Dosage of keppra and keppra XR

This is the place for general questions about drugs, long-term treatment concerns, possible influences of other drugs (such as antibiotics, heartworm preventatives, or anesthetics) for epileptic dogs, and other concerns. Please note that we cannot make specific recommendations for individual dogs - for this, please consult your veterinarian.

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mauichris
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:10 pm

Dosage of keppra and keppra XR

Post by mauichris » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:16 pm

Hi,
I am brand new to this forum and looking for some help. I have a mixed breed dog, almost 13.5 years old, 29.5lbs, who was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. He was put on 30mg phenobarbital twice a day and 5mg prednisone twice a day. He was doing well with this for a few weeks when he a day of vomiting and diarrhea and wound up having cluster seizures. I took him to the ER and he was given Keppra, 250mg three times a day to be added in with his other meds. He has done very well with this new combo.

I need to switch him to Keppra XR because it can be given twice a day instead of three times a day which will be much easier to do with my work schedule. Keppra XR only comes in 500mg tabs so he will getting 1000mg per day instead of 750mg. The XR tabs cannot be cut in half. His neurologist says it should be ok to give him that much more and the only side effect may be increased sedation.

Have any of you switched from regular keppra to keppra XR and had a dosage difference like my dog will have? I am afraid to try this on him but really can't continue the three times a day. Is 1000mg a day too high of a dosage for a 30lb senior dog? Thanks for any information you can provide.

Box40Rin
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:42 pm

Re: Dosage of keppra and keppra XR

Post by Box40Rin » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:50 am

Good morning,
I really thought I had answered you earlier this week but evidently didn't hit the submit button right.

I'm a retired veterinarian and would suggest that you try changing the Keppra on a day when you are home, such as the weekend or whenever you have a day off and can monitor. This will tell you how your dog reacts. Please let us know the outcome. We are interested.
box40rin

dsn3a
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:42 am

Re: Dosage of keppra and keppra XR

Post by dsn3a » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:15 am

My dog started on regular Keppra then I switched to XR. He seemed to handle it better. However, in the last 4-6 months, the vet has increased the dosage as it seems the drug had a "honeymoon" period.

First he was on 250mg 3x per day, now on 750mg XR 2x per day. I may need to increase this more as his seizure frequency has increased in the last 6 wks.
===============
DS from Austin
Papa to a Boston Terrier
First Seizure May 2017
Meds: Keppra ER, Phenobarb, Zonisamide

Box40Rin
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:42 pm

Re: Dosage of keppra and keppra XR

Post by Box40Rin » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:03 am

Sorry I haven't written but didn't really know what ot say other than to keep up the good work and keep us all posted as to how he gets along with this dosage. box40rin

MooBear
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:55 pm

Re: Dosage of keppra and keppra XR

Post by MooBear » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:13 am

Good morning...just increased pup's dosage of Keppra XR from 500 mg 2 X day to 750 mg 2 X day. Doing this by giving one whole 500 mg Keppra (Levetirecetam) and cutting one in half...they are pills, not capsules. Noted it has been said that it is not wise to cut a 500 mg in half as I was told by vet I could do...I assume this would be with the capsules, not with the caplets?

Kestrel
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:58 pm

Re: Dosage of keppra and keppra XR

Post by Kestrel » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:21 pm

Hi All,
After reading all the posts there over a year I finally joined. This forum has been a great resource and helped me cope so much. My beagle started having seizures about a year ago at 15 yrs old, due to brain tumor, he gets grand-mals while sleeping and has a long post-ictal, takes him over a week to recover. He was started on Zonisamide 50 mg twice a day in March of this year and went seizure free for 5 months which was fantastic. The side effects have been he has lost weight, it kills his appetite and gives him tummy aches. Last week we decided to add Keppra XR as a second medication because seizures started coming closer together. He is 22 lbs and vet is having me split the 750 mg Levetiracetam ER tabled into two and giving him that twice a day. I think the dosage is a bit too high and I was really overwhelmed by the size of the tablet. I was extra worried about having to split the extended release but there's no way we can dose our pup every 8 hours. I bought a pill cutter at Target and it sort of does an even job. My super senior dog is such a sweet boy, I hope he keeps hanging in there.
16 yr old beagle
first seizure Sept 1 2017 when he was 15
Zonisamide 50 mg x 2 a day, since March 2018
Levetiracetam XR 750 split x 2 a day, since Oct 2018

MooBear
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:55 pm

Re: Dosage of keppra and keppra XR

Post by MooBear » Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:44 pm

Hi Kestral...my inquiry was right above yours. My Cavalier is 24 pounds and is presently on 750 mg XR Keppra, 32.4 mg Pheno, and 50 mg gabapentin twice a day. Zonisamide was tried and he would not eat and it bothered his stomach. He was having seizures every 4-6 weeks, but last month (September) he had 3 and vet thinks that's not a good sign, so neurologist upped his meds. So, I understand your concern as I worry that Mylo is on so many drugs. He is only 3 years old. I do know that one of the side effects of Zonisamide is loss of appetite and stomach issues so he can't take that.

jaragr
Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:34 pm

Re: Dosage of keppra and keppra XR

Post by jaragr » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:00 pm

Wow that is a lot of drugs. Our 14 year old is on NO drugs. His come about every 10 weeks, they are awful. We haven't even asked about the meds as we prefer not to do that, and I don't know if they even would prescribe anything. I hate the "lets try this" and then the "lets try this". I can't do that to my dog. Once the seizure is over, it takes a few hours for him to get back to normal, but he's normal! Right now as I type this we're coming up on week 9, so I'm looking for it any time now. We do have him on CBD so I'm anxious to see how it affects it, if at all. The thought of losing him is unbearable. I don't know how we'll get over it, even though we know he can't live forever. At 4 days old he was our dog and has been a huge part of our lives, with no vacations or leaving overnight. We just prefer to be with them, especially now.

Strelok_401
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:47 am

Re: Dosage of keppra and keppra XR

Post by Strelok_401 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:34 pm

I've got a question regarding keppra dosing for my dog. He's a male Basset fauve de Bretagne, aged 8, has been on Keppra for 7 months now, and his grand mal seizures have become much, much rarer since then.
Now I'm ahead of an issue. Our vet told us that the dosage was appropriate for life in cold-ish climates, such as rainy Belgium where I come from and in cold Russia where I live and work.


This issue is that we will soon buy a holiday house in a much warmer climate, and we're afraid of how staying there (for periods up to 1 month and a half) can affect our dog, and whether we should change the dosage. I'm asking here because one vet has told us that we should change it, and one said that it wasn't an issue.

On top of that, I wanted to know how I should generally take care of my dog because of the climatic issue.

Here is the house we want to buy, on Corfu island in Greece. I'm afraid that the hot Mediterranean summers will be harmful for his health, and thus plan to leave him inside with the A/C most of the time, but a dog has to go outside regularily, for its health and because of other reasons. Should we make a place for our dog to wander under the shade, as not to get exposed to excessive sunlight? We can build some sort of a gazebo with vines to give some shade, and have him go there.

Or should we go away for shorter trips and leave him in Moscow with my mother-in-law, as to avoid the stress of a long trip with a radical climatic change?



Sorry for the long and complicated post, but I have A LOT of questions regarding this situation, as I worry for the health of my dog, but can't base the entire life of my family around our pet's illness, either.

GentleJacob's Mom
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:05 am

Re: Dosage of keppra and keppra XR

Post by GentleJacob's Mom » Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:25 pm

I have never heard of changing dosage for climate, but I'm not a vet so it may be a good idea to just play it by ear. You can never second guess seizures, but since you've found control I would personally just observe and not mess with it. We moved from a cold climate to a warmer one and Jake actually did better. Granted we didn't live in Russia, but we did take Jake to South Carolina several times and there was at least a 50 degree difference at that time of year and he was fine.

I hope this helps and good luck on your new adventure.
Lynne

Strelok_401
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:47 am

Re: Dosage of keppra and keppra XR

Post by Strelok_401 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:29 am

Thanks! Thanks a lot! I'm sorry I haven't answered earlier, I had to spend a couple days working at an insane rate... while visiting family abroad in the same timeframe!
I'll try to get the opinion of another vet, even if I just call them without showing them my dog, and see what they say.

Kestrel
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:58 pm

Re: Dosage of keppra and keppra XR

Post by Kestrel » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:10 pm

Keppra xr is giving my dog an upset stomach about once a week. I wish we had started him on a lower dose but I was too distraught when the vet told me the dosage he is taking now since it was a day after a seizure. Now my vet is suggesting we switch to the regular keppra to see if that helps the stomach issues but I find that difficult due to our work schedule and having difficulties giving him the 4 pills a day as it is. I don't know what we are going to do or how long we are going to be able to keep this up. My dog has vomited a keppra XR pill 8 hours later and I was surprised at how much of it was still left, he has also passed smaller pieces in his stool. If you have an older dog or one with a sensitive stomach that has to take Keppra I would suggest start with a lower dose and then adjust up. And if you can dose 3 x a day I would take that over the extended release.
16 yr old beagle
first seizure Sept 1 2017 when he was 15
Zonisamide 50 mg x 2 a day, since March 2018
Levetiracetam XR 750 split x 2 a day, since Oct 2018

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