Effect of levetiracetam on epilepsy-related quality of life

Joyce A. Cramer, Celestina Arrigo, Geneviève Van Hammée, Laura J. Gauer, James J. Cereghino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the short-term effect of levetiracetam (LEV; UCB L059) as add-on therapy on health-related quality of life in the treatment of refractory partial-onset seizures. Methods: Patients were enrolled in protocol UCB N132 if they had ≥ 12 partial-onset seizures with or without secondary generalization during the 12-week baseline period with a minimum of two seizures every 4 weeks. Randomization was made to placebo, LEV 1,000 mg, or LEV 3,000 mg, with sample size based on seizure frequency reduction. The 31-item Quality of Life in Epilepsy (QOLIE-31) questionnaire was completed by 246 patients at the end of baseline and at 18-week follow-up, or earlier if withdrawn. Results: Significant differences were found among the three treatment groups for Seizure Worry (p = 0.0003), Overall Quality of Life (p = 0.04), and Cognitive Functioning domains (p = 0.01), as well as the Total Score (p = 0.009). Responders (≥50% partial onset seizure reduction) had significant improvements in all areas, except Medication Effect, compared with nonresponders (all p > 0.006). Clinically noticeable improvement (≥10% change from baseline to follow-up) was perceived by LEV 3,000 mg responders in all areas, except Emotional Well-Being, by LEV 1,000 mg responders in 5 of 9 areas, and by placebo responders in 2 of 9 areas. Conclusions: Addition of LEV to standard medication seems to have a positive impact on health-related quality of life, particularly among responders in this short-term study. These exploratory analyses require additional studies to evaluate long-term changes in a larger population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)868-874
Number of pages7
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical trial
  • Levetiracetam
  • QOLIE-31
  • Quality of life
  • Seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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