The role of levetiracetam in treatment of seizures in brain tumor patients

Ekokobe Fonkem, Paul Bricker, Diana Mungall, Jose Aceves, Eromata Ebwe, Wei Tang, Batool Kirmani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Levetiracetam, trade name Keppra, is a new second generation antiepileptic drug that is being increasingly used in brain tumor patients. In patients suffering with brain tumors, seizures are one of the leading neurologic complications being seen in more than 30% of patients. Unlike other antiepileptic drugs, levetiracetam is proposed to bind to a synaptic vesicle protein inhibiting calcium release. Brain tumor patients are frequently on chemotherapy or other drugs that induce cytochrome P450, causing significant drug interactions. However, levetiracetam does not induce the P450 system and does not exhibit any relevant drug interactions. Intravenous delivery is as bioavailable as the oral medication allowing it to be used in emergency situations. Levetiracetam is an attractive option for brain tumor patients suffering from seizures, but also can be used prophylactically in patients with brain tumors, or patients undergoing neurological surgery. Emerging studies have also demonstrated that levetiracetam can increase the sensitivity of Glioblastoma tumors to the chemotherapy drug temozolomide. Levetiracetam is a safe alternative to conventional antiepileptic drugs and an emerging tool for brain tumor patients combating seizures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberArticle 153
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Volume4 OCT
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Antiepileptic drugs
  • Brain tumor patients
  • Intravenous levetiracetam
  • Neurologic complications
  • Seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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