What will you do when you see a person with seizures? It is important not to panic because the person with seizures really needs your help. It is vital for you to offer help and try keeping them safe while they are unable to control themselves or being unconscious during the seizures. There are a number of medicines that help to treat seizures such as Keppra 500 mg. What exactly does Keppra do to the brain?

Before answering that, it would be better to know a bit more about Keppra 50 mg. Keppra contains levetiracetam. Levetiracetam belongs to a drug class of antiepileptic / anticonvulsant. Although these drug classes in general are used to treat seizures, there is no surprise that it may be used to alleviate pain as part of pain management especially in chronic pain or pain involving nerve dysfunction.

To understand what Keppra does to the brain, we have to understand what happens to the brain during seizures. Seizures occur when there is abnormal electrical activity in the brain which leads to uncontrolled movement and changes in behaviour. The terms seizures and epilepsy are often used interchangeably but it is important to understand the differences between the two. While seizures and epilepsy are similar in causing uncontrolled movement and changes in behaviour, epilepsy occurs as 2 or more unprovoked seizures whereas seizures occur as a single occurrence. A person with seizures may or may not have epilepsy but people with epilepsy will certainly have seizures. It is worth noting that seizures may happen without involving the brain condition such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and heart conditions.

Hence, Keppra alters the abnormal electrical activity in the brain. In a normal brain, the brain cells send messages to other brain cells and communicate with each other through electrical signals plus chemical brain activity. People with seizures have a brain in which the brain cells are not communicating properly or working faster than the normal brain does as a result of a burst electrical activity. Levetiracetam in Keppra reduces brain activity in seizures by joining with a protein known as SV2A. Protein SV2A in the brain works to release brain chemicals such as neurotransmitters. This substance plays a role in the way the brain cells communicate. Thus, when levetiracetam is combined with SV2A, it regulates the neurotransmitter and ultimately stops the seizures.

In order for Keppra to be effective in treating seizures, it needs to be taken on a regular basis. Taking it at the same time of the day can help patients remember to take it regularly. Patients need to be patient before feeling any changes as Keppra takes a few weeks before it has effects on the body. This means that a person taking Keppra may still experience seizures in the meantime until the medicine works optimally. Studies show that usage of levetiracetam with other seizures medicine helps to decrease at least 50% number of seizures each month in 20-40% people.

Keppra needs to be taken as instructed by the doctor. The recommended dose is twice daily. This medicine may be gradually increased by the doctor to help patients achieve the effective dose. It is best to take Keppra as a whole and avoid crushing or chewing it. This is important to prevent the medicine from being less effective as the medicine is made as a whole and the shape is aimed to match the way the body processes it effectively. Furthermore, this medicine does have an unpleasant bitter taste which becomes prominent when it is crushed or chewed. Take this medicine with a glass of water, with or without food. Ask the doctor or pharmacist for the best way to take it safely and pleasantly.

Medicine prescribed by doctors does provide benefits but there are also potential side effects. Common side effects include fatigue, feeling sleepy, stuffy nose, itchy throat and feeling irritable. Remember, doctors would always prescribe medicine that brings benefits more than side effects. If side effects get worse or seem to not go away, patients need to let their doctor know and to not stop taking the medicine unless stated otherwise by their doctor. Serious side effect such as worsening seizures, serious mental changes such as heavy sleepiness, abnormal behaviour or severe mood changes especially presence of suicidal thought and/or attempts and aggressive behaviour should be seen as serious issues which the patient need to get immediate medical care.

In essence, Keppra is a medicine that helps to treat certain kinds of seizures. Antiepileptic medicine is usually taken for a long period to help control the seizures. Beside taking medicine, patients need to identify triggers leading to seizures and need to stay away from it. Patients with a history of seizures or seizures not under control need to always be in safe environments away from danger or possible hazards. It is best for patients to make plans with their healthcare provider and caregiver to help patients have a safe and functional productive life.

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