Medication Monday: Levetiracetam
It’s Medication Monday! 💊 Today I’m talking about levetiracetam, an anticonvulsant.
Is it safe when lactating? 👍🏻
Is it safe when pregnant? 👍🏻🤷🏻♀️
Is it safe for baby? 👍🏻
Is is safe for SUPPLY? 👍🏻🤷🏻♀️
Levetiracetam (brand name is Keppra) is an anticonvulsant. It is used to prevent seizures.
It is not know exactly how levetiracetam works to prevent seizures. It is thought to work by inhibiting certain channels and altering neurotransmitter release to reduce and prevent seizure activity.
Levetiracetam is available in immediate and extended release formulations. The immediate release formulation peaks within an hour of administration, and the extended release formulation peaks within 4 hours of administration. The half-life for both formulations is about 7 hours.
Levetiracetam can be used during pregnancy. The state of pregnancy can change levetiracetam levels and doses may need to be adjusted. It has not been well studied in pregnancy, and both animal studies and case reports have demonstrated the potential for fetal growth restrictions and malformations. Studies have not been large enough to determine if there is an increased risk for any specific birth defect. In general, it is recommended to use as few anticonvulsants as necessary and at the lowest doses needed to prevent seizures. The risk of seizures is greater than the risk of anticonvulsant medications, because seizures can be harmful to both the pregnant individual and the fetus.
Levetiracetam can be used safely in lactation. It has a relative infant dose of 3.4% to 7.8%. Studies have shown that levels in all infants drop significantly after birth, demonstrating that levetiracetam transfers more during pregnancy than lactation. No adverse effects in breastfed infants have been reported per Infant Risk and LactMed. One small study suggested levetiracetam may decrease milk supply.
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