Update on Levetiracetam in Infants and Children

Marcia L. Buck, PharmD, FCCP, FPPAG, BCPPS


Pediatr Pharm. 2018;24(7) 

In This Article

Adverse Effects

The adverse effect profile of levetiracetam has been developed from multiple studies and case reports.[1,9,10] While generally well tolerated, approximately 20–50% of patients will experience at least one adverse effect after starting treatment. The most commonly reported in children are headache (in 19%), somnolence (13%), abdominal pain or emesis (9-15%), fatigue (11%), aggression (10%), decreased appetite, and abnormal behavior, dizziness, or irritability (7%). Levetiracetam use has also been linked with hostility, depression, and suicidality. Recent case reports describe some of the other rare adverse effects associated with levetiracetam use, including auditory and visual hallucinations in a 10-year-old boy[9] and drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) syndrome in a 9-year-old girl. In both cases, symptoms resolved after discontinuation of the drug.[10]