Objective: To undertake a systematic review and meta-analysis of placebo controlled add-on trials of levetiracetam, oxcarbazepine, remacemide and zonisamide for patients with drug resistant localization related epilepsy.
Methods: We searched Medline, The Cochrane Library and contacted the relevant pharmaceutical companies. Outcomes were 50% or greater reduction in seizure frequency and treatment withdrawal for any reason. Data were synthesised in a meta-analysis. The effect of dose was explored in regression models for levetiracetam and remacemide.
Results: We found four trials (1023 patients) of levetiracetam, two (961) of oxcarbazepine, two (388) of remacemide and three (499) of zonisamide. Ignoring dose, the relative risks (95% CI) for a 50% response were 3.78 (2.62-5.44), 2.51 (1.88-3.33), 1.59 (0.91-2.97) and 2.46 (1.61-3.79), respectively. There was evidence for increasing effect with increasing dose for levetiracetam, oxcarbazepine and remacemide. The relative risks for treatment withdrawal were 1.21 (0.88-1.66), 1.72 (1.35-2.18), 1.90 (1.00-3.60) and 1.64 (1.02-2.62), respectively.
Conclusions: These data suggest a useful effect for levetiracetam, oxcarbazepine and zonisamide. Levetiracetam has the more favourable 'responder-withdrawal ratio' followed by zonisamide and oxcarbazepine.