The safety and efficacy of levetiracetam versus phenytoin for seizure prophylaxis after traumatic brain injury: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Jian-Chang Xu, Jun Shen, Wen-Zheng Shao, Lin-Jun Tang, Yuan-Zhao Sun, Xiao-Fu Zhai, Liang Qi, Jing Li, Jin-Yu Zheng
Brain Injury 2016, 30 (9): 1054-61

BACKGROUND: The standard for early traumatic brain injury (TBI) seizure prophylaxis is phenytoin (PHT). Levetiracetam (LEV) has been proposed as an alternative to PHT. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of LEV on TBI seizure when compared with PHT.

METHODS: A search was carried out based on the databases from Pubmed, Embase and the Cochrane database up to May 2015. The relative risk (RR) and the relevant 95% confidence intervals (CI) were determined.

RESULTS: Eight observational studies and one randomized controlled trial involving 2035 cases were included. The results indicated that no significant differences in terms of overall seizure (RR = 0.90; 95% CI = 0.51-1.53; p = 0.68), early seizure (RR = 1.06; 95% CI = 0.37-3.07; p = 0.92) and late seizure (RR = 1.10; 95% CI = 0.43-2.79; p = 0.85) occurrence. However, LEV was associated with a lower adverse drug reaction rate (RR = 0.43; 95% CI = 0.23-0.81; p = 0.01). Moreover, there were no significant differences in terms of mortality, length of ICU or hospital stay between groups.

CONCLUSIONS: The meta-analysis suggests that LEV appears to have a similar efficacy to PHT on TBI. A better safety profile of LEV is supported by this analysis.

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