In a study of 846 patients, adding levetiracetam (Keppra®, UCB Pharma) to antiepileptic drug therapy offered patients with difficult-to-treat, partial-onset epilepsy more than five additional seizure-free days per quarter—the equivalent of nearly three weeks a year—compared with the number of days for patients taking placebo.
In adults, partial-onset seizures are the most common manifestation of epilepsy, a condition that affects approximately 2.3 million Americans. Nearly a third of patients with partial-onset seizures have uncontrolled epilepsy that does not respond to drug therapy or other treatments. The quality of life in patients with epilepsy is directly related to the frequency of seizures, and seizure-free patients experience a health-related quality of life similar to that of the general population.
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Central nervous system adverse drug events included somnolence and fatigue, coordination difficulties, and behavioral and hematological abnormalities. Dosing must be individualized according to the patient’s renal status.
The FDA approved Keppra® tablets in 1999 for the adjunctive treatment of partial-onset seizures in adults with epilepsy. Keppra® oral solution was approved in July 2003.