What Is Keppra?


Quick Answer

Keppra, also known as levetiracetam, is an anticonvulsant, anti-epileptic drug, according to Drugs.com. Keppra is used to treat partial onset seizures in adults and children. Additionally, it is shown to decrease the number of seizures in patients.

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Full Answer

Keppra is used effectively in the treatment of tonic-clonic and myoclonic seizures, according to Drugs.com. Tonic-clonic seizures were once referred to as grand mal seizures. These seizures usually display a period of stiffening and loss of consciousness, or the tonic stage, followed by jerking and spasms of the clonic stage, notes Stanford School of Medicine. Myoclonic seizures are defined as brief moments of muscular jerking or spasms.

Potential side effects of Keppra include drowsiness, weakness and dizziness. These side effects are usually experienced during the first four weeks of using the medication and commonly lessen after the initial adjustment period, according to WebMD. Additional side effects include loss of coordination, change of mental status and mood swings. These mood swings may cause depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts or behaviors and aggression. In some cases a rash may develop, which is usually not serious; however, WebMD recommends patients consult a doctor if a rash develops, as it may be indicative of a more serious acute allergic reaction to Keppra.

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