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Headache. 2004 Mar;44(3):238-43.

Efficacy and safety of levetiracetam in pediatric migraine.

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Pediatric Neurology Department, Hillcrest Healthcare System, Children's Medical Center, Tulsa, Okla. 74104, USA.



Headache is a frequent occurrence among children and adolescents. Chronic headaches can be severe and disabling, and require prophylactic treatment; however, additional data on the use of prophylactic medications for migraine in children are needed.


To review the efficacy and safety of levetiracetam (Keppra) in pediatric patients with a history of recurrent headache.


Data from 19 pediatric patients were retrospectively reviewed. The initial dose of levetiracetam was usually 125 or 250 mg twice daily, but varied depending upon clinical judgment.


Charts of 9 girls and 10 boys (mean age, 11.9 years) were reviewed. A variety of medications, including triptans, had been used before initiating treatment with levetiracetam. Mean headache frequency before treatment was 6.3 per month (standard deviation [SD], 3.8; confidence interval [CI], 4.4 to 8.1). Duration of headaches ranged from 0.25 to 8 years. Migraine (63.2%) and migraine with aura (15.8%) were the most common types of headache reported. Most patients (89.5%) had headaches that were severe. After treatment, the mean headache frequency decreased to 1.7 per month (SD, 2.7; CI, 0.4 to 3.0), representing a reduction compared with baseline (P <.0001). Levetiracetam eliminated headaches in 10 patients (52.6%), and 7 patients (36.8%) had less severe and less frequent headaches. Levetiracetam did not have an effect on headaches in 2 patients (10.5%). Mean duration of treatment with levetiracetam was 4.1 months. Doses ranged from 125 to 750 mg twice daily. Sixteen patients (84.2%) reported no side effects on levetiracetam. One patient experienced asthenia/somnolence and dizziness, and irritable, hyperactive, and hostile behavior led to discontinuation of levetiracetam in another patient. A third patient experienced irritability and moodiness that attenuated after 1 month of treatment and did not require discontinuation.


In this small retrospective review, levetiracetam was found to be generally well tolerated and appears to be a promising candidate for additional evaluation in well-controlled clinical trials of pediatric patients with migraine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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