Journal Scan: Is adjunctive levetiracetam effective in treating refractory canine epilepsy?

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Sep 03, 2012

What they did
In a blinded trial involving dogs with idiopathic epilepsy refractory to treatment with phenobarbital and potassium bromide, 34 dogs were randomized to receive either levetiracetam or placebo for 16 weeks. After a four-week washout period, dogs were crossed over to the alternate treatment group for an additional 16 weeks. Dosages of phenobarbital and potassium bromide were not altered during the trial.

What they found
Researchers found that while levetiracetam appeared to be safe and was well-tolerated, there was no difference in seizure frequency between levetiracetam and placebo groups when administered as an add-on therapy for refractory epilepsy.

Take-home message
Levetiracetam was not found to be effective in the treatment of dogs with refractory epilepsy. But the power of the study was limited, and further study is warranted.

Muñana KR, Thomas WB, Inzana JA, et al. Evaluation of levetiracetam as adjunctive treatment for refractory canine epilepsy: a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. J Vet Intern Med 2012;26(2):341-348.

Link to full article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1939-1676.2011.00866.x/full