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PJ Online | News: Levetiracetam is an effective add-on epilepsy treatment

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The Pharmaceutical Journal
Vol 268 No 7194 p521-527
20 April 2002

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Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin(more)

Levetiracetam is an effective add-on epilepsy treatment

LEVETIRACETAM (Keppra) is an effective adjunctive treatment for adults with partial epilepsy that is not controlled with standard antiepileptic drugs, according to the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin.

The bulletin says that evidence from mainly short-term studies indicates that levetiracetam at least halves seizure frequency in about 40 per cent of patients and around one in 16 patients treated with the drug becomes seizure-free. In these terms, "levetiracetam appears at least as effective as, or better than, currently available add-on anti-epileptic drugs," it says. However, the bulletin cautions that assessing the place of levetiracetam in treatment is hampered by a lack of comparative controlled trials of anti-epileptic drugs and that such studies are urgently needed.

In addition, levetiracetam was found to be generally well-tolerated and have no pharmacological interactions with other antiepileptics, oral contraceptives, warfarin or digoxin (2002;40:30).

The bulletin also reviews management of infective endocarditis (ibid, p26).

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