Safety and Efficacy of Levetiracetam for Patients With Panic Disorder: Results of an Open-Label, Fixed-Flexible Dose Study
J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67(10):1573-1576
© Copyright 2015 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Objective: To examine the safety and
efficacy of the anticonvulsant levetiracetam in the
treatment of patients with panic disorder.
Method: In an open-label, fixed-flexible
dose study, 18 patients with panic disorder with
or without agoraphobia (DSM-IV diagnostic criteria) were treated with levetiracetam for 12
weeks. Outcome was assessed with standard rating
instruments (Clinical Global Impressions-Severity of Illness scale [CGI-S], Clinical Global
Impressions-Improvement scale [CGI-I], and the
14-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety [HAM-A]) and by the number of panic attacks during
the previous week. The study was conducted in 2 outpatient clinics in New York City from
January 2004 through July 2005.
Results: Of the 13 patients completing
the study, 11 were rated "very much" or "much"
improved on the CGI-I. Panic attack frequency, anxiety (HAM-A), and global severity (CGI-S)
ratings also demonstrated significant improvement (all p < .00). For most patients, clinical
benefits were apparent after only 1 to 2 weeks of
treatment. Levetiracetam was well tolerated with minimal side effects.
Conclusion: Given its favorable
pharmacokinetics, side effect profile, and, if confirmed,
early onset of action and efficacy, levetiracetam
might represent significant progress in the
pharmacologic management of panic disorder.