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What is Keppra?
An anticonvulsant drug Keppra is a fairly new drug. Given that Keppra has a wide range of effects, this drug is advised to be used in the treatment of all types of epilepsy. Since the seizures themselves cannot be cured, the medications prescribed are designed to reduce the frequency of seizures and make their course easier.
What is Levetiracetam?
The active substance of Keppra is Levetiracetam. The mechanism of its action, as well as its structure, are significantly different from those of other antiepileptic drugs. When it is used, the stabilization of nerve cell membranes is achieved. In the region of synapses of the brain, this substance binds to a special protein (glycoprotein), inhibits the release of calcium, prevents the decrease in the concentration of gamma-aminobutyric acid, that is, it inhibits the processes that usually lead to the development of convulsive seizures.
Common medical uses of Keppra
As a monotherapy (the first-line drug) for the treatment of: – partial seizures with secondary generalization or without it in adults and adolescents over 16 years with a newly diagnosed epilepsy. As a complementary therapy for the treatment of: – partial seizures with secondary generalization or without it in adults and children over 6 years with epilepsy; – Myoclonic seizures in adults and adolescents over 12 years with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy; – Primary generalized convulsive (tonic-clonic) seizures in adults and adolescents over 12 years with idiopathic generalized epilepsy Keppra should not be used in the case of hypersensitivity to levetiracetam or other pyrrolidone derivatives as well as to any components of the drug.
The most common side effects of Keppra include drowsiness, asthenia, dizziness, rarely – a headache, decreased appetite, diarrhea, dyspepsia, nausea, ataxia, convulsions, depressive syndrome, emotional lability, aggressiveness, insomnia, nervousness, diplopia, tremor, and skin rash. The detailed info about possible adverse reactions caused by this drug can be found on our page “Adverse Effects”
How to take Keppra?
Keppra is taken orally, washing down with enough liquid, regardless of food intake, 2 times a day. The initial dose of Keppra for adults and adolescents over 16 years is 500 mg 2 times a day from the first day of treatment. Depending on the clinical response and tolerability, the daily dose can be increased up to 1500 mg 2 times a day (an increase in the dose of 500 mg is possible every 2-4 weeks). An individual selection of the dose of the drug is advised for elderly persons and patients with chronic kidney disease.