Behavioral abnormalities including psychotic symptoms, suicidal ideation, irritability, and aggressive behavior have been observed; monitor patients for psychiatric signs and symptoms (5.1) Suicidal Behavior and Ideation: Monitor patients for new or worsening depression, suicidal thoughts/behavior, and/or unusual changes in mood or behavior (5.2) Monitor for somnolence and fatigue and advise patients not to drive or operate machinery until they have gained sufficient experience on KEPPRA (5.3) Withdrawal Seizures: KEPPRA must be gradually withdrawn (5.6) 5.1 Behavioral Abnormalities and Psychotic Symptoms KEPPRA may cause behavioral abnormalities and psychotic symptoms. Patients treated with KEPPRA should be monitored for psychiatric signs and symptoms. Behavioral abnormalities In clinical studies, 13% of adult KEPPRA-treated patients and 38% of pediatric KEPPRA-treated patients (4 to 16 years of age) compared to 6% and 19% of adult and pediatric placebo-treated patients, experienced non-psychotic behavioral symptoms (reported as aggression, agitation, anger, anxiety, apathy, depersonalization, depression, emotional lability, hostility, hyperkinesias, irritability, nervousness, neurosis, and personality disorder). A randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study was performed to assess the neurocognitive and behavioral effects of KEPPRA as adjunctive therapy in pediatric patients (4 to 16 years of age). The results from an exploratory analysis indicated a worsening in KEPPRA-treated patients on aggressive behavior (one of eight behavior dimensions) as measured in a standardized and systematic way using a validated instrument, the Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL/6-18). In clinical studies in pediatric patients 1 month to < 4 years of age, irritability was reported in 12% of the KEPPRA-treated patients compared to 0% of placebo-treated patients. In clinical studies, 1.7% of adult KEPPRA-treated patients discontinued treatment due to behavioral adverse reactions, compared to 0.2% of placebo-treated patients. The treatment dose was reduced in 0.8% of adult KEPPRA-treated patients and in 0.5% of placebo-treated patients. Overall, 11% of KEPPRA-treated pediatric patients experienced behavioral symptoms associated with discontinuation or dose reduction, compared to 6% of placebo-treated patients. Psychotic symptoms In clinical studies, 1% of KEPPRA-treated adult patients, 2% of KEPPRA-treated pediatric patients 4 to 16 years of age, and 17% of KEPPRA-treated pediatric patients 1 month to <4 years of age experienced psychotic symptoms, compared to 0.2%, 2%, and 5% in the corresponding age groups treated with placebo. In a controlled study that assessed the neurocognitive and behavioral effects of KEPPRA in pediatric patients 4 to 16 years of age, 1.6% of KEPPRA-treated patients experienced paranoia, compared to 0% of placebo-treated patients. In the same study, 3.1% of KEPPRA-treated patients experienced confusional state, compared to 0% of placebo-treated patients [see Use in Specific Populations (8.4) ]. In clinical studies, two (0.3%) KEPPRA-treated adult patients were hospitalized and their treatment was discontinued due to psychosis. Both events, reported as psychosis, developed within the first week of treatment and resolved within 1 to 2 weeks following treatment discontinuation. There was no difference between drug and placebo-treated patients in the incidence of the pediatric patients who discontinued treatment due to psychotic and non-psychotic adverse reactions. 5.2 Suicidal Behavior and Ideation Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including KEPPRA, increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in patients taking these drugs for any indication. Patients treated with any AED for any indication should be monitored for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in mood or behavior. Pooled analyses of 199 placebo-controlled clinical trials (mono- and adjunctive therapy) of 11 different AEDs showed that patients randomized to one of the AEDs had approximately twice the risk (adjusted Relative Risk 1.8, 95% CI:1.2, 2.7) of suicidal thinking or behavior compared to patients randomized to placebo. In these trials, which had a median treatment duration of 12 weeks, the estimated incidence rate of suicidal behavior or ideation among 27,863 AED-treated patients was 0.43%, compared to 0.24% among 16,029 placebo-treated patients, representing an increase of approximately one case of suicidal thinking or behavior for every 530 patients treated. There were four suicides in drug-treated patients in the trials and none in placebo-treated patients, but the number is too small to allow any conclusion about drug effect on suicide. The increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with AEDs was observed as early as one week after starting drug treatment with AEDs and persisted for the duration of treatment assessed. Because most trials included in the analysis did not extend beyond 24 weeks, the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior beyond 24 weeks could not be assessed. The risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior was generally consistent among drugs in the data analyzed. The finding of increased risk with AEDs of varying mechanisms of action and across a range of indications suggests that the risk applies to all AEDs used for any indication. The risk did not vary substantially by age (5-100 years) in the clinical trials analyzed. Table 2 shows absolute and relative risk by indication for all evaluated AEDs. Table 2: Risk by Indication for Antiepileptic Drugs in the Pooled Analysis Indication Placebo Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Relative Risk: Incidence of Events in Drug Patients/Incidence in Placebo Patients Risk Difference: Additional Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Epilepsy 1.0 3.4 3.5 2.4 Psychiatric 5.7 8.5 1.5 2.9 Other 1.0 1.8 1.9 0.9 Total 2.4 4.3 1.8 1.9 The relative risk for suicidal thoughts or behavior was higher in clinical trials for epilepsy than in clinical trials for psychiatric or other conditions, but the absolute risk differences were similar for the epilepsy and psychiatric indications. Anyone considering prescribing KEPPRA or any other AED must balance the risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors with the risk of untreated illness. Epilepsy and many other illnesses for which AEDs are prescribed are themselves associated with morbidity and mortality and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Should suicidal thoughts and behavior emerge during treatment, the prescriber needs to consider whether the emergence of these symptoms in any given patient may be related to the illness being treated. Patients, their caregivers, and families should be informed that AEDs increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of the signs and symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior, or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts about self-harm. Behaviors of concern should be reported immediately to healthcare providers. 5.3 Somnolence and Fatigue KEPPRA may cause somnolence and fatigue. Patients should be monitored for these signs and symptoms and advised not to drive or operate machinery until they have gained sufficient experience on KEPPRA to gauge whether it adversely affects their ability to drive or operate machinery. Somnolence In controlled trials of adult patients with epilepsy experiencing partial onset seizures, 15% of KEPPRA-treated patients reported somnolence, compared to 8% of placebo-treated patients. There was no clear dose response up to 3000 mg/day. In a study where there was no titration, about 45% of patients receiving 4000 mg/day reported somnolence. The somnolence was considered serious in 0.3% of KEPPRA-treated patients, compared to 0% in the placebo group. About 3% of KEPPRA-treated patients discontinued treatment due to somnolence, compared to 0.7% of placebo-treated patients. In 1.4% of KEPPRA-treated patients and 0.9% of placebo-treated patients, the dose was reduced, while 0.3% of the KEPPRA-treated patients were hospitalized due to somnolence. Asthenia In controlled clinical studies of adult patients with epilepsy experiencing partial onset seizures, 15% of KEPPRA-treated patients reported asthenia, compared to 9% of placebo-treated patients. Treatment was discontinued due to asthenia in 0.8% of KEPPRA-treated patients as compared to 0.5% of placebo-treated patients. In 0.5% of KEPPRA-treated patients and in 0.2% of placebo-treated patients, the dose was reduced due to asthenia. Somnolence and asthenia occurred most frequently within the first 4 weeks of treatment. In general, the incidences of somnolence and fatigue in the pediatric partial onset seizure studies, and in pediatric and adult myoclonic and primary generalized tonic-clonic seizure studies were comparable to those of the adult partial onset seizure studies. 5.4 Serious Dermatological Reactions Serious dermatological reactions, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), have been reported in both pediatric and adult patients treated with KEPPRA. The median time of onset is reported to be 14 to 17 days, but cases have been reported at least four months after initiation of treatment. Recurrence of the serious skin reactions following rechallenge with KEPPRA has also been reported. KEPPRA should be discontinued at the first sign of a rash, unless the rash is clearly not drug-related. If signs or symptoms suggest SJS/TEN, use of this drug should not be resumed and alternative therapy should be considered. 5.5 Coordination Difficulties KEPPRA may cause coordination difficulties. In controlled clinical studies in adult patients with partial onset seizure studies, 3.4% of adult KEPPRA-treated patients experienced coordination difficulties, (reported as either ataxia, abnormal gait, or incoordination) compared to 1.6% of placebo-treated patients. A total of 0.4% of patients in controlled clinical studies discontinued KEPPRA treatment due to ataxia, compared to 0% of placebo-treated patients. In 0.7% of KEPPRA-treated patients and in 0.2% of placebo-treated patients, the dose was reduced due to coordination difficulties, while one of the KEPPRA-treated patients was hospitalized due to worsening of pre-existing ataxia. These events occurred most frequently within the first 4 weeks of treatment. Patients should be monitored for these signs and symptoms and advised not to drive or operate machinery until they have gained sufficient experience on KEPPRA to gauge whether it could adversely affect their ability to drive or operate machinery. 5.6 Withdrawal Seizures Antiepileptic drugs, including KEPPRA, should be withdrawn gradually to minimize the potential of increased seizure frequency. 5.7 Hematologic Abnormalities KEPPRA can cause hematologic abnormalities. Hematologic abnormalities occurred in clinical trials and included decreases in red blood cell (RBC) counts, hemoglobin, and hematocrit, and increases in eosinophil counts. Decreased white blood cell (WBC) and neutrophil counts also occurred in clinical trials. Cases of agranulocytosis have been reported in the postmarketing setting. Partial Onset Seizures Adults Minor, but statistically significant, decreases compared to placebo in total mean RBC count (0.03 × 106/mm3), mean hemoglobin (0.09 g/dL), and mean hematocrit (0.38%), were seen in KEPPRA-treated patients in controlled trials. A total of 3.2% of KEPPRA-treated and 1.8% of placebo-treated patients had at least one possibly significant (≤2.8 × 109/L) decreased WBC, and 2.4% of KEPPRA-treated and 1.4% of placebo-treated patients had at least one possibly significant (≤1.0 × 109/L) decreased neutrophil count. Of the KEPPRA-treated patients with a low neutrophil count, all but one rose towards or to baseline with continued treatment. No patient was discontinued secondary to low neutrophil counts. Pediatric Patients 4 Years to < 16 Years Statistically significant decreases in WBC and neutrophil counts were seen in KEPPRA-treated patients as compared to placebo. The mean decreases from baseline in the KEPPRA-treated group were -0.4 × 109/L and -0.3 × 109/L, respectively, whereas there were small increases in the placebo group. Mean relative lymphocyte counts increased by 1.7% in KEPPRA-treated patients, compared to a decrease of 4% in placebo patients (statistically significant). In the controlled trial, more KEPPRA-treated patients had a possibly clinically significant abnormally low WBC value (3% of KEPPRA-treated patients versus 0% of placebo-treated patients), however, there was no apparent difference between treatment groups with respect to neutrophil count (5% of KEPPRA-treated patients versus 4.2% of placebo-treated patients). No patient was discontinued secondary to low WBC or neutrophil counts. In the controlled cognitive and neuropsychological safety study, 5 patients (8.6%) in the KEPPRA-treated group and two patients (6.1%) in the placebo-treated group had high eosinophil count values that were possibly clinically significant (≥10% or ≥0.7×109/L). 5.8 Increase in Blood Pressure In a randomized, placebo-controlled study in patients 1 month to <4 years of age, a significantly higher risk of increased diastolic blood pressure was observed in the KEPPRA-treated patients (17%), compared to the placebo-treated patients (2%). There was no overall difference in mean diastolic blood pressure between the treatment groups. This disparity between the KEPPRA and placebo treatment groups was not observed in the studies of older children or in adults. Monitor patients 1 month to <4 years of age for increases in diastolic blood pressure. 5.9 Seizure Control During Pregnancy Physiological changes may gradually decrease plasma levels of levetiracetam throughout pregnancy. This decrease is more pronounced during the third trimester. It is recommended that patients be monitored carefully during pregnancy. Close monitoring should continue through the postpartum period especially if the dose was changed during pregnancy.