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Updated on February 2, 2023
4 min read

Keppra and Alcohol

What is Keppra?

Keppra is a prescription medication that treats seizure symptoms.4 These include partial onset seizures, myoclonic seizures, and tonic-clonic seizures. Keppra is an antiepileptic drug. The medication is available as 250 mg, 500 mg, 750 mg, and 1000 mg oral tablets and as a clear liquid (100 mg/mL).5

Keppra

Keppra is a brand name for the drug, levetiracetam.6 Other brands include Elepsia and Spritam.

Keppra is generally prescribed to people who have epilepsy.3 It belongs to a class of drugs called anticonvulsants.4 Keppra may also be used with other medications.

What are the Short-Term Effects of Taking Keppra?

Like all drugs, Keppra may have side effects. Short-term side effects of taking Keppra include, but are not limited to: 4

  • Exhaustion
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Appetite loss
  • Congestion
  • Infection

What are the Long-Term Effects of Taking Keppra?

Long-term effects of taking Keppra can include:

  • Seizures that can worsen or change over time
  • Facial and throat swelling
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing

Is Keppra Habit-Forming?

No, Keppra is not considered a habit-forming medication. While some people may misuse Keppra, they do not become addicted to it.

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Can I Combine Keppra and Alcohol?

Drinking alcohol in excess while taking Keppra can be dangerous. 

While mixing Keppra and alcohol is not ideal, drinking it in moderation is generally considered safe. Moderate consumption should not cause harm.

What Happens When You Drink on Keppra

It will take fewer drinks to feel a ‘drunk’ effect while taking Keppra. Be mindful of the number of drinks you consume if you are on levetiracetam or other medications to treat the symptoms of seizures.

This means that, while taking Keppra, just one drink may cause you to feel the effects of alcohol while on antiepileptic drugs. In other words, binge drinking is even more dangerous.

Seizure Risk

Also, note that withdrawal seizures may happen while drinking a lot. They may occur within 7 to 72 hours of stopping drinking. This is why it is important not to stop taking your Keppra medication as prescribed, just to drink alcohol.

You are more likely to have a seizure from missing your medication than from drinking alcohol. Always remember to drink alcohol in moderation. Talk to your doctor about the risks of drinking alcohol while on levetiracetam or other prescription medications for epilepsy. 

If you are struggling with alcohol misuse, consult your doctor before taking Keppra. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) can worsen your condition, and alcohol withdrawal can also cause dangerous seizures. 

Side Effects & Dangers of Mixing Keppra and Alcohol 

There are certain risk factors when combining any prescription drug with alcohol. Prescription medicine for seizure disorders, like Keppra and other drugs, may cause dizziness and drowsiness. Because alcohol has similar effects, you risk feeling a lot more side effects.

Heavy drinking can cause seizures in anyone, even in people who do not have epilepsy.1 Therefore, drinking too much can be especially dangerous for someone who takes Keppra to control seizures. 

Abusing alcohol may also result in:8

  • Increased mood swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Loss of coordination and motor functions
  • Memory and learning problems

How Long After Taking Keppra Can I Drink Alcohol?

Generally speaking, you can drink alcohol after levetiracetam is administered. But it is best to avoid taking them together and to avoid drinking too much alcohol if you do choose to drink.

Whatever you do, do not stop taking your medication as prescribed throughout the treatment phase. Skipping antiepileptic drugs to drink alcohol is more likely to trigger a seizure (not alcohol itself). Remember that binge drinking can cause seizures, even in people who do not have epilepsy.1

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What Else Should I Avoid While Taking Keppra?

Avoiding others drugs that may have similar side effects is wise while taking Keppra. For example, sleep medications that make you drowsy may worsen the side effects of Keppra. 

Consult your doctor about any dangerous drug interactions. Some medications include:7

  • Macrogol (a laxative)
  • Oxcarbazepine
  • Carbamazepine
  • Phenytoin
  • Lamotrigine
  • Phenobarbital
  • Methotrexate (for arthritis)

Do I Have a Drinking Problem?

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol misuse, professional help is available. You are not alone.

In 2019, 25.8 percent of people aged 18 and older reported binge drinking in the past month.2 Meanwhile, 6.3 percent reported heavy alcohol use in the past month.2

Worse, an estimated 14.5 million people ages 12 and older suffer from AUD. This includes 9 million men and 5.5 million women.2

If you believe you have a drinking problem, consult a medical professional as soon as possible. If you are questioning if you need help, you most likely do.

Symptoms of Alcohol Misuse & Addiction

Common signs of a drinking problem include: 2

  • Constantly thinking about alcohol
  • Inability to limit or cut alcohol intake
  • Mood swings when not drinking alcohol
  • Wanting to drink alcohol to get intoxicated
  • Lying about alcohol consumption
  • Allowing alcohol to interfere with responsibilities and obligations
  • Prioritizing alcohol over passions and hobbies

AUD can take a serious toll on both your physical and mental health. If you or someone you know is struggling with symptoms of alcohol misuse and addiction, reach out for help immediately. AUD can be fatal.

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Treatment Options for Alcohol Abuse & Addiction

There are several treatment options available for AUD and addiction, including:

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Updated on February 2, 2023
8 sources cited
Updated on February 2, 2023
All Alcoholrehabhelp content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies.
  1. Alcohol and Epilepsy.” Epilepsy, The Epilepsy Centre.
  2. Alcohol Facts and Statistics.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 
  3. Effects of Levetiracetam (Keppra) on Alcohol Consumption - Full Text View.” Full Text View - ClinicalTrials.gov.
  4. Keppra (Levetiracetam): Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Interactions, Warning.” RxList, RxList, 20 Oct. 2020.
  5. Levetiracetam.” Epilepsy Foundation.
  6. Levetiracetam: MedlinePlus Drug Information.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  7. Levetiracetam.” NHS Choices, NHS.
  8. Alcohol and Keppra: Is It a Safe Combination?: Delphi.” Delphi Behavioral Health Group, Delphi Behavioral Health Group, 19 May 2021.

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All content created by Alcohol Rehab Help is sourced from current scientific research and fact-checked by an addiction counseling expert. However, the information provided by Alcohol Rehab Help is not a substitute for professional treatment advice.

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