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Epileptic Disord. 2003 May;5 Suppl 1:S39-44.

Levetiracetam: preliminary efficacy in generalized seizures.

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  • 1Neurological Department, Medical Center Alkmaar, Netherlands.


Levetiracetam is a novel antiepileptic drug (AED) with proven efficacy against partial seizures, but there is limited information about its effectiveness against generalized seizures. In animal models, levetiracetam protects against seizures in audiogenic susceptible rodents, and it is effective in the Genetic Absence Epilepsy Rat from Strasbourg, a model of absence seizures. In these models, levetiracetam has a therapeutic index that is higher than those of other AEDs. A number of small open-label studies suggest that levetiracetam reduces seizure frequency in patients with generalized seizures, including primarily generalized seizures and myoclonic seizures. Case reports provide additional information regarding the potential efficacy of levetiracetam in postanoxic, post-encephalitic and progressive myoclonus. Although random-ized controlled studies of patients with generalized seizures have not yet been conducted, on the basis of available information, levetiracetam may be prom-ising in the treatment of generalized seizures.

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