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Anticonvulsant drugs are traditionally used to treat epilepsy. It is assumed long-term therapy, which can be regarded as a compromise between clinical efficacy, toxicity and cost of treatment. Modern anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) can achieve remission in 65% of cases, reduce the frequency of attacks - 85%.
New AEDs, which is effective in reducing seizure of different genesis is levetiracetam (Keppra), which is still not widely used in neurological practice, though differs from the first generation of AEDs better tolerability and safety of long-term use.
What is Keppra?
Keppra refers to anticonvulsant drugs, manufactured in the form of capsules, syrup, tablets in a special coating.
Keppra - a structural analogue of piracetam, which in its properties is close to optimal pharmacokinetics for AEDs. It is distinguished by high bioavailability after oral administration (90%), the peak concentration is achieved within 1-3 hours. There is not known effect on other drugs, including AEDs in combination therapies. The half-life of the drug - about 8 hours (in the central nervous system - more), making it possible to double the reception. Doses of Keppra may vary from 500 to 5000mg/day (30-40mg/kg/day).
Indications for Keppra use
In medical practice doctors more often prescribe their patients this drug to treat such conditions as:
- Epilepsy with seizures in adults and children over 16 years;
- Epilepsy seizures in adults and children over 4 years, but in combination with other drug therapy;
- Combined therapy of myoclonic seizures in adults and children over 12 years;
- Combined therapy of primary generalized convulsive seizures in adults and adolescents over 12 years.
Contraindications and side effects of the drug Keppra
In order to avoid possible side effects: drowsiness, asthenic syndrome, dizziness, rarely - headache, anorexia, diarrhea, dyspepsia, nausea, ataxia, convulsions, depressive symptoms, dizziness, emotional instability, aggression, insomnia, nervousness, tremor, diplopia, skin rash, which may cause Keppra - ask you doctor or other medical specialist about contraindications and precautions to the drug use. Thus, according to prescription, the medication is contraindicated in:
- Hypersensitivity to levetiracetam or other pyrrolidone derivatives, as well as any components of Keppra;
- Tolerance fructose (solution) disorder;
- Children under 4 years of age (safety and efficacy not established);
- Elderly patients (over 65 years);
- Severe liver problems;
- Renal failure.
Only after consultation with a neurologist and under his control, you can take Keppra in such conditions: violation of the bone marrow (thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, anemia), organic brain disorders, diseases of the pancreas and liver, hypoproteinemia, disrupting production of enzymes, pregnancy, disruption of kidney, impaired mental performance in children.
Clinical studies of Keppra
There are several studies on the positive impact of Keppra on cognitive function in patients with epilepsy. Thus, in one of them were evaluated the speed of speech and attention in patients with partial epilepsy therapy before Keppra (as adjunctive therapy) and 7 weeks after its application. Also, other patients in control group, receiving other anti-epileptic drugs, examined on neuropsychological testing with the same time interval. The results showed significant improvements in attention and speed of speech in the study group, compared with the control group.
Of course, Keppra seems to be very promising AEDs , which can be widely used in monotherapy of epilepsy. Therefore, all the world is looking forward of the removal of age restrictions on the use of this drug.
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