Levetiracetam in primary orthostatic tremor: a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover study

Mov Disord. 2011 Nov;26(13):2431-4. doi: 10.1002/mds.23881. Epub 2011 Sep 23.


Background: In a double-blind crossover study we evaluated the antitremor effect of a 4-week treatment with either escalating dosages of levetiracetam or placebo in orthostatic tremor.

Methods: Twelve patients with orthostatic tremor participated in the study. Primary end point was improvement in stance duration. Secondary end points were total track length of the sway path and tremor total power. The patients' impression of impairment was assessed by a visual analog scale and quality of life by the SF-36.

Results: We found no significant effect of dosage or treatment on stance duration (P = .175), total track length (P = .690), total power (P = .280), or visual analog scale (P =.735). Neither was SF-36 differentially changed by levetiracetam or placebo (SF-36, Physical Component Summary: P = .079; SF-36, Mental Component Summary: P = .073). Side effects like dizziness, fatigue, or nausea were only mild to moderate.

Conclusions: Levetiracetam is ineffective in the treatment of orthostatic tremor.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anticonvulsants / administration & dosage*
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dizziness / drug therapy*
  • Dizziness / physiopathology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Levetiracetam
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Piracetam / administration & dosage
  • Piracetam / adverse effects
  • Piracetam / analogs & derivatives*
  • Placebos
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tremor / drug therapy*
  • Tremor / physiopathology


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Placebos
  • Levetiracetam
  • Piracetam

Supplementary concepts

  • Primary orthostatic tremor