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Levetiracetam

Levetiracetam by Actavis

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Some cats and dogs with epilepsy can benefit from the anticonvulsant Levetiracetam, which can be combined with other medications to control seizures.

  • Helps control seizures due to epilepsy and hepatic encephalopathy
  • For cats and dogs
  • May be combined with other seizure medications
  • Small tablets can be inserted into pill pockets

Epilepsy causes seizures in dogs and cats that can be difficult to control. In many cases, a single medication is not enough to control the condition. If that’s the case for your pet, your veterinarian may prescribe Levetiracetam. This anticonvulsant is often used as an add-on medication to other seizure control prescriptions. Levetiracetam works in combination with phenobarbital and bromides to help treat epilepsy and give your pet a better quality of life. Levetiracetam is also prescribed to control seizures associated with hepatic encephalopathy.

What you should know about Levetiracetam:

  • Talk to your veterinarian before using this product.
  • Follow dosing directions exactly - don’t give your pet more medication than directed and don’t skip doses.
  • Read the label carefully for information about storage, possible side effects, and drug interactions.
     

Levetiracetam Tablets USP

Storage
Store levetiracetam tablets at 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F); excursions permitted to 15° to 30°C (59° to 86°F) away from heat and light.
Keep levetiracetam tablets and all medicines out of the reach of children.  

Uses
Levetiracetam is used as an add on drug for dogs and cats whose seizures are not adequately controlled by phenobarbital or the bromides; as many as 60-70% of dogs and cats with epilepsy are not controlled adequately by these medications. Levetiracetam also may be useful to treat seizures due to hepatic encephalopathy or cases of phenobarbital induced liver damage. The addition of levetiracetam may permit a lower dose of phenobarbital without an increase in seizure frequency.

This is a relatively new drug in veterinary medicine and there is little long-term information available. There are indications that some animals may develop a "tolerance" to levetiracetam and, after the initial honeymoon, the seizure frequency may rebound. Although it has a relatively short half-life in dogs and cats, the pharmacodynamic effect is thought to exceed the half-life. Most authors recommend dosing every eight hours.

Dose and Administration
Take levetiracetam tablets exactly as prescribed.

  • Your healthcare provider will tell you how much levetiracetam tablets to take and when to take it.  Take levetiracetam tablets at the same times each day.
  • Your healthcare provider may change your dose. Do not change your dose without talking to your healthcare provider.
  • Take levetiracetam tablets with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose of levetiracetam tablets, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, just skip the missed dose. Take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Possbile Side Effects

Based on experience in human medicine, levetiracetam generally is well tolerated. The most likely side effects include changes in behavior, drowsiness and GI upset. In studies performed with children, the behavior changes included hyperactivity, somnolence and aggression.

Precautions

  • Levetiracetam has been shown to cause increased embryonal and fetal losses in laboratory animals. It should be used during pregnancy only when the benefits outweigh the possible risks.
  • Levetiracetam should be used with caution in animals with decreased kidney function. Adjustments in dose and dose frequency may be necessary.
  • When discontinuing use of levetiracetam, a gradual withdrawal is recommended to guard against the possibility of withdrawal seizures.

Drug Interactions

No drug interactions were found in humans or dogs in the literature.
 

 

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