Flemming Winther Bach

The anticonvulsant levetiracetam for the treatment of pain in polyneuropathy: A randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial

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  • Neurofysiologisk Afdeling, NBG
  • Neurologisk Afdeling, Aalborg Sygehus Nord
  • Dansk Smerteforskningscenter
  • Neurologisk Afdeling F, NBG
Levetiracetam is an anticonvulsant which is assumed to act by modulating neurotransmitter release via binding to the vesicle protein SV2A. This could have an impact on signaling in the nociceptive system, and a pilot study indicated relief of neuropathic pain with levetiracetam. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to test the analgesic effect of levetiracetam in painful polyneuropathy. METHODS: This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial with levetiracetam 3000mg/day versus placebo (6-week treatment periods). Patients with diagnosed polyneuropathy and symptoms for more than 6months, age between 20 and 80years, pain intensity of more than 4 on a 0-10-point numeric rating scale, and pain at least 4days a week were included in the study. The primary outcome measure was pain relief at the end of each treatment period as measured on a 6-point verbal scale. RESULTS: Ninety-three patients were screened for participation and 39 patients entered the study. Thirty-five patients were included in the data analysis. There were no differences in the ratings of pain relief (levetiracetam 2.29 versus placebo 2.28, p=0.979), total pain intensity (levetiracetam 5.5 versus placebo 5.3, p=0.293) or any of the other outcome measures (p=0.147-1.00). CONCLUSION: This study indicates that the anticonvulsant levetiracetam has no clinically relevant effect on painful polyneuropathy.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Pain
Vol/bind15
Nummer6
Sider (fra-til)608-614
ISSN1090-3801
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2011

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