[The effectiveness of levetiracetam in the treatment of neuropathic pain].


INTRODUCTION Pharmacological treatment is the first that should be taken into account in dealing with neuropathic pain, antiepileptic drugs being one of the leading options. Levetiracetam is a state of the art antiepileptic drug that has displayed antinociceptive activity in experimental models of pain and clinical effectiveness as an analgesic in series of patients with neuropathic pain. AIM To analyse the effectiveness of levetiracetam as an analgesic in the treatment of neuropathic pain by means of a systematic review of the literature. PATIENTS AND METHODS The Medline/PubMed database was used in the study and the search criteria included three fundamental elements: levetiracetam, neuropathic pain and patients. The studies identified were those published before 31st January 2011. The selected studies were submitted to a quality analysis according to the Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale (0-10). RESULTS Three series of cases, two open non-controlled pilot studies and four randomised clinical trials (RCT) were selected. Only the RCT met acceptable quality criteria. The aetiology of the neuropathic pain was different in each of the RCT analysed. Levetiracetam proved to be effective in the treatment of neuropathic pain in the studies with a low level of methodological quality (case series and pilot studies) and in one RCT aimed at patients with central neuropathic pain due to multiple sclerosis. CONCLUSIONS Few clinical trials with a high level of methodological quality have been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of levetiracetam in the treatment of neuropathic pain and most of those that have been carried out do not show any benefit in comparison to the use of a placebo.

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@article{Pozo2011TheEO, title={[The effectiveness of levetiracetam in the treatment of neuropathic pain].}, author={Esperanza del Pozo and Elisa Pereira-P{\'e}rez and Luis G Gonz{\'a}lez-Contreras}, journal={Revista de neurologia}, year={2011}, volume={53 2}, pages={65-72} }