This work was performed at the Veterinary Teaching Hospitals of North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC; the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN: and the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Blacksburg, VA.
Evaluation of Levetiracetam as Adjunctive Treatment for Refractory Canine Epilepsy: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial
Article first published online: 1 FEB 2012
Copyright © 2012 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Volume 26, Issue 2, pages 341–348, March-April 2012
Total views since publication: 536
How to Cite
Muñana, K.R., Thomas, W.B., Inzana, K.D., Nettifee-Osborne, J.A., McLucas, K.J., Olby, N.J., Mariani, C.J. and Early, P.J. (2012), Evaluation of Levetiracetam as Adjunctive Treatment for Refractory Canine Epilepsy: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 26: 341–348. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2011.00866.x
Findings from this study were presented at the 2010 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum, Anaheim, CA.
- Issue published online: 20 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 1 FEB 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 2 DEC 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 7 NOV 2011
- Manuscript Received: 8 SEP 2011
- UCB Pharma Inc
- Morris Animal Foundation
- Clinical pharmacology;
- CNS disorders;
There is little evidence-based information available to guide treatment of refractory epilepsy in dogs. The antiepileptic drug levetiracetam (LEV) is administered to dogs, although its safety and efficacy are unknown.
To evaluate the safety and efficacy of LEV as adjunctive therapy for refractory epilepsy in dogs.
Thirty-four client-owned dogs with idiopathic epilepsy.
Randomized, blinded trial involving dogs resistant to phenobarbital and bromide. Dogs received LEV (20 mg/kg PO q8h) or placebo for 16 weeks, and after a 4-week washout were crossed over to the alternate treatment for 16 weeks. Owners kept records on seizure frequency and adverse events. Hemogram, chemistry profile, urinalysis, and serum antiepileptic drug concentrations were evaluated at established intervals.
Twenty-two (65%) dogs completed the study. Weekly seizure frequency during the 1st treatment period decreased significantly during LEV administration relative to baseline (1.9 ± 1.9 to 1.1 ± 1.3, P = .015). The reduction in seizures with LEV was not significant when compared to placebo (1.1 ± 1.3 versus 1.5 ± 1.7, P = .310). The most common adverse event was ataxia, with no difference in incidence between LEV and placebo (45 versus 18%, P = .090). No changes in laboratory parameters were identified and owners reported an improved quality of life (QOL) with LEV compared to placebo (QOL score 32.7 ± 4.3 versus 29.4 ± 4.5, P = .028).
Conclusions and Clinical Importance
Adjunctive treatment with LEV appears safe in epileptic dogs. Efficacy of LEV over placebo was not demonstrated, although the power of the study was limited. Further evaluation of LEV as treatment for epilepsy in dogs is warranted.