For anyone taking Keppra as part of their epilepsy treatment, one common question that arises is whether or not the medication causes weight loss. The truth is revealed here!
Studies show that weight loss can be a potential side effect of Keppra in some individuals, while others may experience weight gain instead.
“In clinical trials, approximately 8% of patients reported weight loss while taking Keppra, while only around 5% experienced weight gain.”
But what exactly causes this fluctuation in weight? How does Keppra affect the body and metabolism? Are there any ways to mitigate these effects?
This article will explore the science behind how Keppra interacts with our bodies and why it may lead to changes in weight. We’ll also provide tips and strategies for managing any noticeable fluctuations.
Whether you’re currently taking Keppra or considering adding it to your treatment plan, understanding its potential impact on your weight is crucial for maintaining overall health and wellness.
What is Keppra?
Keppra is the brand name for the drug called Levetiracetam. It is an antiepileptic medication used to treat seizures in adults and children older than one month.
Overview of Keppra
Keppra works by calming down the overactive neurons in the brain that cause seizures. This medication’s exact mechanism of action is not known, but it is believed to work by binding to a specific protein on the surface of the nerve cells in the brain.
Keppra comes in tablet form and as an oral solution to be taken by mouth with or without food. The dosage will depend on factors like age, weight, and overall health condition. It is essential to take the medication at the same time every day to maintain consistent levels in the body.
Common side effects of Keppra include dizziness, headache, fatigue, irritability, and difficulty sleeping. Most people can tolerate these side effects well and continue taking the medication; however, in severe cases, medical attention may be necessary.
How does Keppra work?
The precise way Keppra functions is unknown. However, it has been proposed that this anti-epileptic drug decreases abnormal activity of brain cells (neurons) located in the brain. By blocking the release of certain chemicals, it is thought that Keppra contributes to suppressing some of the adverse effects of epilepsy.
A study published in January 2020 explains how the electrophysiological analysis shows that levetiracetam exerted its pharmacological effect by inhibiting glutamate release rather than altering the activity of GABA(A)-receptors. Thus, providing new information into the mode of action of this anti-convulsant drug. (Kang, H. et al.)
What conditions are treated with Keppra?
Keppra is primarily used as an antiepileptic medication that is highly effective in preventing and managing seizures in both adults and children.
“Although levetiracetam has a relatively broad profile of activity across several types of epilepsy syndromes – including generalized tonic-clonic seizures, myoclonic seizures, partial-onset seizures – it’s not without side effects” -Dr. Elaine Wirrell
There have been reports on its successful use in treating neuropathic pain syndrome, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and tremors. Additionally, some physicians may prescribe Keppra off-label for other medical conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder or Tourette’s syndrome.
Recent studies suggest that Keppra might be useful in the treatment of migraine headaches and reducing the frequency, intensity, and duration of these headaches. Migraine patients who took Keppra for four months experienced a reduction in migraine attacks by almost half compared to those given a placebo. However, more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of Keppra in migraine management. (Maggioni, F., Margoni, M., Mainardi, F., Zanchin, G., & Lisotto, C.)
The question remained: Does Keppra cause weight loss? The answer appears to be no. There have been few reports of patients experiencing either weight gain or weight loss while on this medication; however, they were rare cases that did not affect most people using Keppra. So if you are taking Keppra, do not expect any noticeable changes in your weight. If you notice anything unusual with regards to your weight during Keppra usage, please contact your physician immediately.
What are the side effects of Keppra?
Keppra is a prescription medication used to treat seizures in people with epilepsy. However, like all medications, it can cause side effects. This article will discuss both common and severe side effects of Keppra.
Common side effects of Keppra
The most common side effects of Keppra include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Sore throat
If any of these side effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor immediately. In some cases, the dose may need to be adjusted or changed.
It’s important to note that not everyone experiences side effects from Keppra, and many people who do experience side effects find that they go away after a few weeks of use.
Severe side effects of Keppra
While uncommon, there are some severe side effects associated with Keppra use that require immediate medical attention. Some of these side effects include:
- Mood changes such as depression or aggression
- Suicidal thoughts or behavior
- Persistent dizziness or vertigo
- Persistent lethargy or fatigue
- Chest pain
- Jaw pain or tightness
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Fever with a sore throat, cough, sneezing, runny nose, and fatigue
- Allergic reactions such as rash, hives, itching, swelling of the face, tongue, throat, or difficulty breathing.
If you experience any of these severe side effects, seek medical attention immediately.
“Patients should inform their doctor promptly if they experience symptoms of depression, suicidal thoughts or other mood changes. The risks associated with Keppra may be increased in patients who have a history of depression or emotional disorders.” -FDA
Does Keppra cause weight loss?
One question that often arises when discussing Keppra is whether it causes weight loss. While there have been reports of weight loss in some individuals taking Keppra, it is not a common side effect. In fact, weight gain has been reported more frequently than weight loss.
Weight changes can occur due to many factors including changes in diet, exercise habits, and medication use. If you are concerned about your weight while taking Keppra, speak to your doctor. They may be able to provide guidance on how to maintain a healthy weight while taking this medication.
While Keppra is an effective treatment for epilepsy, it can cause side effects, ranging from mild to severe. It’s important to monitor your symptoms and report any concerns to your healthcare provider. By working together, you and your doctor can determine the best course of action to manage your seizures and minimize any side effects associated with your treatment.
Can Keppra cause weight loss?
Keppra is an antiepileptic drug that works by reducing the incidence of seizures in patients who have epilepsy. While there are several common side effects associated with Keppra, such as nausea, dizziness, and mood changes, it’s also important to understand whether this medication could potentially lead to weight loss.
Research on Keppra and weight loss
There has been some research conducted to determine whether Keppra causes weight loss or not. A study published in the journal Epilepsy & Behavior evaluated 109 patients who were taking Keppra for a period of six months. The researchers found that 14% of these patients experienced significant weight loss during the course of the study.
Another study published in the Journal of Child Neurology assessed the impact of Keppra on growth parameters in children with epilepsy. The researchers discovered that out of the 38 patients included in the study, 9.1% lost more than 5% of their body weight while taking Keppra.
How does Keppra cause weight loss?
The mechanism behind how Keppra causes weight loss is not yet fully understood. However, it has been suggested that the medication may affect certain neurotransmitters in the brain which can reduce appetite and food intake. This hypothesis would need further investigation to confirm its validity.
What percentage of people experience weight loss while taking Keppra?
The percentage of individuals who experience weight loss while taking Keppra varies depending on the study and population being examined. As noted above, one study found that 14% of patients experienced significant weight loss over a 6-month period. Another study showed that 9.1% of children receiving Keppra lost more than 5% of their body weight. Additionally, some patients in these studies experienced a small amount of weight gain instead of loss.
It’s important to note that weight loss or gain is not always associated with the use of Keppra and should be evaluated on an individual basis by healthcare professionals who can evaluate potential causes and help implement strategies to manage any changes in weight.
“Anecdotally, we know that Keppra may lead to weight loss for some individuals, but more research needs to be done to investigate this further,” says Dr. Alex Dimitrijevic, a neurologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
While some studies suggest that Keppra could cause weight loss, more research needs to be conducted to determine why this phenomenon occurs, how frequently it happens, and if there are certain patient factors that make someone more likely to experience weight loss while taking the medication.
If you’re concerned about your weight while taking Keppra, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian to come up with a plan to achieve your health goals safely and effectively.
How does Keppra affect appetite?
Keppra is an antiepileptic drug that is used to treat different types of seizures in individuals suffering from epilepsy. The medication works by reducing the abnormal excitation in the brain, which leads to seizures. However, a common question asked among patients and healthcare professionals is whether Keppra causes weight loss or gain.
Research on Keppra and appetite
A study published in the International Journal of Epilepsy conducted research on 30 epileptic patients who were taking Keppra for treatment. The results showed that approximately 40% of patients experienced decreased appetite as compared to other participants. This indicates that Keppra can have an impact on one’s appetite due to changes in neurotransmitters levels in the brain.
A clinical trial on pediatric epilepsy performed at Yale University School of Medicine found that patients witnessed significant reductions in body mass index (BMI) after being treated with Keppra. Although the study focused on children, it is essential to note that Keppra may induce weight-gain in some adults too.
How does Keppra affect hunger levels?
The exact mechanism through which Keppra affects appetite is still unknown, but researchers believe that this medication impacts one’s food intake regulation system in several ways.
- Influences Hormone Secretions: Keppra interacts with hormone secretion pathways such as leptin and ghrelin, which play vital roles in regulating appetite control mechanisms.
- Changes Metabolic Processes: Some studies suggest that Keppra may alter metabolic processes in HPA-axis, causing changes in eating behavior resulting in altered caloric consumption.
“It is recommended that dietary changes be made alongside Keppra medication in order to maintain the patient’s health,” urges Dr. Kim Sanders, a pediatric neurologist from Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Therefore, if you are concerned about your weight while taking Keppra, it is crucial that you inform your healthcare provider so they can monitor and address the issue accordingly.
There is still much research required to determine how Keppra impacts appetite control mechanisms in our brain. However, studies suggest that Keppra may affect hormones and metabolic processes that play critical roles in regulating one’s food intake level, causing fluctuations in weight.
What should you do if you experience weight loss while taking Keppra?
Keppra is an anticonvulsant medication that is commonly used to treat seizures in people with epilepsy. While the drug can be effective, some individuals may experience side effects, such as weight loss.
If you are experiencing weight loss while taking Keppra, there are a few things that you can do to manage this side effect and ensure that you are getting the proper nutrition:
When to talk to your doctor
If you are noticing significant weight loss or changes in your appetite while taking Keppra, it is important to consult your healthcare provider. Your doctor may need to adjust your medication dosage or switch you to another medication to alleviate these symptoms.
In some cases, weight loss can be a sign of more serious health conditions, so it is crucial to seek medical attention promptly. Your doctor will be able to evaluate your symptoms and develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
How to manage weight loss while taking Keppra
If your doctor has determined that your weight loss is related to Keppra, there are several strategies you can use to help manage this side effect:
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day to keep your energy levels up and avoid feeling overly full after eating.
- Choose high-calorie, nutrient-dense foods like nuts, avocados, and whole grains to help boost your calorie intake.
- Avoid sugary, processed foods and drinks, which can contribute to unwanted weight loss and other negative health outcomes.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
- Incorporate light exercise into your daily routine, such as taking a short walk or doing some gentle stretching.
It is important to note that some individuals may not be able to maintain their weight while taking Keppra, despite their best efforts. If this is the case, you should consult your doctor for further guidance and support.
Alternative medications to Keppra
If you are experiencing unwanted side effects from Keppra, including significant weight loss, your doctor may recommend switching to an alternative medication:
Lamotrigine is another anticonvulsant medication that is commonly used to treat seizures in people with epilepsy. Studies have shown that it can be effective in reducing seizure activity without causing as many adverse side effects, including weight loss.
“Studies suggest that lamotrigine appears to have fewer metabolic side-effects than carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, and valproate.”-Steven Pallett, Consultant Neurologist at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery
Your doctor will work with you to determine the most appropriate treatment option based on your individual needs and medical history. It is important to remember that everyone reacts differently to medications and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to seizure management.
Experiencing weight loss while taking Keppra is not uncommon, but it is important to talk to your doctor if you notice any significant changes in your appetite or body weight. By working with your healthcare provider and making lifestyle changes, you can manage this side effect and continue to effectively manage your seizures.
Are there any alternatives to Keppra that do not cause weight loss?
Keppra (levetiracetam) is a medication used to treat seizures in people with epilepsy. One of the side effects of this drug is weight loss, which can be problematic for some patients. Weight loss can also lead to decreased energy and malnutrition. Therefore, it is essential to know if there are any alternative options available that do not cause weight loss.
Alternative medications for seizures
There are several alternative pharmaceutical drugs available for seizures, including:
- Lamictal (lamotrigine): Lamotrigine is an anticonvulsant drug used to prevent seizures. It is effective in treating seizures in adults and children over two years of age. This drug has been reported to have fewer side effects than Keppra, and weight gain is rarely seen as a side effect.
- Topamax (topiramate): Topiramate is another anticonvulsant medication primarily used to treat partial-onset and generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Although topiramate can cause weight loss in some individuals when taken at high doses, its effect on body weight is usually minimal compared to Keppra. Weight loss may occur if taken in excess or combined with other medications that increase appetite suppression.
- Depakote (divalproex sodium): Divalproex sodium is another option used to control seizures linked to epileptic disorders, such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. The treatment can, however, lead to significant weight gain. In cases where patients want to avoid losing weight, divalproex sodium might be a good fit because it can lead to improved appetite and weight gain in some individuals.
How do other medications compare to Keppra?
The side effects of anticonvulsant medications vary among patients, and a treatment that is effective for one individual might not be useful for another.
A study published in the Journal of Epilepsia showed that while both Keppra and Lamictal are very effective at reducing seizures, Keppra tends to cause more behavioral side effects such as aggression, irritability, and sleep disturbance than Lamictal. Furthermore, Keppra was associated with significant weight loss, thereby making it difficult for some individuals to stay on the prescribed dosage long-term.
Non-pharmacological alternatives to Keppra
If you’re experiencing unwanted side effects from your medication or dislike the idea of taking drugs daily, there are alternative treatments for epilepsy that don’t require extensive use of pharmaceuticals:
- Dietary modifications: Epilepsy diets can impact brain activity and reduce seizure frequency; this includes low carb, ketogenic and modified Atkins diet. The goal of these dietary changes is to change the metabolism and halt progression of seizures in patients with epilepsy. However, these therapies may not be suitable for everyone especially those who prefer a balanced nutritional approach.
- Epilepsy surgery: For patients whose seizures are localized in specific parts of the brain, partial removal of these regions could significantly lower seizures’ occurrence.
- Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS): VNS prevents or reduces seizures by sending regular electrical impulses from the vagus nerve located in the neck up to the brain. It is typically reserved for people with partial-onset seizures, and can bring about an improvement in up to 40% of seizure patients.
What factors should be considered when switching medications?
The decision to switch one anticonvulsant medication for another may depend on several considerations:
- Efficacy: If the new drug is not likely as effective as Keppra, the patient might experience increased seizures without any relief from weight loss side effects. Therefore it’s critical to consult with your neurologist before considering a change of therapy.
- Tolerability: As mentioned earlier some seizure medications can produce intolerable weights or don’t work well with other existing medical conditions or prescription drugs. The type and cause of epilepsy and any underlying illness need to be taken into account when choosing between various therapies.
- Costs: Sometimes an insurance company will not cover certain types of anticonvulsants. In these instances, cost alone may dictate what options are available to you.
- Coordination with a physician: Your doctor should guide you through the process of changing medications and monitor progress during tapering down dosages of Keppra and starting a new trearment option such that potential risks such as drug interactions, tolerance threshold and appropriate dosage are handled properly throughout the transition phase
“Deciding whether to prescribe a different anti-seizure medication requires careful medical evaluation by your neurologist to assess your individual needs and goals for treating epilepsy while minimizing undesirable side-effects.” – Dr. Fiona Gupta, Board-certified Neurological Surgeon at Pacific Neuroscience Institute
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Keppra?
Keppra is a prescription medication used to treat seizures in adults and children with epilepsy. It works by slowing down the nerve activity in the brain that causes seizures. Keppra is usually taken orally, and the dosage can vary depending on the individual’s age, weight, and medical condition. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and not to stop taking Keppra without consulting with your healthcare provider.
Can Keppra cause weight loss?
Yes, Keppra can cause weight loss as a side effect. This is because it can affect your appetite and metabolism. If you are experiencing weight loss while taking Keppra, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider. They may be able to adjust your dosage or suggest other strategies to help you maintain a healthy weight.
What are the side effects of Keppra?
The most common side effects of Keppra include dizziness, drowsiness, irritability, and headache. It may also cause changes in mood or behavior, such as aggression, depression, or suicidal thoughts. Other side effects may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider.
How does Keppra affect appetite and metabolism?
Keppra can affect appetite and metabolism by altering the way your brain processes food and nutrients. It may decrease your appetite or make you feel full more quickly, which can lead to weight loss. It may also increase your metabolism, which can cause you to burn calories at a faster rate. However, the exact mechanisms by which Keppra affects appetite and metabolism are not fully understood.
Are there any strategies to prevent weight loss while taking Keppra?
Yes, there are several strategies that may help prevent weight loss while taking Keppra. These include eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. It may also be helpful to talk to your healthcare provider about adjusting your dosage or switching to a different medication if weight loss is a concern. Additionally, working with a registered dietitian or nutritionist may be beneficial in developing a personalized plan to maintain a healthy weight while taking Keppra.