Introduction Levetiracetam (LEV) is one of the most widely used anti-seizure medications (ASMs) in clinical practice. This is due both to a different mechanism of action when compared to other ASMs and its easy handling. Indeed, because of its interesting pharmacokinetic properties, it is often used outside of the labeled indications, notably in the neurocritical setting as prophylaxis of epileptic seizures. Areas covered A literature search was conducted and the most relevant studies on the pharmacokinetic properties of LEV were selected by two independent investigators. Current evidence on the use of ASM prophylaxis in the neurocritical setting was also reviewed, highlighting and discussing the strengths and limits of LEV as drug of choice for anti-epileptic prophylaxis in this scenario. Expert opinion LEV has a 'near-ideal' pharmacokinetic profile, which makes it an attractive drug for ASM prophylaxis in neurocritical care. However, current recommendations restrict ASMs prophylaxis to very selected circumstances and the role of LEV is marginal. Moreover, studies are generally designed to compare LEV versus phenytoin, whereas studies comparing LEV versus placebo are lacking. Further, randomized trials will be needed to better elucidate LEV utility and its neuroprotective role in the neurocritical setting.

Pharmacokinetic considerations surrounding the use of levetiracetam for seizure prophylaxis in neurocritical care - an overview

D'Onofrio, Gianluca;Riva, Antonella;Amadori, Elisabetta;Verrotti, Alberto;Striano, Pasquale
2022-01-01

Abstract

Introduction Levetiracetam (LEV) is one of the most widely used anti-seizure medications (ASMs) in clinical practice. This is due both to a different mechanism of action when compared to other ASMs and its easy handling. Indeed, because of its interesting pharmacokinetic properties, it is often used outside of the labeled indications, notably in the neurocritical setting as prophylaxis of epileptic seizures. Areas covered A literature search was conducted and the most relevant studies on the pharmacokinetic properties of LEV were selected by two independent investigators. Current evidence on the use of ASM prophylaxis in the neurocritical setting was also reviewed, highlighting and discussing the strengths and limits of LEV as drug of choice for anti-epileptic prophylaxis in this scenario. Expert opinion LEV has a 'near-ideal' pharmacokinetic profile, which makes it an attractive drug for ASM prophylaxis in neurocritical care. However, current recommendations restrict ASMs prophylaxis to very selected circumstances and the role of LEV is marginal. Moreover, studies are generally designed to compare LEV versus phenytoin, whereas studies comparing LEV versus placebo are lacking. Further, randomized trials will be needed to better elucidate LEV utility and its neuroprotective role in the neurocritical setting.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1096174
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