctor. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby. This drug may not work as well during pregnancy. Talk with the doctor.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect: Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat. Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there). Very bad dizziness or passing out. Change in balance. Trouble walking. Like other drugs that may be used for seizures, this drug may rarely raise the risk of suicidal thoughts or actions. The risk may be higher in people who have had suicidal thoughts or actions in the past. Call the doctor right away about any new or worse signs like depression; feeling nervous, restless, or grouchy; panic attacks; or other changes in mood or behavior. Call the doctor right away if any suicidal thoughts or actions occur. A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes. Low blood cell counts have happened with this drug. If blood cell counts get very low, this can lead to bleeding problems, infections, or anemia. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection like fever, chills, or sore throat; any unexplained bruising or bleeding; or if you feel very tired or weak.
What are some other side effects of this drug?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away: Stomach pain or diarrhea. Feeling dizzy, sleepy, tired, or weak. Nose or throat irritation. Trouble sleeping. Headache. Upset stomach or throwing up. Not hungry. Flu-like signs. These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
How is this drug best taken?
Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely. Take with or without food. Keep taking this drug as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well. Take this drug at the same time of day. Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with this drug. If there is none, ask the pharmacist for a device to measure this drug. Do not use a household teaspoon or tablespoon to measure this drug. Doing so could lead to the dose being too high.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time. Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
How do I store and/or throw out this drug?
Store at room temperature in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom. Protect from heat and light. Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets. Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
General drug facts
If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor. Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs. This drug comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time this drug is refilled. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider. If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.