The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of levetiracetam. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. In addition to the adverse reactions listed above [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)], the following adverse reactions have been reported in patients receiving marketed levetiracetam worldwide. The listing is alphabetized: abnormal liver function test, acute kidney injury, agranulocytosis, anaphylaxis, angioedema, choreoathetosis, drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), dyskinesia, erythema multiforme, hepatic failure, hepatitis, hyponatremia, muscular weakness, pancreatitis, pancytopenia (with bone marrow suppression identified in some of these cases), panic attack, thrombocytopenia, weight loss, and worsening of seizures. Alopecia has been reported with levetiracetam use; recovery was observed in majority of cases where levetiracetam was discontinued.
Pregnancy Exposure Registry
There is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including levetiracetam, during pregnancy. Encourage women who are taking levetiracetam injection during pregnancy to enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug (NAAED) pregnancy registry by calling 1-888-233-2334 or visiting http://www.aedpregnancyregistry.org/.
Prolonged experience with levetiracetam in pregnant women has not identified a drug-associated risk of major birth defects or miscarriage, based on published literature, which includes data from pregnancy registries and reflects experience over two decades [see Human Data]. In animal studies, levetiracetam produced developmental toxicity (increased embryofetal and offspring mortality, increased incidences of fetal structural abnormalities, decreased embryofetal and offspring growth, neurobehavioral alterations in offspring) at doses similar to human therapeutic doses [see Animal Data].
In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2 to 4% and 15 to 20%, respectively. The background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown.
Levetiracetam blood levels may decrease during pregnancy [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)].
Physiological changes during pregnancy may affect levetiracetam concentration. Decrease in levetiracetam plasma concentrations has been observed during pregnancy. This decrease is more pronounced during the third trimester. Dose adjustments may be necessary to maintain clinical response.
While available studies cannot definitively establish the absence of risk, data from the published literature and pregnancy registries have not established an association with levetiracetam use during pregnancy and major birth defects or miscarriage.
When levetiracetam (0, 400, 1,200, or 3,600 mg/kg/day) was administered orally to pregnant rats during the period of organogenesis, reduced fetal weights and increased incidence of fetal skeletal variations were observed at the highest dose tested. There was no evidence of maternal toxicity. The no-effect dose for adverse effects on embryofetal development in rats (1,200 mg/kg/day) is approximately 4 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 3,000 mg on a body surface area (mg/m2) basis.
Oral administration of levetiracetam (0, 200, 600, or 1,800 mg/kg/day) to pregnant rabbits during the period of organogenesis resulted in increased embryofetal mortality and incidence of fetal skeletal variations at the mid and high dose and decreased fetal weights and increased incidence of fetal malformations at the high dose, which was associated with maternal toxicity. The no-effect dose for adverse effects on embryofetal development in rabbits (200 mg/kg/day) is approximately equivalent to the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis.
Oral administration of levetiracetam (0, 70, 350, or 1,800 mg/kg/day) to female rats throughout pregnancy and lactation led to an increased incidence of fetal skeletal variations, reduced fetal body weight, and decreased growth in offspring at the mid and high doses and increased pup mortality and neurobehavioral alterations in offspring at the highest dose tested. There was no evidence of maternal toxicity. The no-effect dose for adverse effects on pre- and post-natal development in rats (70 mg/kg/day) is less than the MRHD on a mg/m2 basisOral administration of levetiracetam to rats during the latter part of gestation and throughout lactation produced no adverse developmental or maternal effects at doses of up to 1,800 mg/kg/day (6 times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis).
Levetiracetam is excreted in human milk. There are no data on the effects of levetiracetam on the breastfed infant, or the effects on milk production. The development and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for levetiracetam and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from levetiracetam or from the underlying maternal condition.
Safety and effectiveness of levetiracetam injection in patients below the age of 16 years have not been established.
There were 347 subjects in clinical studies of levetiracetam that were 65 years old and over. No overall differences in safety were observed between these subjects and younger subjects. There were insufficient numbers of elderly subjects in controlled trials of epilepsy to adequately assess the effectiveness of levetiracetam in these patients.
Levetiracetam is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of adverse reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
Clearance of levetiracetam is decreased in patients with renal impairment and is correlated with creatinine clearance [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Dosage adjustment is recommended for patients with impaired renal function and supplemental doses should be given to patients after dialysis [see Dosage and Administration (2.5)].
The highest known dose of oral levetiracetam received in the clinical development program was 6,000 mg/day. Other than drowsiness, there were no adverse reactions in the few known cases of overdose in clinical trials. Cases of somnolence, agitation, aggression, depressed level of consciousness, respiratory depression and coma were observed with levetiracetam overdoses in postmarketing use.
There is no specific antidote for overdose with levetiracetam. If indicated, elimination of unabsorbed drug should be attempted by emesis or gastric lavage; usual precautions should be observed to maintain airway. General supportive care of the patient is indicated including monitoring of vital signs and observation of the patient’s clinical status. A Certified Poison Control Center should be contacted for up to date information on the management of overdose with levetiracetam.
Standard hemodialysis procedures result in significant clearance of levetiracetam (approximately 50% in 4 hours) and should be considered in cases of overdose. Although hemodialysis has not been performed in the few known cases of overdose, it may be indicated by the patient’s clinical state or in patients with significant renal impairment.
Levetiracetam in Sodium Chloride Injection is an antiepileptic drug available as a clear, colorless, sterile solution for intravenous administration.
The chemical name of levetiracetam, a single enantiomer, is (-)-(S)-α-ethyl-2-oxo-1-pyrrolidine acetamide, its molecular formula is C8 H14 N2 O2 and its molecular weight is 170.21. Levetiracetam is chemically unrelated to existing antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). It has the following structural formula:
Levetiracetam is a white to off-white crystalline powder with a faint odor and a bitter taste. It is very soluble in water (104.0 g/100 mL). It is freely soluble in chloroform (65.3 g/100 mL) and in methanol (53.6 g/100 mL), soluble in ethanol (16.5 g/100 mL), sparingly soluble in acetonitrile (5.7 g/100 mL) and practically insoluble in n-hexane. (Solubility limits are expressed as g/100 mL solvent.)
Levetiracetam in Sodium Chloride Injection is a clear, colorless, sterile solution that is available in a single-dose dual port bag with an aluminum overwrap. The container closure is not made with natural rubber latex.
500 mg/100 mL: One 100 mL bag contains 500 mg of levetiracetam (5 mg/mL), water for injection, 820 mg sodium chloride, 5.5 mg of glacial acetic acid and buffered at approximately pH 5.5 with glacial acetic acid and 164 mg sodium acetate trihydrate.
1,000 mg/100 mL: One 100 mL bag contains 1,000 mg of levetiracetam (10 mg/mL), water for injection, 750 mg sodium chloride, 6.5 mg of glacial acetic acid and buffered at approximately pH 5.5 with glacial acetic acid and 164 mg sodium acetate trihydrate.
1,500 mg/100 mL: One 100 mL bag contains 1,500 mg of levetiracetam (15 mg/mL), water for injection, 540 mg sodium chloride, 7.5 mg of glacial acetic acid and buffered at approximately pH 5.5 with glacial acetic acid and 164 mg sodium acetate trihydrate.
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