When people take medicines, whether prescription or otherwise, they often wonder if interactions with other drugs or substance — like alcohol — are possible. One such example is alcohol and Keppra. Read on for more information about the relationship between alcohol and the drug Keppra, and additional details about the side effects and withdrawal seizures related to this medicine.
What Is Keppra?
Keppra is a prescription medicine used to control the symptoms of epilepsy. Epilepsy refers to a condition where a person has repeated seizures, but the types of seizure can vary from mild to severe. This medicine is part of a class of drugs called antiepileptics, and it’s believed they work by controlling certain chemicals in the brain to make sure that seizures don’t happen. Sometimes Keppra is used alone, and other times it’s used in conjunction with other drugs. This anti-convulsant goes by the generic name levetiracetam, and it can be used in children and adults.
There are a number of risks associated with Keppra, one of the worst being suicidal thoughts. Doctors warn patients to make sure they monitor their mood when they’re prescribed this medicine, watch for any changes and report them as they experience them. Keppra 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, such as driving.
The makers of Keppra warn that if you become pregnant, it’s important to continue using this medicine unless your doctor says otherwise. This is because having a seizure while pregnant can be extremely dangerous for your baby.
Outside of possible side effects of combining alcohol and Keppra, possible general side effects can include:
- Feeling drowsy or weak
- Tingling and numbness
- Muscle weakness
- Changes in mood or behavior
- Coordination problems
- Problems with walking or movement
- Skin reactions
- Signs of infection
If any of these side effects become severe, it’s important that you seek medical attention right away.
Side Effects and Withdrawal Seizures
There are two primary ways to approach conversations about alcohol and Keppra. The first thing people wonder about is whether or not you can use alcohol and Keppra at the same time, and what possible side effects might be. Then there’s the consideration of how Keppra is used to treat alcohol withdrawal seizure.
Generally, it’s advised that you don’t take alcohol and Keppra at the same time. Both alcohol and Keppra effect the nervous system and they can heighten the side effects of each other. For example, if you were to combine alcohol and Keppra you could impair your judgment and thinking, and experience extreme dizziness, drowsiness, and problems with concentration. People are advised regarding alcohol and Keppra to limit their drinking while they’re taking the medication, particularly if they don’t know the effect it will have on them.
There’s also something else related to alcohol and Keppra to consider. Keppra can be used to treat the side effects and withdrawal seizures associated with alcohol detox. Doctors and treatment centers often look for different options aside from benzodiazepines, because people can become addicted to them. In some cases, Keppra might be a safer option. Keppra is just one of the potential anticonvulsants that may be used during alcohol detox to manage potential seizures that can occur, and other options are available.
With Keppra, one of the biggest risks is the possibility of mood swings and increases in suicidal thoughts. This is why a medically-supervised detox is so important during alcohol withdrawal. Your medical team can give you the medicines they think will be most appropriate for your symptoms, while also monitoring you for any potential side effects of those medications.
To sum up, what is Keppra? Keppra is an anti-seizure medicine. Alcohol and Keppra shouldn’t be used together because they can lead to intensified symptoms of intoxication, since both impact the central nervous system. There are some uses of Keppra to deal with the side effects and withdrawal seizures that come with alcohol detox, but this is something that should be monitored by a physician.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.