Levetiracetam (Page 2 of 7)

5.2 Somnolence and Fatigue


In some patients, levetiracetam causes somnolence and fatigue. The incidences of somnolence and fatigue provided below are from controlled adult partial-onset seizure studies. In general, the incidences of somnolence and fatigue in the myoclonic and primary generalized tonic-clonic studies were comparable to those of the adult partial-onset seizure studies.

In controlled trials of adult patients with epilepsy experiencing partial-onset seizures, 14.8% of levetiracetam-treated patients reported somnolence, compared to 8.4% of placebo patients. There was no clear dose response up to 3,000 mg/day. In a study where there was no titration, about 45% of patients receiving 4,000 mg/day reported somnolence. The somnolence was considered serious in 0.3% of the treated patients, compared to 0% in the placebo group. About 3% of levetiracetam-treated patients discontinued treatment due to somnolence, compared to 0.7% of placebo patients. In 1.4% of treated patients and in 0.9% of placebo patients the dose was reduced, while 0.3% of the treated patients were hospitalized due to somnolence.

In controlled trials of adult patients with epilepsy experiencing partial-onset seizures, 14.7% of levetiracetam-treated patients reported asthenia, compared to 9.1% of placebo patients. Treatment was discontinued due to asthenia in 0.8% of treated patients as compared to 0.5% of placebo patients. In 0.5% of treated patients and in 0.2% of placebo patients the dose was reduced due to asthenia.

Somnolence and asthenia occurred most frequently within the first 4 weeks of treatment.

Patients should be monitored for these signs and symptoms and advised not to drive or operate machinery until they have gained sufficient experience on levetiracetam to gauge whether it adversely affects their ability to drive or operate machinery.

5.3 Anaphylaxis and Angioedema

Levetiracetam can cause anaphylaxis or angioedema after the first dose or at any time during treatment. Signs and symptoms in cases reported in the postmarketing setting with levetiracetam have included hypotension, hives, rash, respiratory distress, and swelling of the face, lip, mouth, eye, tongue, throat, and feet. In some reported cases, reactions were life-threatening and required emergency treatment. If a patient develops signs or symptoms of anaphylaxis or angioedema, levetiracetam should be discontinued and the patient should seek immediate medical attention. Levetiracetam should be discontinued permanently if a clear alternative etiology for the reaction cannot be established [see Contraindications (4)].

5.4 Serious Dermatological Reactions

Serious dermatological reactions, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), have been reported in patients treated with levetiracetam. The median time of onset is reported to be 14 to 17 days, but cases have been reported at least four months after initiation of treatment. Recurrence of the serious skin reactions following rechallenge with levetiracetam has also been reported. Levetiracetam should be discontinued at the first sign of a rash, unless the rash is clearly not drug-related. If signs or symptoms suggest SJS/TEN, use of this drug should not be resumed and alternative therapy should be considered.

5.5 Coordination Difficulties

Coordination difficulties were only observed in the adult partial-onset seizure studies. A total of 3.4% of adult levetiracetam-treated patients experienced coordination difficulties, (reported as either ataxia, abnormal gait, or incoordination) compared to 1.6% of placebo patients. A total of 0.4% of patients in controlled trials discontinued levetiracetam treatment due to ataxia, compared to 0% of placebo patients. In 0.7% of treated patients and in 0.2% of placebo patients the dose was reduced due to coordination difficulties, while one of the treated patients was hospitalized due to worsening of pre-existing ataxia. These events occurred most frequently within the first 4 weeks of treatment.

Patients should be monitored for these signs and symptoms and advised not to drive or operate machinery until they have gained sufficient experience on levetiracetam to gauge whether it adversely affects their ability to drive or operate machinery.

5.6 Withdrawal Seizures


As with most antiepileptic drugs, levetiracetam should be withdrawn gradually because of the risk of increased seizure frequency and status epilepticus. But if withdrawal is needed because of a serious adverse reaction, rapid discontinuation can be considered.

5.7 Hematologic Abnormalities

Levetiracetam can cause hematologic abnormalities. Hematologic abnormalities occurred in clinical trials and included decreases in white blood cell (WBC), neutrophil, and red blood cell counts (RBC); decreases in hemoglobin and hematocrit; and increases in eosinophil counts. Cases of agranulocytosis, pancytopenia, and thrombocytopenia have been reported in the postmarketing setting. A complete blood count is recommended in patients experiencing significant weakness, pyrexia, recurrent infections, or coagulation disorders.
Partial-Onset Seizures
In controlled clinical studies using an oral formulation of levetiracetam in adult patients with partial-onset seizures, minor but statistically significant decreases compared to placebo in total mean RBC (0.03 × 106 /mm3), mean hemoglobin (0.09 g/dL), and mean hematocrit (0.38%), were seen in levetiracetam-treated patients.
A total of 3.2% of levetiracetam-treated and 1.8% of placebo-treated patients had at least one possibly significant (≤2.8 × 109 /L) decreased WBC, and 2.4% of levetiracetam-treated and 1.4% of placebo-treated patients had at least one possibly significant (≤1.0 × 109 /L) decreased neutrophil count. Of the levetiracetam-treated patients with a low neutrophil count, all but one rose towards or to baseline with continued treatment. No patient was discontinued secondary to low neutrophil counts.

Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy

Although there were no obvious hematologic abnormalities observed in patients with JME, the limited number of patients makes any conclusion tentative. The data from the partial seizure patients should be considered to be relevant for JME patients.

5.8 Seizure Control During Pregnancy

Physiological changes may gradually decrease plasma levels of levetiracetam throughout pregnancy. This decrease is more pronounced during the third trimester. It is recommended that patients be monitored carefully during pregnancy. Close monitoring should continue through the postpartum period especially if the dose was changed during pregnancy.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following serious adverse reactions are discussed in more details in other sections of labeling:
• Psychiatric Reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
• Somnolence and Fatigue [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]
• Anaphylaxis and Angioedema [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]
• Serious Dermatological Reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]
• Coordination Difficulties [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)]
• Withdrawal Seizures [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)]
• Hematologic Abnormalities [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)] • Seizure Control During Pregnancy [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)]

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

The adverse reactions that result from levetiracetam injection use include all of those reported for levetiracetam tablets and oral solution. Equivalent doses of intravenous (IV) levetiracetam and oral levetiracetam result in equivalent Cmax , Cmin , and total systemic exposure to levetiracetam when the IV levetiracetam is administered as a 15-minute infusion.
Partial-Onset Seizures

In controlled clinical studies using levetiracetam tablets in adults with partial-onset seizures [see Clinical Studies (14.1)], the most common adverse reactions in adult patients receiving levetiracetam in combination with other AEDs, for events with rates greater than placebo, were somnolence, asthenia, infection and dizziness.

Of the most common adverse reactions in adults experiencing partial-onset seizures, asthenia, somnolence and dizziness occurred predominantly during the first 4 weeks of treatment with levetiracetam.
Table 2 lists adverse reactions that occurred in at least 1% of adult epilepsy patients receiving levetiracetam tablets in placebo-controlled studies and were numerically more common than in patients treated with placebo. In these studies, either levetiracetam or placebo was added to concurrent AED therapy. Adverse reactions were usually mild to moderate in intensity.

Table 2: Adverse Reactions* In Placebo-Controlled, Adjunctive Studies In Adults Experiencing Partial-Onset Seizures

Adverse Reaction Levetiracetam (N=769) % Placebo (N=439) %
Asthenia 15 9
Somnolence 15 8
Headache 14 13
Infection 13 8
Dizziness 9 4
Pain 7 6
Pharyngitis 6 4
Depression 4 2
Nervousness 4 2
Rhinitis 4 3
Anorexia 3 2
Ataxia 3 1
Vertigo 3 1
Amnesia 2 1
Anxiety 2 1
Cough Increased 2 1
Diplopia 2 1
Emotional Lability 2 0
Hostility 2 1
Paresthesia 2 1
Sinusitis 2 1

*Adverse reactions occurred in at least 1% of levetiracetam-treated patients and occurred more frequently than placebo-treated patients
In controlled adult clinical studies using levetiracetam tablets, 15% of patients receiving levetiracetam and 12% receiving placebo either discontinued or had a dose reduction as a result of an adverse reaction. Table 3 lists the most common (>1%) adverse reactions that resulted in discontinuation or dose reduction and that occurred more frequently in levetiracetam-treated patients than in placebo-treated patients.
Table 3: Adverse Reactions that Resulted in Discontinuation or Dose Reduction in Placebo-Controlled Studies in Adults Experiencing Partial-Onset Seizures

Adverse Reaction L e vetiracetam ( N=769) % P lacebo ( N=439) %
Somnolence 4 2
Dizziness 1 0

Myoclonic Seizures
Although the pattern of adverse reactions in this study seems somewhat different from that seen in patients with partial seizures, this is likely due to the much smaller number of patients in this study compared to partial seizure studies. The adverse reaction pattern for patients with JME is expected to be essentially the same as for patients with partial seizures.
In the controlled clinical study using levetiracetam tablets in patients with myoclonic seizures, the most common adverse reactions in patients using levetiracetam in combination with other AEDs, for events with rates greater than placebo, were somnolence, neck pain, and pharyngitis.
Table 4 lists adverse reactions that occurred in at least 5% of juvenile myoclonic epilepsy patients experiencing myoclonic seizures treated with levetiracetam tablets and were numerically more common than in patients treated with placebo. In this study, either levetiracetam or placebo was added to concurrent AED therapy. Adverse reactions were usually mild to moderate in intensity.Table 4: Adverse Reactions* in a Placebo-Controlled, Adjunctive Study in Patients 12 Years of Age and Older with Myoclonic Seizures

Adverse Reaction Levetiracetam (N=60) % Placebo (N=60) %
Somnolence 12 2
Neck pain 8 2
Pharyngitis 7 0
Depression 5 2
Influenza 5 2
Vertigo 5 3

* Adverse reactions occurred in at least 5% of levetiracetam-treated patients and occurred more frequently than placebo-treated patients
In the placebo-controlled study using levetiracetam tablets in patients with JME, 8% of patients receiving levetiracetam and 2% receiving placebo either discontinued or had a dose reduction as a result of an adverse reaction. The adverse reactions that led to discontinuation or dose reduction and that occurred more frequently in levetiracetam-treated patients than in placebo-treated patients are presented in Table 5.Table 5: Adverse Reactions that Resulted in Discontinuation or Dose Reduction in Patients with Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy

Adverse Reaction L e vetiracetam ( N=60) % P lacebo ( N=60) %
Anxiety 3 2
Depressed mood 2 0
Depression 2 0
Diplopia 2 0
Hypersomnia 2 0
Insomnia 2 0
Irritability 2 0
Nervousness 2 0
Somnolence 2 0

Primary Generalized Tonic-Clonic Seizures Although the pattern of adverse reactions in this study seems somewhat different from that seen in patients with partial seizures, this is likely due to the much smaller number of patients in this study compared to partial seizure studies. The adverse reaction pattern for patients with primary generalized tonic-clonic (PGTC) seizures is expected to be essentially the same as for patients with partial seizures.

In the controlled clinical study that included patients with PGTC seizures, the most common adverse reaction in patients receiving levetiracetam oral formulation in combination with other AEDs, for events with rates greater than placebo was nasopharyngitis.

Table 6 lists adverse reactions that occurred in at least 5% of idiopathic generalized epilepsy patients experiencing PGTC seizures treated with levetiracetam and were numerically more common than in patients treated with placebo. In this study, either levetiracetam or placebo was added to concurrent AED therapy.

Table 6: Adverse Reactions* in a Placebo-Controlled, Adjunctive Study in Patients with PGTC Seizures

Adverse Reaction Levetiracetam (N=79) % Placebo (N=84) %
Nasopharyngitis 14 5
Fatigue 10 8
Diarrhea 8 7
Irritability 6 2
Mood swings 5 1

* Adverse reactions occurred in at least 5% of levetiracetam-treated patients and occurred more frequently than placebo-treated patients
In the placebo-controlled study, 5% of patients receiving levetiracetam and 8% receiving placebo either discontinued or had a dose reduction during the treatment period as a result of an adverse reaction.

This study was too small to adequately characterize the adverse reactions that could be expected to result in discontinuation of treatment in this population. It is expected that the adverse reactions that would lead to discontinuation in this population would be similar to those resulting in discontinuation in other epilepsy trials (see Tables 3 and 5).

In addition, the following adverse reactions were seen in other controlled adult studies of levetiracetam: balance disorder, disturbance in attention, eczema, memory impairment, myalgia, and blurred vision.

Comparison of Gender, Age and Race The overall adverse reaction profile of levetiracetam was similar between females and males. There are insufficient data to support a statement regarding the distribution of adverse reactions by age and race.

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