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CNS Drug Rev. 2007 Spring;13(1):43-56.

Levetiracetam: the profile of a novel anticonvulsant drug-part I: preclinical data.

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Laboratory for Clinical and Experimental Neurophysiology - Reference Center for Refractory Epilepsy, University Hospital Ghent, Ghent, Belgium.


The objective of this article was to review and summarize the available reports on the preclinical profile of the novel anticonvulsant drug levetiracetam (LEV). Therefore, a careful search was conducted in the MEDLINE database and combined with guidelines from regulatory agencies, proceedings of professional scientific meetings, and information provided by the manufacturers. This article provides detailed information on the anticonvulsant effects of LEV in various animal models of epilepsy and on its pharmacology in laboratory animals. The mechanism of action of LEV is reviewed, with special regard to its recently discovered binding site, the synaptic vesicle protein 2A. In general, LEV is shown to be a safe, broad-spectrum anticonvulsant drug with highly beneficial pharmacokinetic properties and a distinct mechanism of action. The clinical studies with LEV will be discussed in the second part of this review article to be published subsequently.

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