Levetiracetam, also known as 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 diseases.

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 serious 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. While there are no serious drug contraindications on record, It is still 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 experiences 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.

Levetiracetam Precautions

While levetiracetam is not metabolized by the kidneys, the dosage of this medication may need to be reduced in patients with pre-existing kidney disease.

How Is Levetiracetam Supplied?

Levetiracetam is only available in manufactured an 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, you will need to restart the administration schedule with the next dose. Do not give two doses of this medication together in an effort to make up for a missed dose.