Levetiracetam, also known by the brand name Keppra, is an anti-seizure medication utilized by veterinarians to treat animals suffering from seizure disorders. While its exact mechanism of action is unknown, levetiracetam is a popular choice because the kidneys do not metabolize it, which makes it safe for use in patients suffering from pre-existing liver or kidney disease.
Possible Side Effects of Levetiracetam
As with all medications, there is a risk of the patient experiencing certain side effects when taking levetiracetam, although the prevalence of side effects is rare. The most common side effects associated with this drug are drowsiness and loss of appetite which are most commonly experienced in cats.
Possible Drug Interactions
Levetiracetam is commonly used in tandem with other anti-seizure medications because it allows the dosage of the other drugs to be decreased. It is important to notify the veterinarian of the patient’s complete current drug regimen prior to starting treatment with levetiracetam. Use with long-term phenobarbital therapy may decrease the half-life and increase the clearance of levetiracetam.
If the patient experience difficulty breathing, hives, skin rash or swelling of the tongue, face or lips, an allergic reaction may be the cause. In this event, contact the veterinarian immediately.
While levetiracetam is not metabolized by the kidneys, the dosage may need to be reduced in patients with pre-existing kidney disease.
How is Levetiracetam supplied?
Levetiracetam is available in manufactured oral tablet and solution formulations as well as weight-based dosages through a specialized veterinary compounding pharmacy. A prescription from a veterinarian is required in order to obtain this medication.
Missing a dose of Levetiracetam
If you miss a dose of levetiracetam, administer it as soon as you remember. If it is too close in time to the next scheduled dose, skip that dose and continue on the next scheduled dose. Do not give two doses of this medication together in an effort to make up for a missed dose.