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J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2012 Apr;32(2):269-72. doi: 10.1097/JCP.0b013e318248ba69.

The anticonvulsant levetiracetam potentiates alcohol consumption in non-treatment seeking alcohol abusers.

Author information

1
Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center, Emeryville, CA 94608, USA. jmitchell@gallo.ucsf.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Levetiracetam (Keppra) is a commonly prescribed anticonvulsant that has been shown to attenuate alcohol consumption in an open-label study of treatment-seeking, alcohol-dependent subjects.

METHODS:

Here we performed a 42-day placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized crossover trial to evaluate the effects of levetiracetam on moderate to heavy drinkers receiving either a low (500-1000 g/d) or a moderate (1000-2000 g/d) dose. Electronic diaries were used to monitor daily ethanol intake.

RESULTS:

Across the entire group, there was no effect of levetiracetam on drinking irrespective of dose, treatment order, family history, ethnicity, sex, or adverse effects. However, a median split of the data based on the number of drinks consumed while taking placebo revealed that levetiracetam significantly increased drinking in the lower drinking subjects (n = 23, P = 0.05, t = 2.07) while having no effect on drinking in the higher half (n = 23, P = 0.75, t = 0.32). Preliminary stratification based on common polymorphisms associated with alcoholism and impulsivity indicated that subjects with alcoholism-associated alleles may drink even more while taking levetiracetam.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our data suggest that levetiracetam is not an appropriate treatment for non-treatment seeking alcohol abusers and can, in fact, increase their consumption of alcohol.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01168687.

PMID:
22367657
DOI:
10.1097/JCP.0b013e318248ba69
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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