Pancytopenia associated with levetiracetam treatment

Clin Drug Investig. 2009;29(11):747-51. doi: 10.2165/11319450-000000000-00000.


Levetiracetam is a pyrrolidine derivate that is approved for the treatment of seizures. It has a favourable pharmacokinetic profile, no clearly established pharmacological interactions, good tolerability and offers the possibility of rapid treatment. We describe a case of pancytopenia and multiple infections observed in the context of levetiracetam treatment. A 65-year-old woman who underwent surgical removal of a meningioma developed progressive pancytopenia complicated by pneumonia and multiple liver abscesses after starting levetiracetam therapy. Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy confirmed the diagnosis. A gradual spontaneous recovery of normal haematopoiesis followed discontinuation of levetiracetam.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Levetiracetam
  • Pancytopenia / chemically induced*
  • Piracetam / adverse effects
  • Piracetam / analogs & derivatives*


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Levetiracetam
  • Piracetam