Does Keppra make you sleepy?

Does Keppra make you sleepy?

What would you do when you face a person having seizures in front of your eyes? Panicked? Yes you might be as we are human and it is our nature to feel this way especially for the first time. However, what should you really do? What you can and should do is to make sure they are safe by cushioning their head from the hard ground and keeping airway, making sure their surroundings are clear of possible danger and to stay with them until they are awake and alert. Definitely call for medical assistance if seizures last more than 5 minutes or the person does not regain consciousness. From here on, we will be learning about a drug used to treat those with seizures known as Keppra 500 mg.

Keppra contains levetiracetam as its active ingredients. It is grouped as an antiepileptic/anticonvulsant drug used to treat seizures.  This drug helps to lower the number of seizures. Keep in mind that there are many kinds of seizures that could occur in an epilepsy. Keppra helps to control certain types of seizures. You may be confused with the terms “seizures” and “epilepsy”. Seizures are a single occurrence whereas epilepsy is a condition of the brain of at least 2 or more unprovoked seizures. A person with seizures may have epilepsy but a person with epilepsy certainly has seizures. It is worth noting that seizures may happen due to non-neurological reasons outside the brain such as low blood sugar level and heart conditions.

Keppra needs to be taken according to the doctor’s instructions. It needs to be swallowed as a whole with sufficient quantity of liquid (as simple as a glass of water), with or without food. Never crush or chew the tablet because by doing so may affect the effectiveness of the drug to work inside the body system. Plus, this medicine tastes bitter so you might want to skip that part by taking it as a whole and reducing chances of tasting the unpleasant sensation. Typically, it is recommended to take twice daily. It is best to take it regularly at the same time everyday. The dose of the medicine may be gradually increased over time by your doctor to help reach the effective dose. Do consult with your healthcare provider if you are unsure or unconfident to take a bigger dose.

Just as with other medicines, Keppra does pose possible side effects to those taking it. One of the common questions of this drug makes you sleepy, well yes it does. This is the common side effect of Keppra especially in the first 4 weeks. Fortunately, this side effect will go away as the body adjusts to this drug. Other side effects include fatigue, itchy throat, stuffy nose, headaches, feeling irritable and feeling sick. If side effects persist or get worse, do let your doctor know about this. Never stop taking medicine on your own without discussing with your doctor. They may provide alternatives or advice to help reduce the side effects. However, if serious side effect such as worsening seizures, aggressive behaviour, serious mental changes such as sleepiness and abnormal behaviour or severe mood changes especially suicidal thoughts or attempts, please go to emergency department immediately and get medical advice.

In essence, Keppra is a drug used to treat epilepsy. It does make you sleepy and drowsy. Thus, you should not be working with machines or driving by yourself when taking this medicine. It is common to feel tired and drowsy for the first 4 weeks of taking Keppra but should these persist, it should be addressed to your doctor.  In order to treat Keppra, you need to be disciplined and with perseverance, epileptic episodes and symptoms can be well controlled and you should be able to live just like any other person.

Living with epilepsy may seem like a big stone ahead in the future but with the right diagnosis and treatment, most patients are able to have a normal life. We should be lucky to be living in the current world where treatment for epilepsy is humane and based on concrete scientific evidence. More medication and advanced accurate tests are available in treating epilepsy. Although it is true that patients with epilepsy still face many limitations in everyday activities or less opportunities for good jobs, this should not break their spirit and will to live. A person with epilepsy should not feel they are a burden and should not feel they are useless. With great support, love, care and understanding from people around them, people with epilepsy can have a much fulfilling life.

Taking medicine for epilepsy is the best way to stop or reduce the frequency of seizures. Apart from medicine, there are certainly things a person with epilepsy can do to improve their health status. This includes identifying and understanding possible triggers. Common triggers such as stress, sleep deprivation and alcohol should be avoided. Keeping a seizure diary can help track the pattern of the seizures and understand possible triggers. A person with epilepsy should try making their house safe from possible dangers. If they want to perform certain activities or sports, they should avoid doing it alone and have someone to look after or do together.

Eula J. McLaughlin

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