Levetiracetam as an adjunct to phenobarbital treatment in cats with suspected idiopathic epilepsy

  • Bailey K
  • Dewey C
  • Boothe D
 et al. 
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OBJECTIVE: To assess pharmacokinetics, efficacy, and tolerability of oral levetiracetam administered as an adjunct to phenobarbital treatment in cats with poorly controlled suspected idiopathic epilepsy. DESIGN-Open-label, noncomparative clinical trial. ANIMALS: 12 cats suspected to have idiopathic epilepsy that was poorly controlled with phenobarbital or that had unacceptable adverse effects when treated with phenobarbital. PROCEDURES: Cats were treated with levetiracetam (20 mg/kg [9.1 mg/lb], PO, q 8 h). After a minimum of 1 week of treatment, serum levetiracetam concentrations were measured before and 2, 4, and 6 hours after drug administration, and maximum and minimum serum concentrations and elimination half-life were calculated. Seizure frequencies before and after initiation of levetiracetam treatment were compared, and adverse effects were recorded. RESULTS: Median maximum serum levetiracetam concentration was 25.5 microg/mL, median minimum serum levetiracetam concentration was 8.3 microg/mL, and median elimination half-life was 2.9 hours. Median seizure frequency prior to treatment with levetiracetam (2.1 seizures/mo) was significantly higher than median seizure frequency after initiation of levetiracetam treatment (0.42 seizures/mo), and 7 of 10 cats were classified as having responded to levetiracetam treatment (ie, reduction in seizure frequency of >or=50%). Two cats had transient lethargy and inappetence. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Results suggested that levetiracetam is well tolerated in cats and may be useful as an adjunct to phenobarbital treatment in cats with idiopathic epilepsy.

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  • Kerry Smith Bailey

  • Curtis W. Dewey

  • Dawn M. Boothe

  • Georgina Barone

  • Gregg D. Kortz

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