Sounds like 'lev-ee-tye-ra-se-tam', also known as Keppra or Everet

Key points about levetiracetam

  • Levetiracetam is used to treat epilepsy by preventing seizures.
  • Levetiracetam is also called Keppra or Everet.
  • Find out how to take it safely and possible side effects. 
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Levetiracetam is used to treat epilepsy by preventing seizures. It works by controlling the neurotransmitters (chemicals) in your brain to prevent seizures. Levetiracetam may be used alone, or in combination with other medicines.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, levetiracetam is available in different strength tablets (250 mg, 500 mg, 750 mg and 1 gram) and as a liquid syrup. It also comes as an injection which may be used in hospital or for people who can't take tablets or the liquid. 

  • The dose of levetiracetam will be different for different people.
  • Your doctor will usually start you on a low dose and increase it slowly over a few weeks.
  • Levetiracetam is usually taken twice a day but sometimes when starting levetiracetam it may be taken once a day for a week
  • Always take your levetiracetam exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.

  • Swallow your tablets with a glass of water, milk or juice: Don't chew the tablets.
  • If swallowing the tablets is a problem, ask your pharmacist about using the liquid syrup. Alternatively, you can crush the tablets and mix ithem with about 2 tablespoons of fruit juice or soft food (eg, yoghurt, honey or jam). Swallow all of the food or drink straight away. Note: the crushed tablets may have an unpleasant taste.
  • Timing: Take your dose at the same times each day, to help you to remember to take it. Levetiracetam is usually taken 2 times a day, in the morning and the evening. If you're taking levetiracetam once a day, it can be taken in the morning or evening. You can take levetiracetam with or without food.
  • Missed dose: If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember if it's within 4 hours of when your dose was due. But if more than 4 hours have passed since when the dose was due, just take the next dose at the right time. Don't take double the dose.
  • Keep taking levetiracetam every day:  See tips to help you remember to take your medicines regularly. It may take a few weeks before you notice the full benefits of levetiracetam. Don't stop taking levetiracetam suddenly; talk to your doctor or nurse before stopping.

Here are some things to know when you're taking levetiracetam. Other things may be important as well, so ask your healthcare provider what you need to know.

  • Levetiracetam may cause dizziness or drowsiness: This is more likely when you first start taking levetiracetam or when your dose is increased. Don't drive or operate machinery until you know how this medicine affects you. Children shouldn't ride a bike, climb trees or do anything else that could be dangerous if they're feeling drowsy or sleepy.
  • Other medicines: Levetiracetam may interact with some other medicines and herbal supplements, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting levetiracetam and before starting any new medicines or products.
  • Keep taking levetiracetam every day: It may take a few weeks before you notice the full benefits of levetiracetam. Don't stop taking levetiracetam suddenly; talk to your doctor or nurse before stopping. See tips to help you remember to take your medicines regularly

If you are planning a pregnancy

Like all medicines, levetiracetam can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Feeling sleepy, drowsy or tired
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Be careful when driving or using tools until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Limit or avoid alcohol.
  • Tell your doctor if these bother you. 
  • Headache
  • Tell your doctor if it bothers you.
  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • Stomach upset
  • Try taking levetiracetam with food.
  • Tell your doctor if tit bothers you.
  • Suicidal thoughts, anxiety, depression 
  • Tell your doctor.
  • Signs of an allergic reactions such as skin rash, itches, hives
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring Healthline 0800 611 116.

Read more about medicines and side effects and reporting a reaction you think might be a side effect

Keppra(external link) Medsafe Consumer Information sheet
For children: levetiracetam(external link) New Zealand Formulary for Children


  1. Levetiracetam(external link) New Zealand Formulary Patient Information
  2. Levetiracetam(external link) New Zealand Formulary for Children
  3. Keppra(external link) Medsafe Data sheet
  4. Everet(external link) Medsafe Data sheet

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Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist, Healthify He Puna Waiora. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.

Reviewed by: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland

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