Keppra (levetiracetam) is a type of anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug. This medication comes in both extended release and immediate release forms. The main reason a doctor would prescribe Keppra is for treating seizures in children and adults. The are various forms of epilepsy that this medication can treat. Keppra comes in varying dosages as well. Different doses are prescribed to treat different severity levels in epilepsy. Most of the time Keppra is prescribed orally and taken in the form of pills.
Many people don’t quite understand how Keppra affects the user. This is a medication that slows down the release of calcium in the neurons. By doing this, the medication affects how the neurons fire throughout the body’s central nervous system. The uncontrollable firing of the neurons in epilepsy is what leads to seizures. Due to this medication slowing down the firing of the neurons, it can be quite effective in treating and reducing the seizures.
Someone needs to have a prescription if they are going to get Keppra. However, being that this medication isn’t on the controlled substances list in the United States, it can’t be monitoring through the DEA. This means people often sell and buy this medication on the streets and online.
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Known Side Effects and Symptoms of Keppra Use
Just like all other drugs, Keppra does have some known side effects. Some of these side effects include the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Reduced energy
- Motor coordination issues
- Mood swings
There are some psychological or emotional symptoms that may arise with the use of Keppra. While these symptoms are rarer than those mentioned above, they should still be mentioned. These symptoms include the following:
- Extreme changes in emotional state
- Suicidal thoughts
If you experience any of these psychological or emotional symptoms while taking Keppra, be sure to seek medical attention or talk to your doctor right away.
Abuse of Keppra
While anticonvulsant medications are not the most commonly abused drugs, they can still be abused. Most people take Keppra to manage and treat seizures. However, some people who are on this medication may develop a substance abuse disorder. Some people have mixed Keppra or other anticonvulsant medications with different drugs to increase sedation. Some people have taken Keppra while drinking alcohol. This enhances some side effects of both the Keppra and alcohol.
There is not one specific treatment for abuse of Keppra since this medication isn’t on the controlled substances list. Most major organizations, such as the DEA or NIDA, aren’t even concerned about this drug being abused. If someone needs or wants to stop using Keppra, they should have it approved by their doctor first. It should be the doctor who gave them the prescription. Discontinuing the medication, without proper medical approval and care, could result in seizures reoccurring.
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If someone is using Keppra, but they don’t have a diagnosed seizure disorder, they may need treatment for a substance abuse disorder or an addiction. There are drug treatment programs available in these cases.
There are many drugs which can be abused. Most drugs come with a range of side effects and symptoms of use. Keppra can be used to effectively manage and treat seizures. While Keppra is not one of the drugs that is most commonly abused, it can still be abused. If you have been abusing this drug or have been using it without a prescription, talk with a treatment center immediately. You can get medical care to help you discontinue use of this medication safely.
Want more information about how Chapters Capistrano can help? Feel free to call 949-371-4198 and one of our addiction specialists will help get the information and help you need.