Levetiracetam and valproate retention rate in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy

Jacint Sala-Padró, Manuel Toledo, Estevo Santamarina, Montserrat González-Cuevas, Miquel Raspall-Chaure, Maria Sueiras-Gil, Manolo Quintana, Xavier Salas-Puig

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. Background: Valproic acid (VPA) is an effective treatment in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME), but concerns on its use during pregnancy are remarkable. Levetiracetam (LEV) is approved as second-line therapy, and used as monotherapy in clinical practice. Our objective was to analyze the outcome of LEVand VPA in JME. Materials and Methods: We analyzed patients with JME attending our epilepsy unit between 2010 and 2014, including all patients treated with LEVand/or VPA at some point of the disease course. The primary end point was drug retention rate in monotherapy after the final analysis. Results: We identified 58 patients (62% women). All had myoclonic seizures, 86% had generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) before the diagnosis, and 9% also had absences. All had generalized spike and wave on the interictal electroencephalogram, and 86% of them also had generalized polyspike and wave discharges. In total, LEV monotherapy was maintained in 15 (65%) of 23 patients, and VPAwas maintained in 37 (74%) of 50 patients (P = 0.062). In women younger than 35 years, LEV had a similar retention rate with VPA (P = 0.939). More VPA patients achieved seizure freedom during follow-up (P < 0.01), whereas LEV patients showed a trend toward higher myoclonic freedom (0.085). Conclusions: Levetiracetam showed lower retention rate than VPA, primarily due to poorer seizure control during long-term follow-up. More LEV patients achieved myoclonic seizure freedom than VPA patients. In women younger than 35 years, LEVand VPA had comparable retention rate; therefore, LEV could be a good option for women with JME with prominent myoclonic seizures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-301
JournalClinical Neuropharmacology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2016


  • Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy
  • Levetiracetam
  • Retention rate
  • Valproate


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