Levetiracetam is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat epilepsy (also known as fits or seizures) in adults and children.
Take Levetiracetam exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take this medicine with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Levetiracetam is available as a conventional tablet, dispersible tablet for oral suspension, extended-release tablet, coated granules in a sachet or oral solution.
If you are taking the conventional tablet, swallow it whole with a glass of water. Do not chew or crush it.
If you are taking the dispersible tablet for oral suspension, place it directly on the tongue with a dry hand then take a sip of water. Swallow the tablet only after it disintegrates. Alternatively, you may add the tablet in a small amount of water (1 tablespoon or at least enough to cover the tablet), let it sit and allow the tablet to disperse completely before taking the entire contents immediately. You may resuspend any residue by adding another small amount of water before swallowing to make sure that you get your complete dose.
If you are taking the extended-release type of tablet (usually labelled as "XR"), swallow it whole. Do not divide, chew or crush the tablet.
If you are taking the coated granules in sachet, pour the contents of the sachet into your mouth and swallow the granules with a sufficient amount of water. Alternatively for those who are on a feeding tube, you may empty the contents of the sachet into a glass. Add at least 10 mL of water. Stir for a minimum of 2 minutes to disperse the granules evenly in the water. The suspension is administered by using a feeding tube that should be rinsed twice with 10 mL of water after each dose.
If you are have been given the oral solution, use the graduated oral syringe supplied with each bottle to measure your dose. Refer to the package insert for directions on how the oral syringe should be used. You may mix the oral solution in a glass of water before taking this medicine.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on your condition and response to the medication.
Levetiracetam must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it suddenly as this may worsen your condition.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Do not take Levetiracetam if you ever had an allergic reaction (e.g. rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to this medicine or any of its ingredients.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- heart problem e.g. heart rhythm disorder
- electrolyte disturbances (imbalance of essential minerals in the body)
- kidney disease
- severe liver disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. Your treatment with Levetiracetam must be reassessed by the doctor.
Inform your doctor if you are breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Levetiracetam to a child. Children may be more sensitive to the side effects.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Your doctor may need to perform blood tests to check your kidney function before being treated with this medicine, especially if you have severe liver disease.
- Regular monitoring for signs of depression, suicidal thoughts, unusual mood or behavioural changes and allergic skin reactions may also be needed.
Levetiracetam may cause drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness and difficulty in coordinating movements. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, dizziness with sensations of spinning, cough, common cold, sore throat, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, indigestion, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, neck pain, and involuntary shaking of the hands or legs.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes, mouth or throat
- swelling in legs, ankles or feet, decreased urine output, weakness
- frequent or persistent sore throat with fever, unusual bleeding or bruising
- worsened or more frequent fits or seizures
- rapid or irregular heartbeat with shortness of breath, chest pain
- having thoughts of self-harm
- unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being too depressed, agitated, or having compulsive and impulsive behaviour)
- rashes with peeling of the skin or blistering of the lips, mouth or eyes accompanied by fever
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- methotrexate (medicine used for cancer)
- macrogol (medicine for constipation)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Levetiracetam.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.