Tolerability of levetiracetam in elderly patients with CNS disorders

Joyce A. Cramer, Ilo E Leppik, Katrien De Rue, Pascal Edrich, Günter Krämer

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58 Scopus citations


The purpose of this analysis was to compare treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAE) related to use of levetiracetam (LEV) reported by young and elderly patients with anxiety and cognitive disorders, and young epilepsy patients. The LEV database includes reports of TEAE from trials of patients with diagnoses of a cognitive disorder (N=719), an anxiety disorder (N=1510), or localization-related epilepsy (N=1023) who participated in clinical trials lasting up to 16 weeks. Patients were grouped as young (<65 years) or elderly (≥65 years). The most common TEAE occurring most frequently in the LEV-treated groups were abdominal pain, asthenia, headache, anorexia, weight loss, dizziness, insomnia, somnolence, and tremor. The only significant differences in TEAE were seen between young and elderly groups with anxiety disorders (>3% higher for LEV than for placebo-treated patients) in headache (5.2% elderly, -0.9% young, P=0.041), and tremor (5.2 and -0.5%, respectively, P=0.022) and between young anxiety patients and young epilepsy patients for somnolence (-0.7 and 5.4%, respectively, P=0.036). For the other TEAEs there was no evidence for consistent differences between young and elderly patients and between patients with different CNS disorders. Overall, LEV was well tolerated by all patient groups. The favorable adverse event profile suggests that LEV might be suitable for use by elderly patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-145
Number of pages11
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Oct 2003


  • Adverse event
  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive disorder
  • Epilepsy
  • Levetiracetam


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