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Neurology. 2008 Feb 19;70(8):607-16. doi: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000297512.18364.40.

Levetiracetam for the treatment of idiopathic generalized epilepsy with myoclonic seizures.

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1
Epilepsy Centre, Department of Neurology, University of Munich, Marchioninistr. 15, 81377 Munich, Germany. noa@med.uni-muenchen.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Currently, there are no published randomized controlled trials evaluating the efficacy and safety of adjunctive antiepileptic therapy in idiopathic generalized epilepsy with myoclonic seizures.

METHODS:

This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter trial assessed the efficacy and tolerability of adjunctive treatment with levetiracetam 3,000 mg/day in adolescents (>or=12 years) and adults (<or=65 years) with idiopathic generalized epilepsy, who experienced myoclonic seizures on >or=8 days during a prospective 8-week baseline period, despite antiepileptic monotherapy. The 8-week baseline period was followed by 4-week up-titration, 12-week evaluation, and 6-week down-titration/conversion periods.

RESULTS:

Of 122 patients randomized, 120 (levetiracetam, n = 60; placebo, n = 60) were evaluable. Diagnoses were either juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (93.4%) or juvenile absence epilepsy (6.6%). A reduction of >or=50% in the number of days/week with myoclonic seizures was seen in 58.3% of patients in the levetiracetam group and in 23.3% of patients in the placebo group (p < 0.001) during the treatment period. Levetiracetam-treated patients were more likely to respond to treatment than patients receiving placebo (OR = 4.77; 95% CI, 2.12 to 10.77; p < 0.001). Levetiracetam-treated patients had higher freedom from myoclonic seizures (25.0% vs 5.0%; p = 0.004) and all seizure types (21.7% vs 1.7%; p < 0.001) during the evaluation period. The only adverse events more frequent with levetiracetam were somnolence and neck pain.

CONCLUSION:

These results suggest that levetiracetam is an effective and well-tolerated adjunctive treatment for patients with previously uncontrolled idiopathic generalized epilepsy with myoclonic seizures.

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