Levetiracetam as a possible contributor to acute kidney injury

Clin Ther. 2014 Aug 1;36(8):1303-6. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2014.06.002. Epub 2014 Jun 27.


Purpose: Levetiracetam is an antiepileptic medication that has been reported to be both well-tolerated and effective in treating generalized tonic-clonic, myoclonic, and partial-onset seizures. The adverse effects most commonly reported in tolerability trials include somnolence, fatigue/asthenia, headaches, dizziness, and nausea. However, there have been a few reports suggesting possible detrimental effects of levetiracetam on renal function.

Methods: Here we describe the case of a previously healthy 23-year-old female patient who developed acute kidney injury 1 day after the initiation of levetiracetam therapy for new-onset seizures.

Findings: Based on the time course of the patient's rise in serum creatinine and the exclusion of other causes, this case suggests that levetiracetam use contributed to the acute kidney injury.

Implications: Levetiracetam is a widely used drug that has been reported to be generally tolerable and effective; however, it has the potential to negatively affect renal function. This potential consequence of therapy should be considered when deciding whether or not to prescribe this medication, and renal function should be monitored during treatment.

Keywords: epilepsy; levetiracetam; medication toxicity; renal failure, seizures.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / chemically induced*
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Levetiracetam
  • Piracetam / adverse effects
  • Piracetam / analogs & derivatives*
  • Seizures / drug therapy
  • Young Adult


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Levetiracetam
  • Piracetam