(RxWiki News) As some who suffer with it know, epilepsy can be difficult. The fear of seizures can itself be exhausting.
Keppra (levetiracetam) is often used in combination with other drugs to combat epilepsy. A recent study has demonstrated that Keppra can be helpful as an adjunctive therapy along with more traditional anti-epileptic medications.
"Consult your neurologist to help find the right combination of epilepsy medications."
Dr. Norman Delanty and his team at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland conducted the study. Participants came from three groups: tonic–clonic seizures (grand mal), myoclonic seizures (uncontrolled twitching of the muscles) and absence seizures ("staring spells", which have been known to affect student performance and attentiveness in school).
In all cases, participant seizures were not fully controlled on their current drug regimens, and the origins of their seizures were "idiopathic," or unknown. Two-hundred and seventeen participants ranged in age from 4 years to 65 years and received various dosages of Keppra ranging from 1000 mg per day to 4000 mg per day.
Around 57 percent of patients were taking an additional traditional anti-epileptic drug during the study, and roughly 42 percent of participants were taking multiple anti-seizure drugs.
Highlights of the study included:
- Freedom from seizures of all kinds was achieved for greater than six months by 56.2 percent of patients.
- Freedom from specific seizure types greater than 6 months were 62.5% (tonic-clonic), 62.0% (myoclonic), and 62.9% (absence seizures)
- 22.6 percent of patients enjoyed complete seizure freedom during the study.
- The average period an individual went without a seizure was 371.7 days.
This research has demonstrated that using Keppra to supplement traditional anti-epileptic medications is effective for the long-term treatment of seizures in children, adolescents, and adults.
This study was published in a November, 2011 issue of Epilepsia.