Effects of levetiracetam on chronic pain in multiple sclerosis: Results of a pilot, randomized, placebo-controlled study

S. Rossi, G. Mataluni, C. Codecà, S. Fiore, F. Buttari, A. Musella, M. Castelli, G. Bernardi, D. Centonze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and purpose: Central neuropathic pain (CNP) is a prevalent and distressing symptom in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). The anticonvulsant levetiracetam (LEV) has been shown to be efficacious in some types of CNP, but its efficacy in MS-related CNP has not been confirmed. Methods: To investigate the tolerability and potential effects of LEV against CNP in MS subjects, we performed a single-center, prospective, randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled study in twenty patients with MS and CNP. Outcomes before and during the 3-month study were assessed using validated measures of pain, depression, disability and quality of life. Results: The medication was well tolerated and analysis revealed a significant difference between the LEV and placebo arm in all study outcomes related to pain (mean pain intensity score, mean pain difference, percentage of patients with a clinically significant pain reduction). Furthermore, the individual quality of life rating improved in treated patients, showing a significant correlation with pain reduction. Conclusions: These findings suggest that further studies with larger samples of patients be carried out in order to confirm the efficacy of LEV in MS-related CNP population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-366
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009

Keywords

  • Anticonvulsants
  • Chronic neuropathic pain
  • Clinical trial
  • Levetiracetam
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

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