Keppra Detox

Keppra Detox, Risks & Side Effects, Overdose, Abuse, Withdrawal, Mixing Alcohol and Keppra, & Treatment

What is Keppra?

Keppra is an antiepileptic drug available as 250 mg (blue), 500 mg (yellow), 750 mg (orange), and 1000 mg (white) tablets and as clear, colorless, grape-flavored liquid (100 mg/mL) for oral administration [1].
Keppra has a generic name of Levetiracetam and is used alone and other medications to control partial-onset seizures (seizures that involve only one part of the brain) in adults [2]. In 2000, the FDA approved the use of the oral formulation as adjunctive therapy for the treatment of focal seizures, myoclonic seizures, and primary generalized seizures [3].

The understanding of how Keppra works is not very well described. It is believed to inhibit calcium release in neurons, and this action results in it modulating the firing of neurons in the central nervous system (CNS). Because epilepsy is a disease where neurons in the brain fire uncontrollably, inducing seizures, Keppra slows down this uncontrollable firing in neurons and thus hinders seizures. Although Keppra is a prescription drug, this medication is not a controlled substance and not monitored by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Keppra Detox
Taking too much Keppra can lead to more severe side effects. It can put someone at risk for an overdose.

Keppra works as an anticonvulsant and has also been studied as a possible treatment for alcoholism, primarily for alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Although, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) [4], The efficacy data for levetiracetam (Keppra) in alcoholism treatment has been mixed. There is also preclinical evidence that levetiracetam reduces alcohol consumption by altering the endorphin release. However, a different study shows that Levetiracetam may also have efficacy in alcohol-dependent subjects with co-occurring psychiatric disorders (alcohol dependence and anxiety disorder)

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:

  • Sleepiness
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Reduced energy
  • Motor coordination issues
  • Dizziness
  • Mood swings

There are some emotional or psychological symptoms that may occur with the use of Keppra. While these symptoms are more infrequent than those mentioned above, they should still be noted. These symptoms include the following:

  • Aggressiveness
  • Hostility
  • Extreme changes in emotional state
  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Apathy
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Suicidal thoughts

Keppra Overdose

According to the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) [5], there is no specific antidote for overdose with Keppra. In overdose, Keppra is sedating and causes respiratory depression. However, recovery is rapid with supportive care [6]. Taking too much Keppra can lead to more severe side effects. It can put someone at risk for an overdose.

Keppra Overdose Symptoms

It is possible to overdose on Keppra. Keppra overdose symptoms can include the following:

  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Aggression
  • Fainting
  • Shallow breathing
  • Weakness
  • Agitation

Abuse of Keppra

Although anticonvulsant drugs are not the most commonly abused drugs, they can still be abused. Most individuals take Keppra to treat and manage seizures. However, some individuals who are on this medication may develop a substance abuse disorder. Some individuals have combined Keppra or other anticonvulsant medications with different medications to increase sedation. Some people have taken Keppra while drinking alcohol. This enhances some side effects of both the alcohol and Keppra.

There is no one specific treatment for the abuse of Keppra since this medication isn’t on the controlled substances list. Most major organizations, such as the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), or the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), aren’t even concerned about this drug being abused. If a person wants or needs 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 could result in seizures reoccurring.

Individuals who do not have seizure disorders and use Keppra in conjunction with other drugs should be evaluated for abuse and addiction issues. They should then receive treatment in a comprehensive substance use disorder treatment program that addresses all of their issues.

Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Keppra Abuse

Be careful when you start taking Keppra because it causes drowsiness at first. 

In the short term, people could experience:

  • Increasing suicidal ideation or thoughts of self-harm
  • Changes in behavior, such as giving things away or an abnormally cheery mood (mania)

Research show that this medication may decrease in effectiveness. It is normal for doctors to revise your dose as you continue your treatment.

These side effects may happen as you adjust to your dose:

  • Reduced motor control
  • Double vision
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drowsiness

The reported lethargy you might feel after Keppra is normal as you become more tolerant of it. In most people, building a tolerance to Keppra does not lead to misuse, but it can.

Keppra Detox Withdrawal  

If Keppra has to be discontinued, it is advised to withdraw it slowly. Discontinuing the medication abruptly can lead to a withdrawal seizure. There are complications of immediate withdrawal, including potential for seizures as well as implications for driving. The only hard-and-fast rule is that you shouldn’t do it on your own.

There is no official withdrawal timeline for Keppra. Physicians caution that individuals should not stop taking Keppra without their approval. It is essential to be weaned from this medicine to reduce the threat of seizures.

The time period in which an individual should be weaned from this drug depends on the dose they take and how long they have been taking the medication. There are no specific procedures for how a person should be weaned off and how long this should take. The tapering timetable will be developed by the supervising doctor for the particular case.

The general guidance for anticonvulsant medication tapering is one to three months. The physician decides how much to lower the dose and at what frequency. Individuals should not try to taper themselves off of Keppra on their own. This is particularly important if the individual has a history of seizures.

Keppra Detox Withdrawal Symptoms

One of the greatest problems with Keppra withdrawal is encountering a seizure. Because of the risk of seizure, an individual who is experiencing Keppra detox withdrawal should be continuously watched by people who know how to help if a seizure happens. Here are a few of the withdrawal symptoms in which to be aware:

  • Weakness
  • Sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Infection
  • Nasal congestion
  • Decreased appetite
  • Becoming aggressive

Can medications be used during Keppra detox withdrawal?

As of today, there are no known drugs used during Keppra detox withdrawal except Keppra itself on a tapering schedule. The procedures associated with this are developed for individuals who take the drug as prescribed for seizures. 

However, many of the studies involved in this literature review looked at a gradual taper protocol. In these trials, the protocol ranges from one month to over four years. However, there was no mention of medications except the anticonvulsant medication the person was taking.

Treatment for Keppra Abuse

Keppra Detox Process 

The process of Keppra detox varies for everyone. It will depend on how long the individual was using Keppra, their dosage levels, how often they took it, if it’s being taken along with other substances, like alcohol, and if there’s any underlying issues like mental health condition (depression & anxiety). The addiction treatment specialist will assess the individual’s Keppra use and give more information on what they might expect during this process

It is best to go to a treatment facility or a detox center, especially if someone abused this medication at high doses for an extended time. This guarantees that if a seizure does happen during the process, the person can receive immediate attention because of the available round-the-clock medical staff.

Medically-assisted Keppra Detox

Detox is the first step to quitting anticonvulsant drugs like Keppra. Drug and alcohol detox flushes a person’s system of the drugs they have consumed. Someone who is dependent on drugs typically has a very high tolerance for those substances. If you or someone you know is dependent on Keppra, it is important to make sure they detox safely and comfortably. Safe and comfortable Keppra detox includes assistance from a medical professional, either as part of a prescription plan or in a supervised Keppra detox setting. A physician can slowly taper off and lower the dosage to eliminate or ease the person’s Keppra detox withdrawal symptoms.

Mixing Alcohol & Keppra

Normally, it’s advised that you don’t take Keppra alcohol at the same time. Both Keppra and alcohol affect the nervous system, and they can worsen the side effects of each other.

For instance, if you were to mix Keppra and alcohol, you could impair your thinking and judgment and experience intense drowsiness, dizziness, and difficulties in concentration. Individuals are urged to restrict their drinking while they’re taking Keppra, particularly if they don’t know the effect it will have on them.

Keppra detox
People who do not have seizure disorders and use Keppra in conjunction with other drugs should be evaluated for abuse and addiction issues.

Side Effects of Mixing Alcohol & Keppra

There are a few side effects connected with Keppra, one of the most severe is suicidal thoughts. Physicians warn patients to watch their mood when they’ve been prescribed this drug, to monitor for any changes, and report them as they experience them. This medication can also impair your reaction or confuse your thinking, so you should be aware of this if you take it and need to do something requiring you to be alert, like driving.

If you become pregnant while taking Keppra, it’s vital to continue using this medicine unless your physician says otherwise. This is because having a seizure while pregnant can be extremely dangerous for your baby.

Outside of possible side effects of mixing Keppra and alcohol, potential side effects of using Keppra can include:

  • Bruising
  • Feeling drowsy or weak
  • Tingling and numbness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Hallucinations
  • Coordination problems
  • Confusion
  • Problems with walking or movement
  • Skin reactions
  • Signs of infection

There are certain risk factors when mixing alcohol with any prescription medication. Prescription drugs for seizure disorders, like Keppra, may cause drowsiness and dizziness. Because alcohol has identical effects, you risk feeling the side effects a lot more.

Heavy drinking can cause seizures in anyone, even in individuals who do not have epilepsy. Thus, drinking too much can be especially treacherous for someone who is taking Keppra to control seizures.
Abusing alcohol may also result in increased depression, mood swings, and suicidal thoughts. It may also affect motor coordination.

Alcohol and Keppra Detox Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol and Keppra detox withdrawal refers to symptoms that may happen when someone who has been drinking too much alcohol and taking Keppra more than the recommended dosage suddenly stops drinking alcohol and taking the anticonvulsant medication. 

Alcohol and Keppra detox withdrawal symptoms may vary significantly from one person to another but may include any of the following psychological and physical alcohol and Keppra detox withdrawal symptoms:

Alcohol and Keppra Detox Withdrawal Symptoms – Physical

  • Fever
  • Shakiness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Appetite loss
  • Pale skin
  • Tremor
  • Seizures
  • Shaky hands
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Racing heart
  • High blood pressure

Alcohol and Keppra Detox Withdrawal Symptoms – Psychological

  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Inability to think clearly
  • Nightmares
  • Extreme agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Feeling depressed

Find the Right Alcohol and Keppra Detox Treatment at We Level Up NJ

Since Keppra is not a typical drug of abuse, most treatment facilities may not have experience treating Keppra detox withdrawal. Keppra may commonly be abused with other substances like alcohol, so you may need to search for a center that can handle polydrug abuse.

If you have more medical conditions, make sure the detox center is able to deliver proper care for these needs simultaneously. This is particularly crucial for any co-occurring mental health conditions that require dual diagnosis treatment

Choose a treatment facility that highlights dual diagnosis treatment. It is crucial to not only treat the Keppra abuse issue but also address any possible underlying circumstances that might have led to it happening in the first place.

Someone who has become dependent on or addicted to antiepileptic like Keppra should seek professional assistance. Prescription drug treatment programs are designed to support drug-dependent individuals who detox and experience Keppra detox withdrawal symptoms medically.

During your rehabilitation, the staff from We Level Up NJ treatment facility will help you identify what caused your dependency and abuse, and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. 

We Level Up NJ provides proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to assist your recovery through our medically-assisted Detox Program. So, reclaim your life, call us to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

Keppra Detox
Keppra is different from other drugs of abuse in that its risk of suicidal thoughts or actions of self-harm may have something to do with overdose rates and even fatalities.

Sources:

[1] NIH – https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=d1329893-a8bc-4f31-a31b-76690d111035

[2] NIH – https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a699059.html

[3] NCBI – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499890/

[4] NCBI – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5759952/

[5] FDA – https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/1999/21035lbl.pdf

[6] NCBI – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12507057/

[7] We Level UpWhat Is Substance Use Disorder