Aw, poor little Rusty - I'm sure I would not be overly impressed if I were sleeping and was woken up to take medicine!
Keppra is the trade name of a drug called levetiracetam. It is usually very effective at controlling seizures. The main advantages to this drug is that it has fewer side effects than phenobarbital which has been the main drug in seizure control in cats and dogs for the last 10 years.
Also, levetiracetam is very quickly absorbed and does not get metabolized by the liver the way phenobarbital does. Intead, metabolism is through the kidneys. So, it is a good choice for cats that have normal kidney function.
Although we don't know exactly how Keppra works, it seems to be a very safe drug, and is a great choice for people who can afford it and who can manage the every 8 hour dosing. It is recommended to give it every 8 hours as it is metabolized rapidly and needs to be given that often in order to maintain blood levels.
Because Keppra is a fairly new drug in veterinary medicine, we are still generating data about how long it takes for patients to adjust to being on the drug. However, early data suggests that any loss of appetite or lethargy should resolve quickly – usually one to two weeks at most. It is not common for cats to have much in the way of side effects on this medication, and certainly they would be expected to resolve very quickly.
Here is more about it:
I hope Rusty feels better soon and that you can both be back to your normal routines!
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The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.
Good luck, Fiona