Levetiracetam and pregabalin for antiepileptic monotherapy in patients with primary brain tumors. A phase II randomized study

Andrea O. Rossetti*, Sandrine Jeckelmann, Jan Novy, Patrick Roth, Michael Weller, Roger Stupp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Background. In patients with brain tumors, the choice of antiepileptic medication is guided by tolerability and pharmacokinetic interactions. This study investigated the effectiveness of levetiracetam (LEV) and pregabalin (PGB), 2 non-enzyme-inducing agents, in this setting. Methods. In this pragmatic, randomized, unblinded phase II trial (NCT00629889), patients with primary brain tumors and epilepsy were titrated to a monotherapy of LEV or PGB. Efficacy and tolerability were assessed using structured questionnaires. The primary composite endpoint was the need to discontinue the study drug, add-on of a further antiepileptic treatment, or occurrence of at least 2 seizures with impaired consciousness during 1 year follow-up. Results. Over 40 months, 25 patients were randomized to LEV, and 27 to PGB. Most were middle-aged men, with a high-grade tumor and at least one generalized convulsion. Mean daily doses were 1125 mg (LEV) and 294 mg (PGB). Retention rates were 59% in the LEV group, and 41% in the PGB group. The composite endpoint was reached in 9 LEV and 12 PGB patients - need to discontinue: side effects, 6 LEV, 3 PGB; lack of efficacy, 1 and 2; impaired oral administration, 0 and 2; add-on of another agent: 1 LEV, 4 PGB; and seizures impairing consciousness: 1 in each. Seven LEV and 5 PGB subjects died of tumor progression. Conclusions. This study shows that LEV and PGB represent valuable monotherapy options in this setting, with very good antiepileptic efficacy and an acceptable tolerability profile, and provides important data for the design of a phase III trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)584-588
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Epilepsy
  • Glioma
  • Outcome
  • Seizure
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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