Most levetiracetam side effects are mild and do not pose any significant health risks, although any persistent or bothersome symptoms that develop after taking this medication should be discussed with a doctor for further medical evaluation. Some of the most commonly reported levetiracetam side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, and fatigue. Additional symptoms may include sore throat, irritability, or muscle weakness. In some cases, more serious side effects, such as behavior changes, seizures, or the development of an allergic reaction, may occur. Any specific questions or concerns about potential levetiracetam side effects on an individual basis should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.
Caution should be taken when performing any activities that require intense focus or concentration if levetiracetam side effects such as dizziness or drowsiness are present. Most of the side effects of this medication diminish or disappear within a few days or weeks as the body adjusts to the drug. Any symptoms that become severe enough to affect normal daily functioning should be reported to a doctor. In some cases, the dosage may need to be adjusted, or a different medication may need to be used.
Mild behavioral changes, such as irritability, are relatively common while taking this medication. More severe changes, such as intense mood swings, aggressive behavior, or an inclination toward self-harm, should be reported to a medical professional immediately. These are severe side effects that usually go away after the medication has been discontinued, although close medical supervision is crucial.
While levetiracetam is typically used to treat certain types of seizure disorders, some patients may experience an increase in seizure activity when taking this medication. Flu-like symptoms, such as sore throat, runny nose, or muscle pain, may develop. The presence of any of these symptoms may indicate the development of serious complications and should be reported to a doctor.
A severe type of allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis may occur when taking levetiracetam, even if the medication has been well tolerated in the past. Symptoms may include itching, facial swelling, or difficulty breathing. These symptoms constitute a medical emergency, as permanent brain damage or death may occur within a matter of minutes if immediate medical assistance is not obtained. In the more severe cases, the patient may need to be hospitalized and connected to special machines that help to regulate breathing and heartbeat until the patient's health is stabilized.