Levetiracetam at the End of Life: A Case Report and Discussion

J Palliat Med. 2020 Jul;23(7):995-997. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2019.0347. Epub 2019 Oct 11.

Abstract

Patients with primary brain tumors may present with neuropsychiatric symptoms such as behavioral and personality changes at any point during the disease course. Symptoms may be due to tumor treatment, the disease itself, or due to therapy for symptoms such as seizures. Levetiracetam is an attractive choice of antiepileptic medication because of relatively fewer drug interactions and may be administered through the subcutaneous route. Aggressive behavior in advanced brain tumors can have a profound negative impact on patients and their families and carers, particularly when deteriorating toward death. We report a case of neuropsychiatric symptoms in progressive glioblastoma multiforme while on stable levetiracetam doses, which improved with reduction and cessation of the drug. We review the existing literature on seizures in primary brain tumors, their antiepileptic drug management, and the risk of consequent neuropsychiatric adverse events.

Keywords: epilepsy; levetiracetam; neuropsychiatric; primary brain tumor; seizure.