Levetiracetam for Phasic Spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis

Kathleen Hawker, Elliot Frohman, Michael Racke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Spasticity is a common and debilitating, symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS). Current treatments are effective, but may be difficult to tolerate for many patients. Objective: To determine if levetiracetam, a second-generation antiepileptic drug, may be useful for the treatment of spasticity in MS. Methods: A retrospective medical record review of patients attending the Multiple Sclerosis Program at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas was performed. A series of 12 patients who had been treated with levetiracetam for spasticity was identified. Most of the patients were female (10/11), and the mean age was 41.0 years. The main outcome measure was a change in Penn spasm score or modified Ashworth score. Both scores are measured on a scale of 0 to 4. Results: The Penn Spasm score (a measure of phasic spasticity) was decreased for all patients following treatment with levetiracetam. The mean ± SD Penn Spasm score was 2.7±0.65 at baseline and decreased to 0.9±0.29 at follow-up. There was no change in modified Ashworth scores(a measure of tonic spasticity). Five patients reported adverse events; 1 patient discontinued treatment owing to an adverse event (edema). Three patients incidentally reported improvements in neuropathic pain. Conclusions: Levetiracetam was effective for reducing phasic spasticity but not tonic spasticity in this 12-patient case series. The drug was Well tolerated and therefore shows promise as a treatment for phasic spasticity. Large, well-controlled trials are needed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1772-1774
Number of pages3
JournalArchives of Neurology
Volume60
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2003

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etiracetam
Multiple Sclerosis
Spasm
Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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Levetiracetam for Phasic Spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis. / Hawker, Kathleen; Frohman, Elliot; Racke, Michael.

In: Archives of Neurology, Vol. 60, No. 12, 12.2003, p. 1772-1774.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hawker, Kathleen ; Frohman, Elliot ; Racke, Michael. / Levetiracetam for Phasic Spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis. In: Archives of Neurology. 2003 ; Vol. 60, No. 12. pp. 1772-1774.
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