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Pediatr Neurol. 2010 Oct;43(4):231-5. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2010.05.008.

Age and comedications influence levetiracetam pharmacokinetics in children.

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Department of Neuropediatrics, Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


The pharmacokinetics of many antiepileptic drugs differs between adults and children. The influence of age and concomitant medications on the dose/concentration ratio of levetiracetam was examined in 103 children with epilepsy. Dosing and plasma levels of levetiracetam and concomitant antiepileptic drugs were reviewed retrospectively. The dose/concentration ratio was calculated as the weight-normalized dose (mg/kg/day) divided by the steady-state trough plasma drug level, which was used as a measure of apparent oral clearance of levetiracetam. Children were classified into age groups and treatment groups: levetiracetam given with enzyme inducers (n = 24) or nonenzyme inducers (n = 69), or as monotherapy (n = 10). Levetiracetam clearance differed significantly between age groups (0-4, 5-11, and 12-17 years), i.e., the younger the child, the higher the clearance. The increase was 1.7-fold between the youngest and oldest age groups. Children on enzyme inducers exhibited significantly higher clearance (1.3-fold), compared with those on nonenzyme inducers and monotherapy. Levetiracetam did not influence the clearance of lamotrigine, valproate, topiramate, or clonazepam. In conclusion, younger age and comedication with an enzyme inducer increased levetiracetam clearance. This finding should be taken into account when treating individual patients.

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