Back to Browse Journals » Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment » Volume 4 » Issue 1

Monotherapy for partial epilepsy: focus on levetiracetam

Authors Antonio Gambardella, Angelo Labate, Eleonora Colosimo, Roberta Ambrosio, Aldo Quattrone

Published 8 February 2008 Volume 2008:4(1) Pages 33—38


Antonio Gambardella1,2, Angelo Labate1,2, Eleonora Colosimo1, Roberta Ambrosio1, Aldo Quattrone1,2

1Institute of Neurology, University Magna Græcia, Catanzaro, Italy; 2Institute of Neurological Sciences, National Research Council, Piano Lago di Mangone, Cosenza, Italy

Abstract: Levetiracetam (LEV), the S-enantiomer of alpha-ethyl-2-oxo-1-pyrollidine acetamide, is a recently licensed antiepileptic drug (AED) for adjunctive therapy of partial seizures. Its mechanism of action is uncertain but it exhibits a unique profile of anticonvulsant activity in models of chronic epilepsy. Five randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials enrolling adult or pediatric patients with refractory partial epilepsy have demonstrated the efficacy of LEV as adjunctive therapy, with a responder rate (≥50% reduction in seizure frequency) of 28%–45%. Long-term efficacy studies suggest retention rates of 60% after one year, with 13% of patients seizure-free for 6 months of the study and 8% seizure-free for 1 year. More recent studies illustrated successful conversion to monotherapy in patients with refractory epilepsy, and its effectiveness as a single agent in partial epilepsy. LEV has also efficacy in generalized epilepsies. Adverse effects of LEV, including somnolence, lethargy, and dizziness, are generally mild and their occurrence rate seems to be not significantly different from that observed in placebo groups. LEV also has no clinically significant pharmacokinetic interactions with other AEDs, or with commonly prescribed medications. The combination of effective antiepileptic properties with a relatively mild adverse effect profile makes LEV an attractive therapy for partial seizures.

Keywords: levetiracetam, partial epilepsy, antiepileptic drugs

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF] 


Readers of this article also read:

Pharmacokinetics of quercetin-loaded nanodroplets with ultrasound activation and their use for bioimaging

Chang LW, Hou ML, Hung SH, Lin LC, Tsai TH

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2015, 10:3031-3042

Published Date: 17 April 2015

Application of apolipoprotein E-modified liposomal nanoparticles as a carrier for delivering DNA and nucleic acid in the brain

Tamaru M, Akita H, Nakatani T, Kajimoto K, Sato Y, Hatakeyama H, Harashima H

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2014, 9:4267-4276

Published Date: 8 September 2014

Fullerene–biomolecule conjugates and their biomedicinal applications

Yang X, Ebrahimi A, Li J, Cui Q

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2014, 9:77-92

Published Date: 18 December 2013

Preliminary biocompatible evaluation of nano-hydroxyapatite/polyamide 66 composite porous membrane

Yili Qu, Ping Wang, Yi Man, et al

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2010, 5:429-435

Published Date: 21 June 2010

Present and prospective clinical therapeutic regimens for Alzheimer’s disease

Mustafa M Husain, Kenneth Trevino, Haroon Siddique, Shawn M McClintock

Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 2008, 4:765-777

Published Date: 8 August 2008

Rasagiline in treatment of Parkinson’s disease

Lakshmi Nayak, Claire Henchcliffe

Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 2008, 4:11-20

Published Date: 8 February 2008

Review of frovatriptan in the treatment of migraine

Leslie Kelman

Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 2008, 4:49-54

Published Date: 8 February 2008

Editorial: Open Access — the future of medical publishing || FREE PAPER ||

Scott G Fraser

Clinical Ophthalmology 2007, 1:199-200

Published Date: 15 December 2007

The Schiavo dilemma || FREE PAPER ||

Richard F Walker

Clinical Interventions in Aging 2006, 1:6-6

Published Date: 15 March 2006