Purpose: Three randomized, placebo-controlled trials have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of levetiracetam, a new antiepileptic medication, as add-on therapy for partial-onset seizures. The purpose of this study was to gather additional safety and efficacy data on levetiracetam in the real-world setting of community-based practice. Methods: This was a phase IV prospective, open-label, multicenter, community-based trial. A total of 1030 patients (intent-to-treat (ITT) population) at least 16 years old (mean, 42.2 years) with partial-onset seizures were enrolled by over 300 investigators. Patients whose partial-onset seizures were inadequately controlled on their current medications had levetiracetam 500mg bid added to their regimens. The levetiracetam dose was increased by 500mg bid at the end of weeks 2 and 4 to a maximum dose of 1500mg bid, unless the patient had been seizure-free during the preceding 2-week period. The dose was then to remain the same for 12 weeks. The main outcome measures were reduction in seizure frequency, global evaluation scale (GES), and adverse events. Results: During the 16 weeks of the trial, 57.9% (542/936) experienced at least a 50% reduction in the frequency of partial-onset seizures, 40.1% (375/936) experienced at least a 75% reduction, and 20% (187/936) demonstrated a 100% seizure reduction. During the last 6 weeks of the study, 66.7% (500/750) experienced at least a 50% reduction in the frequency of partial seizures, 52.4% (393/750) experienced at least a 75% reduction, and 42.1% (316/750) demonstrated a 100% seizure reduction. On the investigator-completed clinical impression rating (GES), 74.3% (734/988) of patients were considered improved, with 37% of patients showing marked improvement. The most common adverse events were somnolence, dizziness, asthenia, and headache; these events were predominantly mild-to-moderate in nature. Conclusions: These results provide further evidence regarding the efficacy and safety of levetiracetam as adjunctive treatment for partial-onset seizures.
- Adjunctive therapy
- Partial epilepsy