Keppra (levetiracetam) is a newer medication that can be utilized for dealing with seizures in dogs and felines. Seizures and epilepsy are typically diagnosed conditions in the dog and can occur in the feline also. Medications generally used to deal with seizures and epilepsy consist of phenobarbital and potassium bromide.
Nevertheless, in some family pets, these medications alone might not always correctly control seizures. Besides, some animals are not able to tolerate phenobarbital or potassium bromide well, or the animal owner might merely wish to avoid the possible side effects associated with them. In these instances, an alternative anticonvulsant medication may be needed, and Keppra (levetiracetam) might be a good choice.
Keppra (Levetiracetam) for Seizures in Dogs and Cats
Keppra can be utilized by itself as an anticonvulsant medication. It uses in combination with phenobarbital and/or potassium bromide. Less of those other medications might be needed when utilizing Keppra, which can decrease the side effects they may trigger.
Keppra is available in different does, including 500-milligram and 750-milligram extended-release tablets. It does require to be dosed more regularly than other anticonvulsant medications. Often, the medication should be offered three times daily, or the extended-release tablets provided twice a day. This is since it is quickly broken down in the body, with an elimination half-life in between 4 and 6 hours. It likewise has a broad margin of safety, so overdoses are less likely. It does not require monitoring of blood levels.
Levetiracetam appears to be relatively safe for both dogs and cats, but research studies are continuing to examine any unfavorable impacts it might have. It does not seem to affect the liver or liver enzymes (measured in the blood) as phenobarbital and potassium bromide can. It is not broken down by the liver however instead enters the urine. This is why it is safer for family pets who might have impaired liver function, consisting of those whose seizures are due to liver damage from other medications such as phenobarbital.
Potential Side Effects of Levetiracetam in Dogs
A lot of dogs appear to tolerate levetiracetam rather well. In dogs, side effects which may be seen are drowsiness, changes in habits, and intestinal symptoms such as throwing up or diarrhea. In felines, a decrease in cravings can happen.
Extended-release tablets (such as levetiracetam 500 mg) should be provided undamaged, not split or crushed, or too much of the medication will be released at once. If your pet is likely to chew them, it is better to use the conventional formulation rather than the extended-release formulation.
It is essential to remember that levetiracetam has been used to date only in a minimal variety of animals and less is learned about the impacts in cats than in dogs.
As with any other anticonvulsant medication, levetiracetam never needs ever to be stopped suddenly. Doing so might place your animal at a threat of dangerous seizure activity.
How Levetiracetam Is Provided
Levetiracetam is readily available in the following formulations:
- Oral tablets in 250 mg, 500 mg, 750 mg and 1000 mg.
- Extended-release oral tablets of 500 mg and 750 g sizes. (Keppra XR ®).
- Oral options are readily available in 100 mg/mL in 473 ml, 480 l and 500 ml (Keppra ®).
- Injectable concentrate in 100 mg/mL in 5 mL single-use vials (Keppra ®).
- Levetiracetam is also offered in a generic formula.
- Medication must never be administered without first consulting your vet.
- In dogs, Levetiracetam is frequently begun at 5 to 10 mg per pound (10 to 20 mg/kg) three times day-to-day (every 8 hours). Higher dosages are often required for first aid of active seizures consisting of dosages up to 20 mg/kg.
- Increases in dose might be needed to manage seizures.
- Levetiracetam can be provided with food.
- Healing blood tracking is not regularly advised. When performed, the recommended restorative variety is 5-45 µg/ mL based upon limited data. When suggested to adjust the dose, it is usually done one week after startingLevetiracetam then every 6 to 12 months.
- The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, reaction to the medication and the development of any negative effects. Be specific to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your vet. Even if your family pet feels much better, the whole treatment plan must be completed to avoid regression or prevent the development of resistance.