Q. If I stop taking Keppra suddenly, will it cause withdrawal seizure?

Answered by
Dr. Ashok Kumar Choudhary
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on Sep 13, 2017 and last reviewed on: Jun 18, 2019

Hello doctor,

I had a seizure for the first time in my life when I was about 19 years old. The emergency room physician did not do any tests before he put me on Keppra. After I had been put on Keppra, I went to a neurologist who did an MRI and a sleep study. Nothing showed up on either test, but he wants to keep me on the medication. The issue that I have is I think the medication is causing more problems than helping. Why would he keep me on the medication when I was not diagnosed with anything? But I was told that even if I do not need the medication and I still stopped it cold turkey, it could cause seizures. Is it true?

Dr. Ashok Kumar Choudhary

Andrology Geriatrics Psychiatry Psychologist/ Counsellor Psychotherapy Sexology


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I read your query and understand your concern.

  • First of all, I like to share a medical dilemma when it comes to a seizure disorder. When we evaluate for seizure or the number of seizures, the MRI and EEG is often performed. If we get any abnormality, then the diagnosis becomes easy and so the treatment.
  • If we fail to detect any abnormality on both tests, then it is called idiopathic seizure and the available data indicate that idiopathic seizure is more dangerous than what we call some specific pathology associated seizures.
  • Because of this irrespective of the cause, every patient is recommended to use medication for certain duration. The reason for recommending is based on the fact that seizure episode is one of the serious medical events, and it may be life threatening for the individual.
  • I like to make it clear that cold turkey discontinuation of Keppra (Levetiracetam) does not cause withdrawal seizure, but because of idiopathic nature of your first episode, any further seizure cannot be ruled out.
  • I will also like to inform you that first seizure at 19 years of age is almost never normal and there is a pathology, which is beyond the detection by current MRI, EEG, and other available techniques.

I hope this answers you. If you have more questions feel free to write back to me.

For more information consult a neurologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/neurologist

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