Folia Medica 63(2): 234-241, doi: 10.3897/folmed.63.e54994
Levetiracetam effectiveness as add-on therapy in Bulgarian patients with drug-resistant epilepsy
expand article infoEkaterina I. Viteva, Zahari I. Zahariev
‡ Medical University of Plovdiv, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Open Access

Introduction: There are no reliable prospective studies on the effectiveness of LEV in Bulgarian adult patients with drug-resistant epilepsy.

Aim: The study aimed at conducting an open, prospective study on various aspects of levetiracetam (LEV) effectiveness in Bulgarian patients with drug-resistant epilepsy. 

Materials and methods: The study was performed with patients with epilepsy recruited from those attending the Department of Neurology at the University Hospital in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The patients completed diaries about seizure frequency, severity, and adverse events. There were regular documented visits at 3 or 6 months during the first year of treatment with LEV and at 6 months afterwards, with dynamic assessment of seizure frequency, severity, adverse events, and EEG recordings. 

Results: LEV was applied as an add-on therapy in 135 patients (86 males, mean age 35 years). There was a relatively mild and persisting dynamic improvement of seizure severity, a satisfactory seizure frequency reduction in 49.6% of participants, a persisting mean seizure frequency reduction (48-58%) from 6 to 36 months of treatment and a high responder rate (53-60%) during the same period. New seizure types (focal with impaired awareness with /without evolution to bilateral tonic-clonic seizures) occurred in 4 patients. There were adverse events (dizziness, memory impairment, aggressiveness, numbness, non-epileptic seizures, depression, anxiety, speech disturbances, visual hallucinations, sleepiness, pelvic muscles weakness, confusion, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, unstable gait, hair loss, acne, generalized rash) in 13.33% of patients.

Conclusions: LEV treatment is associated with: low and persisting improvement of seizure severity, a good and persisting improvement of seizure frequency, a possible worsening of seizure control, a possible appearance of new seizure types, a good safety and tolerability.

adverse events, efficacy, epilepsy, levetiracetam, tolerability