Levetiracetam: A comprehensive review

Amy Z. Crepeau, David M. Treiman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Levetiracetam was approved by the US FDA in 1999 after failing the traditional screening tests for antiepileptic drugs. In the 10 years since its introduction, it has become one of the first-line antiepileptic agents and has been evaluated in small uncontrolled studies and case series as an off-label treatment for status epilepticus, for nonepileptic neurological conditions, such as movement disorders, neuropathic pain and headaches, and for some psychiatric conditions. It has not been approved for any indication other than chronic epilepsy. A significant factor in using levetiracetam for seizures and other disorders has been its ease of dosing and tolerability. In this article, we outline how levetiracetam was discovered, the animal and human data showing its antiepileptic activity, its potential use in other neurological conditions and the significant adverse events. We also discuss the direction antiepileptic drug development will take in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-171
Number of pages13
JournalExpert review of neurotherapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010


  • Anticonvulsant
  • Antiepileptic drug
  • Epilepsy
  • Keppra®
  • Kindling model
  • Levetiracetam
  • Pyrrolidine
  • Seizure
  • Status epilepticus
  • Synaptic vesicle protein 2a

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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