Antihyperalgesic effect of levetiracetam in neuropathic pain models in rats

Denis Ardid, Yves Lamberty, Abdelkrim Alloui, Marie Ange Coudore-Civiale, Henrik Klitgaard, Alain Eschalier
European Journal of Pharmacology 2003 July 18, 473 (1): 27-33
The purpose of this study was to assess, in rats, the antinociceptive effects of levetiracetam (i.p.), a novel antiepileptic drug, in acute pain tests and in two models of human neuropathic pain. Levetiracetam and carbamazepine contrasted morphine by an absence of effect in the tail flick and hot plate tests. In normal rats, carbamazepine failed to modify the vocalisation thresholds to paw pressure whereas levetiracetam slightly increased this threshold only at the highest dose (540 mg/kg) for 30 min. In the sciatic nerve with chronic constriction injury model, the highest dose of levetiracetam (540 mg/kg) and carbamazepine (30 mg/kg) reversed the hyperalgesia. In streptozocin-induced diabetic rats, levetiracetam dose-dependently increased the vocalization threshold from 17 to 120 mg/kg reaching a similar effect as 10 mg/kg of carbamazepine. These results indicate that levetiracetam induces an antihyperalgesic effect in two models of human neuropathic pain, suggesting a therapeutic potential in neuropathic pain patients.

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