Keppra XR

Keppra XR treats certain types of seizures. Call your doctor if you have any changes in behavior such as aggression, anger, anxiety, mood swings, depression, irritability, or hallucinations.

Keppra XR Overview

Reviewed: December 30, 2014
Updated: 

Keppra XR is a prescription medication used to treat partial onset seizures in patients ≥ 12 years of age with epilepsy. Keppra XR belongs to a group of drugs called anticonvulsants, which may work by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain.

Keppra XR comes an extended-release tablet and is taken once a day, with or without food. Swallow Keppra XR tablets whole. Do not chew, divide, or break Keppra XR tablets.

Common side effects of Keppra XR include drowsiness and irritability. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Keppra XR affects you.

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Keppra XR Cautionary Labels

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Uses of Keppra XR

Keppra XR is a prescription medicine taken by mouth that is used with other medicines to treat partial onset seizures in patients ≥ 12 years of age with epilepsy.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Manufacturer

Side Effects of Keppra XR

The most common side effects seen in people who take Keppra XR include:

  • sleepiness
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • infection such as influenza
  • nausea
  • irritability
  • hostility

These side effects can happen at any time but happen more often within the first 4 weeks of treatment except for infection.

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Keppra XR Interactions

No Keppra XR drug interactions have been identified. However, you should tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all drug interactions are known or reported and new drug interactions are continually being reported.

 

Keppra XR Precautions

Like other antiepileptic drugs, Keppra XR may cause suicidal thoughts or actions in a very small number of people, about 1 in 500 people taking it.

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you:

  • thoughts about suicide or dying
  • attempts to commit suicide
  • new or worse depression
  • new or worse anxiety
  • feeling agitated or restless
  • panic attacks
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • new or worse irritability
  • acting aggressive, being angry, or violent
  • acting on dangerous impulses
  • an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania)
  • other unusual changes in behavior or mood

How can I watch for early symptoms of suicidal thoughts and actions?

  • Pay attention to any changes, especially sudden changes, in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings.
  • Keep all follow-up visits with your healthcare provider as scheduled.
  • Call your doctor between visits as needed, especially if you are worried about symptoms.

Do not stop Keppra XR without first talking to your doctor.

  • Stopping Keppra XR suddenly can cause serious problems. Stopping a seizure medicine suddenly can cause seizures that will not stop (status epilepticus).
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions can be caused by things other than medicines. If you have suicidal thoughts or actions, your healthcare provider may check for other causes.

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms:

  • mood and behavior changes such as aggression, agitation, anger, anxiety, apathy, mood swings, depression, hostility, and irritability. A few people may get psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are really not there), delusions (false or strange thoughts or beliefs) and unusual behavior.
  • extreme sleepiness, tiredness, and weakness
  • problems with muscle coordination (problems walking and moving)
  • a skin rash. Serious skin rashes can happen after you start taking Keppra XR. There is no way to tell if a mild rash will become a serious reaction.

Keppra XR may make you drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how Keppra XR will affect you.

Keppra XR Food Interactions

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Keppra XR there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving Keppra XR.

Inform MD

Before taking Keppra XR, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have or have had depression, mood problems or suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • have kidney problems
  • are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. It is not known if Keppra XR will harm your unborn baby. 
  • are breastfeeding. Keppra XR can pass into your milk and may harm your baby. 

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Do not start a new medicine without first talking with your doctor.

Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your doctor and pharmacist each time you get a new medicine.

 

Keppra XR and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. 

It is not known if Keppra XR will harm your unborn baby. You and your doctor will have to decide if you should take Keppra XR while you are pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking Keppra XR, talk to your doctor about registering with the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry. You can enroll in this registry by calling 1-888-233-2334. You can also enroll in the UCB AED Pregnancy Registry by calling 1-888-537-7734. The purpose of these registries is to collect information about the safety of Keppra XR and other antiepileptic medicine during pregnancy.

Keppra XR and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed. Keppra XR can pass into your milk and may harm your baby. You and your healthcare provider should discuss whether you should take Keppra XR or breast-feed; you should not do both.

Keppra XR Usage

Take Keppra XR exactly as prescribed.

  • Your doctor will tell you how much Keppra XR to take and when to take it.
  • Keppra XR comes an extended-release tablet and is taken once a day, with or without food.
  • Swallow Keppra XR tablets whole. Do not chew, divide, or break Keppra XR tablets.
  • Take Keppra XR at the same times each day.
  • Your doctor may change your dose. Do not change your dose without talking to your doctor.
  • Take Keppra XR with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose of Keppra XR, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, just skip the missed dose. Take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Keppra XR Dosage

Take Keppra XR exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. Your doctor will determine the best dose for you.

The recommended starting dose of Keppra XR, for the treatment of partial onset seizures in patients ≥ 12 years of age with epilepsy, is 1000 mg once daily. The dosage may be adjusted in increments of 1000 mg every 2 weeks, to a maximum recommended dose of 3000 mg once daily.

Dose changes may be made depending on degree of kidney dysfunction.

Keppra XR Overdose

If you take too much Keppra XR (more than the prescribed amount), call your local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention right away.

Other Requirements

  • Store Keppra XR at room temperature, 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C) away from heat and light.
  • Keep Keppra XR and all medicines out of the reach of children.