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Epilepsy Behav. 2008 Oct;13(3):557-9. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2008.07.004. Epub 2008 Aug 3.

Pyridoxine supplementation for the treatment of levetiracetam-induced behavior side effects in children: preliminary results.

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Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Behavioral side effects related to the use of levetiracetam (LEV) in epilepsy are increasingly being recognized. Patients followed in our center have reported improvement of these side effects after starting pyridoxine (vitamin B(6)) supplements. Using mailed questionnaires, retrospective chart reviews, and phone call follow-ups, we analyzed 42 pediatric patients who had been treated with LEV and pyridoxine. Twenty-two patients started pyridoxine after being on LEV, and significant behavioral improvement was observed in nine (41%), no effect in eight (36%), deterioration in four (18%), and an uncertain effect in one. The effects of pyridoxine supplementation were observed during the first week. The remaining patients (20) were already on pyridoxine before LEV was started, started pyridoxine and LEV at the same time, or took pyridoxine intermittently. Pyridoxine is an easily available, inexpensive, and safe therapeutic option. Given these preliminary results, we plan to conduct a placebo-controlled cross-over study to better characterize these observations.

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