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Dr.Fiona
Dr.Fiona, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  Small animal medicine and surgery - 16 years experience in BC, California and Ontario
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How long does it take for Keppra to take effect in a cat My

Resolved Question:

How long does it take for Keppra to take effect in a cat? My cat just started on Keppra for idiopathic seizures this past Friday, taking 1 ml 3 times a day. He had an MRI on Monday and came home not doing well from the anesthesia and maybe also having had another seizure during the whole process. The vet said to reduce his Keppra on Monday to 2 times a day because of the wobbliness and how Rusty presented initially after the anesthesia. Rusty now has had a seizure around the 12 hour mark ever since getting his Keppra on the twice daily regimen. Thinking I should go back to every 8 hours to try and keep the seizures at bay. I would need to give him more Keppra at this hour to put it back at the every 8 hr. regimen. Just wanted to get an opinion right now instead of risking another seizure by 9 in the morning when my vet opens up.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 4 years ago.
Hi there,

I would be happy to help you and Rusty but just need a bit more information in order to better assist you.

What time is it where you are?

Fiona
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It is 1:47 a.m. My vet will not be in until 9 a.m. I was thinking to go back to the 8 hr dose to stave off another mini seizure that may happen if I wait 12 hours to give him the dose.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 4 years ago.
OK!

I would strongly agree that every 8 hour dosing seems appropriate for your cat. Keppra generally has to be given every 8 hours, from everything I have read about it.

I will go write up a more complete answer, but wanted to give you this right away as I realize you are at the 8 hour mark now.

Back in about 10 min...

Fiona
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you. I will give him the 1 ml dose right now as I wait.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 4 years ago.
Ok!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX him his dose and that definitely woke him up. Poor thing walked away a little upset and wobbly. Can't wait to get him regulated on this medicine and try to have a normal life for him again.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 4 years ago.

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:



http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18341442


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levetiracetam

I hope Rusty feels better soon and that you can both be back to your normal routines!


If this has been helpful, please "Accept" my answer and leave feedback.


If you need more information, just click on reply and I will still be here to provide more information if you need it!


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

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for the information. It is very helpful. No one has been very specific about the acclimation time and it's not always easy to find out the info regarding felines and Keppra on the internet regarding the initial phase of dosing and the side effects. He's not mad at me any more now, just kind of sleepy. He had a little to eat and drink since the meds, now just half dozing, hanging out. Time for me to get some sleep now! :-) I will alert my vet in the morning at to his seizure earlier last evening and my putting him back on the 8 hr. regimen. Thanks again!
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 4 years ago.
you are very welcome!

It is hard to find information, you are right. It is because this is such a new drug, or has newly become more affordable as the patent just expired and a generic version has been released. This makes it more possible for people to use it, so I'm sure it will become more popular in future. It's great to have another choice as phenobarb is not appropriate for some patients.

good luck to you and to Rusty!

Fiona
Dr.Fiona, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience: Small animal medicine and surgery - 16 years experience in BC, California and Ontario
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