Review of levetiracetam, with a focus on the extended release formulation, as adjuvant therapy in controlling partial-onset seizures
Carol M Ulloa, Allen Towfigh, Joseph Safdieh
Department of Neurology and Neuroscience, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY, USA
Abstract: Levetiracetam is a second-generation antiepileptic drug (AED) with a unique chemical structure and mechanism of action. The extended release formulation of levetiracetam (Keppra XR™; UCB Pharma) was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial-onset seizures in patients 16 years of age and older with epilepsy. This approval is based on a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter, multinational trial. Levetiracetam XR allows for once-daily dosing, which may increase compliance and, given the relatively constant plasma concentrations, may minimize concentration-related adverse effects. Levetiracetam’s mode of action is not fully elucidated, but it has been found to target high-voltage, N-type calcium channels as well as the synaptic vesicle protein 2A (SV2A). Levetiracetam has nearly ideal pharmacokinetics. It is rapidly and almost completely absorbed after oral ingestion, is ‹10% protein-bound, demonstrates linear kinetics, is minimally metabolized through a pathway independent of the cytochrome P450 system, has no significant drug–drug interactions, and has a wide therapeutic index. The most common reported adverse events with levetiracetam XR were somnolence, irritability, dizziness, nausea, influenza, and nasopharyngitis. Levetiracetam XR provides an efficacious and well-tolerated treatment option for adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial-onset seizures.
Keywords: levetiracetam, partial-onset seizures, antiepileptic drugs
© 2009 The Author(s). This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php 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.