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New treatment options in status epilepticus: a critical review on intravenous levetiracetam.
Trinka, E; Dobesberger, J;
Ther Adv Neurol Disord. 2009; 2(2):79-91
Originalarbeiten (Zeitschrift)


Dobesberger Judith
Trinka Eugen


The effectiveness of Levetiracetam (LEV) in the treatment of focal and generalised epilepsies is well established. LEV has a wide spectrum of action, good tolerability and a favourable pharmacokinetic profile. An injectable formulation has been released as an intravenous (IV) infusion in 2006 for patients with epilepsy when oral administration is temporarily not feasible. Bioequivalence to the oral preparation has been demonstrated with good tolerability and safety enabling a smooth transition from oral to parenteral formulation and vice versa. Although IV LEV is not licensed for treatment of status epilepticus (SE), open-label experience in retrospective case series is accumulating. Until now (August 2008) 156 patients who were treated with IV LEV for various forms of SE have been reported with an overall success rate of 65.4%. The most often used initial dose was 2000-3000 mg over 15 minutes. Adverse events were reported in 7.1%, and were mild and transient. Although IV LEV is an interesting alternative for the treatment of SE due to the lack of centrally depressive effects and low potential of drug interactions, one has to be aware of the nonrandomised retrospective study design, the heterogenous patient population and treatment protocols, and the publication bias inherent in these type of studies. Only a large randomised controlled trial with an adequate comparator will reveal the efficacy and effectiveness of this promising new IV formulation.