Update on Levetiracetam in Infants and Children

Marcia L. Buck, PharmD, FCCP, FPPAG, BCPPS


Pediatr Pharm. 2018;24(7) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


After nearly two decades on the market, levetiracetam has become one of the most widely used antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in the United States. It was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1999 with the brand name Keppra™, in tablet form only, for adjunctive treatment of partial onset seizures in adults.[1] Approval was extended in 2005 to children 4 years of age and older. In 2007, the manufacturer introduced an intravenous product, followed a year later by an oral solution. The release of the solution coincided with an indication for use as adjunctive therapy for primary generalized seizures in children 6 years of age and older. The indications for levetiracetam for partial onset seizures were later amended to include infants 1 month of age and older to children 4 years of age; and in 2014, it was approved for use in patients 12 years and older with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. Throughout these advances, research on the efficacy and safety of levetiracetam in infants and children has continued to grow, providing a much richer picture of the drug's role in the treatment of pediatric epilepsy. The issue highlights the publications on pediatric levetiracetam use from the past 2 years.