Side Effects of Levetiracetam (Keppra)
Levetiracetam, available under the brand Keppra, is used as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of myoclonic seizures in adults and adolescents 12 years of age and older, partial onset seizures in adults and children 4 years of age and older with epilepsy, and primary tonic-clonic seizures in adults and children 6 years of age and older.
Keppra and Risk of Suicide
According to the FDA, Keppra like other antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), increases the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in patients taking these drugs. Patients treated with Keppra for any indication should be monitored for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in mood or behavior.
Serious Side Effects
The Keppra label reported by the FDA listed the severe side effects:
- Coordination difficulties
- Behavioral abnormalities (psychotic symptoms, suicide ideation, and other abnormalities)
Common Side Effects
The most common adverse reactions reported by the FDA are somnolence (sleepiness) and irritability.
About Pharmacogenetic Testing
The study of pharmacogenetics emerged from the sequencing of the human genome. Pharmacogenetic testing reveals if the drug metabolism genes have gene variations that affect more or less enzyme activity. This demonstrates if a patient is more prone to develop adverse reactions or not processing the medicine effectively.
Know Your Risk with the Rxight® Genetic Test
The Rxight® test helps you identify if you are prone to side effects by analyzing your genes. With this gene analysis, you will see the genes responsible for encoding the enzymes that metabolize medications. The Rxight® test assists your healthcare provider in tailoring a treatment plan with medicines that are effective for you and do not cause severe side effects.
Contributors to this Article:
Michael Sapko, MD, PhD; and Deborah Kallick, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry
Read more about Rxight® : What is PGx Testing?