The following provides information on contraindications to the use of levetiracetam in general, pregnancy, breastfeeding and children. Please note that the contraindications may vary depending on the dosage form of a drug (eg tablet, syringe, ointment).
When should Levetiracetam not be used?
The active substance should not be used in case of hypersensitivity to levetiracetam or chemically related active substances (so-called pyrrolidone derivatives).
Diminished renal or hepatic function requires special medical attention and dose adjustment by the physician in cases of renal impairment.
What should you watch out for during pregnancy and lactation?
Levetiracetam should be used during pregnancy only after careful consideration of the risks and benefits of the physician. As animal experiments show, Levetiracetam leads to malformations of the unborn child. On the other hand, epileptic seizures occurring during pregnancy can also severely damage the unborn child due to lack of oxygen.
Levetiracetam passes into the milk. Since the effects on the baby are insufficient and therefore neonatal damage can not be excluded, the active substance should not be taken during breast-feeding.
What should be considered in children?
Infants over one month of age and children weighing up to 20 kilograms should only be treated with Levetiracetam in the form of a solution. The prerequisite is that the active substance is used exclusively in combination with other antiepileptic drugs.
Children over 4 years old may receive Levetiracetam infusions in addition to other epilepsy remedies.
Children and adolescents over 50 kilograms of body weight can be treated with levetiracetam, just like adults, but individual therapy with the active substance is only permitted from the age of 16 years.
Warnings and Precautions
- Use in patients with impaired renal function may
require dose adjustment by the doctor.
- The medication should not be stopped suddenly, but the dose should be gradually reduced over a period of two weeks.
- Apparently taking the drug increases suicidal tendencies, so patients should be monitored carefully by the doctor and family members.
- Responsiveness may be limited to the extent that driving or operating machinery is affected. This applies in particular to simultaneous consumption of alcohol.
Sometimes medications release allergic reactions.
If you notice any signs of allergic reaction, tell your doctor or pharmacist immediately.