Levetiracetam (Keppra)

Test ID: 


CPT code:




Test Information:

Levetiracetam (LTA), a piracetam analogue, is an antiepileptic drug (AED) structurally unrelated to other AEDs. The exact mechanism by which LTA acts has not been determined at this time; however, binding sites for the drug have been identified in synaptic plasma membranes of CNS neurons. Secondary alteration in GABA-related enzymes may result from binding to neurons in specific regions of the CNS. While approximately one-fourth of LTA is converted by enzymatic hydrolysis to a carboxylic acid metabolite, the drug has no effect on UDP glucuronyltransferase, epoxide hydrolase, or enzymes in the CYP system, resulting in minimal interactions with other AEDs in a polypharmacy regimen. LTA has minimal protein binding (<10%), an elimination half-life of six to eight hours in healthy adults, six hours in children, and 10-11 hours in the elderly. In healthy adults, approximately 95% of LTA and metabolites are excreted in the urine. Renal impairment can, therefore, decrease clearance from 35% to 60%.  A single 1000 mg dose or 1000 mg twice daily doses produced peak levels of 31 μg/mL and 43 μg/mL, respectively. Neuropsychiatric adverse events of aggression, anger, and irritability, as well as adverse reactions of leukopenia, neutropenia, pancytopenia, and thrombocytopenia have been reported.

Specimen Type:

Serum or plasma

Requested Volume: 

1 mL

Minimum Volume: 

0.2 mL

Container Type: 

Red-top tube, lavender-top (EDTA) tube, or green-top (heparin) tube. Do not use a gel-barrier tube. The use of gel-barrier tubes is not recommended due to slow absorption of the drug by the gel. Depending on the specimen volume and storage time, the decrease in drug level due to absorption may be clinically significant


Transfer separated serum or plasma to a plastic transport tube.

Storage Instructions:

Maintain specimen at room temperature.

Rejection Criteria

Gel-barrier tube

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