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J Feline Med Surg. 2017 Feb;19(2):200-206. doi: 10.1177/1098612X15622806. Epub 2016 Jul 9.

Levetiracetam in the management of feline audiogenic reflex seizures: a randomised, controlled, open-label study.

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1 Davies Veterinary Specialists, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, UK.
Current address: Dovecote Veterinary Hospital, Castle Donington, Derby, UK.
2 International Cat Care, Tisbury, Wiltshire, UK.
3 Department of Pharmacology, UCL School of Pharmacy, London, UK.


Objectives Currently, there are no published randomised, controlled veterinary trials evaluating the efficacy of antiepileptic medication in the treatment of myoclonic seizures. Myoclonic seizures are a hallmark of feline audiogenic seizures (FARS). Methods This prospective, randomised, open-label trial compared the efficacy and tolerability of levetiracetam (20-25 mg/kg q8h) with phenobarbital (3-5 mg/kg q12h) in cats with suspected FARS that experienced myoclonic seizures. Cats were included that had ⩾12 myoclonic seizure days during a prospective 12 week baseline period. This was followed by a 4 week titration phase (until a therapeutic serum concentration of phenobarbital was achieved) and a 12 week treatment phase. Results Fifty-seven cats completed the study: 28 in the levetiracetam group and 29 in the phenobarbital group. A reduction of ⩾50% in the number of myoclonic seizure days was seen in 100% of patients in the levetiracetam group and in 3% of patients in the phenobarbital group ( P <0.001) during the treatment period. Levetiracetam-treated cats had higher freedom from myoclonic seizures (50.0% vs 0%; P <0.001) during the treatment period. The most common adverse events were lethargy, inappetence and ataxia, with no difference in incidence between levetiracetam and phenobarbital. Adverse events were mild and transient with levetiracetam but persistent with phenobarbital. Conclusions and relevance These results suggest that levetiracetam is an effective and well tolerated treatment for cats with myoclonic seizures and is more effective than phenobarbital. Whether it will prevent the occurrence of generalised tonic-clonic seizures and other forebrain signs if used early in the course of FARS is not yet clear.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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