Levetiracetam in pediatrics

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Levetiracetam is a new antiepileptic drug whose efficacy and tolerability are already well known in adults. Few studies are available in children. This review, based on the international literature, aims to identify and make known the possible indications for levetiracetam in childhood. Most studies suggest that levetiracetam is effective against partial and generalized epilepsy. In resistant partial epilepsy, the percentage of responders reaches 64%, with 8 to 23% seizure free. Levetiracetam is used to treat symptomatic and idiopathic epilepsies. The drug has also proven effective against photosensitivity and epileptic and nonepileptic myoclonus. The most frequent side effects involve the behavioral sphere and manifest mostly in patients with a history of behavioral problems. In some patients, levetiracetam increases the number of seizures, but this adverse reaction can be partially avoided with slow titration. Doses for children should be 130 to 140% of those advised for adults. Levetiracetam seems to have a broad spectrum of action and is, on the whole, well tolerated. Its efficacy against generalized epilepsy is particularly promising in childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-93
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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