Study highlights possible side-effects of epilepsy drug levetiracetam

unhappy child

A new study has shed light on the possible behavioral side-effects associated with the use of the epilepsy drug levetiracetam among paediatric patients.

Conducted by a team from the Epilepsy Centre Kempenhaeghe in the Netherlands, the systematic review on behavioral effects of levetiracetam in children encompassed a total of 13 studies including 727 patients using the drug.

Three randomised controlled trials showed a total of 62 behavioral side-effects in 203 patients. Hostility, nervousness and aggression were mostly reported.

A further meta-analysis showed a statistically significant relative risk of 2.18 for the total number of behavioural side-effects for levetiracetam versus placebo. Results from this study may help to inform future paediatric epilepsy treatment strategies.

The report said: “Based on the findings in this systematic review, children using levetiracetam have a risk of developing several behavioural side effects such as aggression, hostility and nervousness compared to children who do not use levetiracetam.”

Levetiracetam is used in the treatment of myoclonic, partial and generalised epilepsy. However, as this study shows, it is not suitable for every patient.

Posted by Anne Brown