Prescription Drug Information: Levetiracetam (Page 5 of 7)

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

Effects on QTc Interval

The effect of levetiracetam on QTc prolongation was evaluated in a randomized, double-blind, positive-controlled (moxifloxacin 400 mg) and placebo-controlled crossover study of levetiracetam (1000 mg or 5000 mg) in 52 healthy subjects. The upper bound of the 90% confidence interval for the largest placebo-adjusted, baseline-corrected QTc was below 10 milliseconds. Therefore, there was no evidence of significant QTc prolongation in this study.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

The pharmacokinetics of levetiracetam are similar when used as monotherapy or as adjunctive therapy for the treatment of partial-onset seizures.

Absorption and Distribution

Absorption of levetiracetam is rapid, with peak plasma concentrations occurring in about an hour following oral administration in fasted subjects. The oral bioavailability of levetiracetam tablets is 100% and the tablets and oral solution are bioequivalent in rate and extent of absorption. Food does not affect the extent of absorption of levetiracetam but it decreases Cmax by 20% and delays Tmax by 1.5 hours. The pharmacokinetics of levetiracetam are linear over the dose range of 500 to 5000 mg. Steady state is achieved after 2 days of multiple twice-daily dosing. Levetiracetam and its major metabolite are less than 10% bound to plasma proteins; clinically significant interactions with other drugs through competition for protein binding sites are therefore unlikely.

Metabolism

Levetiracetam is not extensively metabolized in humans. The major metabolic pathway is the enzymatic hydrolysis of the acetamide group, which produces the carboxylic acid metabolite, ucb L057 (24% of dose) and is not dependent on any liver cytochrome P450 isoenzymes. The major metabolite is inactive in animal seizure models. Two minor metabolites were identified as the product of hydroxylation of the 2-oxo-pyrrolidine ring (2% of dose) and opening of the 2-oxo-pyrrolidine ring in position 5 (1% of dose). There is no enantiomeric interconversion of levetiracetam or its major metabolite.

Elimination

Levetiracetam plasma half-life in adults is 7 ± 1 hour and is unaffected by either dose or repeated administration. Levetiracetam is eliminated from the systemic circulation by renal excretion as unchanged drug which represents 66% of administered dose. The total body clearance is 0.96 mL/min/kg and the renal clearance is 0.6 mL/min/kg. The mechanism of excretion is glomerular filtration with subsequent partial tubular reabsorption. The metabolite ucb L057 is excreted by glomerular filtration and active tubular secretion with a renal clearance of 4 mL/min/kg. Levetiracetam elimination is correlated to creatinine clearance. Levetiracetam clearance is reduced in patients with renal impairment [see USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS (8.6) and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION (2.5)].

Specific Populations

Elderly:

Pharmacokinetics of levetiracetam were evaluated in 16 elderly subjects (age 61 to 88 years) with creatinine clearance ranging from 30 to 74 mL/min. Following oral administration of twice-daily dosing for 10 days, total body clearance decreased by 38% and the half-life was 2.5 hours longer in the elderly compared to healthy adults. This is most likely due to the decrease in renal function in these subjects.

Pediatric Patients:

Pharmacokinetics of levetiracetam were evaluated in 24 pediatric patients (age 6 to 12 years) after single dose (20 mg/kg). The body weight adjusted apparent clearance of levetiracetam was approximately 40% higher than in adults.

A repeat dose pharmacokinetic study was conducted in pediatric patients (age 4 to 12 years) at doses of 20 mg/kg/day, 40 mg/kg/day, and 60 mg/kg/day. The evaluation of the pharmacokinetic profile of levetiracetam and its metabolite (ucb L057) in 14 pediatric patients demonstrated rapid absorption of levetiracetam at all doses with a Tmax of about 1 hour and a t1/2 of 5 hours across the three dosing levels. The pharmacokinetics of levetiracetam in children was linear between 20 to 60 mg/kg/day. The potential interaction of levetiracetam with other AEDs was also evaluated in these patients. Levetiracetam had no significant effect on the plasma concentrations of carbamazepine, valproic acid, topiramate or lamotrigine. However, there was about a 22% increase of apparent clearance of levetiracetam when it was co-administered with an enzyme-inducing AED (e.g. carbamazepine).

Following single dose administration (20 mg/kg) of a 10% oral solution to children with epilepsy (1 month to < 4 years), levetiracetam was rapidly absorbed and peak plasma concentrations were observed approximately 1 hour after dosing. The pharmacokinetic results indicated that half-life was shorter (5.3 h) than for adults (7.2 h) and apparent clearance was faster (1.5 mL/min/kg) than for adults (0.96 mL/min/kg).

Population pharmacokinetic analysis showed that body weight was significantly correlated to the clearance of levetiracetam in pediatric patients; clearance increased with an increase in body weight.

Pregnancy:

Levetiracetam levels may decrease during pregnancy. [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.10) and USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS (8.1)].

Gender:

Levetiracetam Cmax and AUC were 20% higher in women (N=11) compared to men (N=12). However, clearances adjusted for body weight were comparable.

Race:

Formal pharmacokinetic studies of the effects of race have not been conducted. Cross-study comparisons involving Caucasians (N=12) and Asians (N=12), however, show that pharmacokinetics of levetiracetam were comparable between the two races. Because levetiracetam is primarily renally excreted and there are no important racial differences in creatinine clearance, pharmacokinetic differences due to race are not expected.

Renal Impairment:

The disposition of levetiracetam was studied in adult subjects with varying degrees of renal function. Total body clearance of levetiracetam is reduced in patients with impaired renal function by 40% in the mild group (CLcr = 50 to 80 mL/min), 50% in the moderate group (CLcr = 30 to 50 mL/min) and 60% in the severe renal impairment group (CLcr <30 mL/min). Clearance of levetiracetam is correlated with creatinine clearance.

In anuric (end stage renal disease) patients, the total body clearance decreased 70% compared to normal subjects (CLcr >80 mL/min). Approximately 50% of the pool of levetiracetam in the body is removed during a standard 4- hour hemodialysis procedure [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION (2.5)].

Hepatic Impairment:

In subjects with mild (Child-Pugh A) to moderate (Child-Pugh B) hepatic impairment, the pharmacokinetics of levetiracetam were unchanged. In patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh C), total body clearance was 50% that of normal subjects, but decreased renal clearance accounted for most of the decrease. No dose adjustment is needed for patients with hepatic impairment.

Drug Interactions

In vitro data on metabolic interactions indicate that levetiracetam is unlikely to produce, or be subject to, pharmacokinetic interactions. Levetiracetam and its major metabolite, at concentrations well above Cmax levels achieved within the therapeutic dose range, are neither inhibitors of, nor high affinity substrates for, human liver cytochrome P450 isoforms, epoxide hydrolase or UDP-glucuronidation enzymes. In addition, levetiracetam does not affect the in vitro glucuronidation of valproic acid.

Potential pharmacokinetic interactions of or with levetiracetam were assessed in clinical pharmacokinetic studies (phenytoin, valproate, warfarin, digoxin, oral contraceptive, probenecid) and through pharmacokinetic screening in the placebo-controlled clinical studies in epilepsy patients.

Phenytoin:

Levetiracetam (3000 mg daily) had no effect on the pharmacokinetic disposition of phenytoin in patients with refractory epilepsy. Pharmacokinetics of levetiracetam were also not affected by phenytoin.

Valproate:

Levetiracetam (1500 mg twice daily) did not alter the pharmacokinetics of valproate in healthy volunteers. Valproate 500 mg twice daily did not modify the rate or extent of levetiracetam absorption or its plasma clearance or urinary excretion. There also was no effect on exposure to and the excretion of the primary metabolite, ucb L057.

Other Antiepileptic Drugs:

Potential drug interactions between levetiracetam and other AEDs (carbamazepine, gabapentin, lamotrigine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone and valproate) were also assessed by evaluating the serum concentrations of levetiracetam and these AEDs during placebo-controlled clinical studies. These data indicate that levetiracetam does not influence the plasma concentration of other AEDs and that these AEDs do not influence the pharmacokinetics of levetiracetam.

Effect of AEDs in Pediatric Patients:

There was about a 22% increase of apparent total body clearance of levetiracetam when it was co-administered with enzyme-inducing AEDs. Dose adjustment is not recommended. Levetiracetam had no effect on plasma concentrations of carbamazepine, valproate, topiramate, or lamotrigine.

Oral Contraceptives:

Levetiracetam (500 mg twice daily) did not influence the pharmacokinetics of an oral contraceptive containing 0.03 mg ethinyl estradiol and 0.15 mg levonorgestrel, or of the luteinizing hormone and progesterone levels, indicating that impairment of contraceptive efficacy is unlikely. Coadministration of this oral contraceptive did not influence the pharmacokinetics of levetiracetam.

Digoxin:

Levetiracetam (1000 mg twice daily) did not influence the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics (ECG) of digoxin given as a 0.25 mg dose every day. Coadministration of digoxin did not influence the pharmacokinetics of levetiracetam.

Warfarin:

Levetiracetam (1000 mg twice daily) did not influence the pharmacokinetics of R and S warfarin. Prothrombin time was not affected by levetiracetam. Coadministration of warfarin did not affect the pharmacokinetics of levetiracetam.

Probenecid:

Probenecid, a renal tubular secretion blocking agent, administered at a dose of 500 mg four times a day, did not change the pharmacokinetics of levetiracetam 1000 mg twice daily. Css max of the metabolite, ucb L057, was approximately doubled in the presence of probenecid while the fraction of drug excreted unchanged in the urine remained the same. Renal clearance of ucb L057 in the presence of probenecid decreased 60%, probably related to competitive inhibition of tubular secretion of ucb L057. The effect of levetiracetam on probenecid was not studied.

13 NONCLINICAL TOXICOLOGY

13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Carcinogenesis

Rats were dosed with levetiracetam in the diet for 104 weeks at doses of 50, 300 and 1800 mg/kg/day. Plasma exposure (AUC) at the highest dose was approximately 6 times that in humans at the maximum recommended daily human dose (MRHD) of 3000 mg. There was no evidence of carcinogenicity. In mice, oral administration of levetiracetam for 80 weeks (doses up to 960 mg/kg/day) or 2 years (doses up to 4000 mg/kg/day, lowered to 3000 mg/kg/day after 45 weeks due to intolerability) was not associated with an increase in tumors. The highest dose tested in mice for 2 years (3000 mg/kg/day) is approximately 5 times the MRHD on a body surface area (mg/ m2) basis.

Mutagenesis

Levetiracetam was negative in in vitro (Ames, chromosomal aberration in mammalian cells) and in vivo (mouse micronucleus) assays. The major human metabolite of levetiracetam (ucb L057) was negative in in vitro (Ames, mouse lymphoma) assay.

Impairment of Fertility

No adverse effects on male or female fertility or reproductive performance were observed in rats at oral doses up to 1800 mg/kg/day, which were associated with plasma exposures (AUC) up to approximately 6 times that in humans at the MRHD.

14 CLINICAL STUDIES

14.1 Partial Onset Seizures

Effectiveness in Partial-Onset Seizures in Adults

The effectiveness of levetiracetam for the treatment of partial-onset seizures in adults was established in three multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies in patients who had refractory partial-onset seizures with or without secondary generalization. The tablet formulation was used in all these studies. In these studies, 904 patients were randomized to placebo, 1000 mg, 2000 mg, or 3000 mg/day. Patients enrolled in Study 1 or Study 2 had refractory partial-onset seizures for at least two years and had taken two or more classical AEDs. Patients enrolled in Study 3 had refractory partial-onset seizures for at least 1 year and had taken one classical AED. At the time of the study, patients were taking a stable dose regimen of at least one and could take a maximum of two AEDs. During the baseline period, patients had to have experienced at least two partial-onset seizures during each 4-week period.

Study 1:

Study 1 was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study conducted at 41 sites in the United States comparing levetiracetam 1000 mg/day (N=97), levetiracetam 3000 mg/day (N=101), and placebo (N=95) given in equally divided doses twice daily. After a prospective baseline period of 12 weeks, patients were randomized to one of the three treatment groups described above. The 18-week treatment period consisted of a 6-week titration period, followed by a 12-week fixed dose evaluation period, during which concomitant AED regimens were held constant. The primary measure of effectiveness was a between group comparison of the percent reduction in weekly partial seizure frequency relative to placebo over the entire randomized treatment period (titration + evaluation period). Secondary outcome variables included the responder rate (incidence of patients with ≥50% reduction from baseline in partial-onset seizure frequency). The results of the analysis of Study 1 are displayed in Table 10.

Placebo (N=95) Levetiracetam 1000 mg/day (N=97) Levetiracetam 3000 mg/day (N=101)
Percent reduction in partial seizure frequency over placebo 26.1%* 30.1%*

The percentage of patients (y-axis) who achieved ≥50% reduction in weekly seizure rates from baseline in partial onset-seizure frequency over the entire randomized treatment period (titration + evaluation period) within the three treatment groups (x-axis) is presented in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Responder Rate (≥50% Reduction from Baseline) in Study 1

figure 4
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*statistically significant versus placebo

Study 2:

Study 2 was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study conducted at 62 centers in Europe comparing levetiracetam 1000 mg/day (N=106), levetiracetam 2000 mg/day (N=105), and placebo (N=111) given in equally divided doses twice daily.

The first period of the study (Period A) was designed to be analyzed as a parallel-group study. After a prospective baseline period of up to 12 weeks, patients were randomized to one of the three treatment groups described above. The 16-week treatment period consisted of the 4-week titration period followed by a 12-week fixed dose evaluation period, during which concomitant AED regimens were held constant. The primary measure of effectiveness was a between group comparison of the percent reduction in weekly partial seizure frequency relative to placebo over the entire randomized treatment period (titration + evaluation period). Secondary outcome variables included the responder rate (incidence of patients with ≥50% reduction from baseline in partial-onset seizure frequency). The results of the analysis of Period A are displayed in Table 11.

Placebo (N=111) Levetiracetam 1000 mg/day (N=106) Levetiracetam 2000 mg/day (N=105)
Percent reduction in partial seizure frequency over placebo 17.1%* 21.4%*

The percentage of patients (y-axis) who achieved ≥50% reduction in weekly seizure rates from baseline in partial-onset seizure frequency over the entire randomized treatment period (titration + evaluation period) within the three treatment groups (x-axis) is presented in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Responder Rate (≥50% Reduction from Baseline) in Study 2: Period A

figure 5
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*statistically significant versus placebo

The comparison of levetiracetam 2000 mg/day to levetiracetam 1000 mg/day for responder rate was statistically significant (P =0.02). Analysis of the trial as a cross-over yielded similar results.

Study 3:

Study 3 was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study conducted at 47 centers in Europe comparing levetiracetam 3000 mg/day (N=180) and placebo (N=104) in patients with refractory partial-onset seizures, with or without secondary generalization, receiving only one concomitant AED. Study drug was given in two divided doses. After a prospective baseline period of 12 weeks, patients were randomized to one of two treatment groups described above. The 16-week treatment period consisted of a 4-week titration period, followed by a 12-week fixed dose evaluation period, during which concomitant AED doses were held constant. The primary measure of effectiveness was a between group comparison of the percent reduction in weekly seizure frequency relative to placebo over the entire randomized treatment period (titration + evaluation period). Secondary outcome variables included the responder rate (incidence of patients with ≥50% reduction from baseline in partial-onset seizure frequency). Table 12 displays the results of the analysis of Study 3.

Placebo (N=104) Levetiracetam 3000 mg/day (N=180)
Percent reduction in partial seizure frequency over placebo 23.0%*

The percentage of patients (y-axis) who achieved ≥50% reduction in weekly seizure rates from baseline in partial-onset seizure frequency over the entire randomized treatment period (titration + evaluation period) within the two treatment groups (x-axis) is presented in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Responder Rate (≥50% Reduction from Baseline) in Study 3

figure 6
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*statistically significant versus placebo

Effectiveness in Partial-Onset Seizures in Pediatric Patients 4 to 16 Years of Age

The effectiveness of levetiracetam as adjunctive therapy for the treatment of partial-onset seizures in pediatric patients was established in one multicenter, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study (Study 4), conducted at 60 sites in North America, in pediatric patients 4 to 16 years of age with partial seizures uncontrolled by standard antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Eligible patients on a stable dose of 1 to 2 AEDs, who still experienced at least 4 partial onset seizures during the 4 weeks prior to screening, as well as at least 4 partial-onset seizures in each of the two 4-week baseline periods, were randomized to receive either levetiracetam or placebo. The enrolled population included 198 patients (levetiracetam N=101, placebo N=97) with refractory partial-onset seizures, whether or not secondarily generalized. The study consisted of an 8-week baseline period and 4-week titration period followed by a 10-week evaluation period. Dosing was initiated at a dose of 20 mg/kg/day in two divided doses. During the treatment period, levetiracetam doses were adjusted in 20 mg/kg/day increments, at 2-week intervals to the target dose of 60 mg/kg/day. The primary measure of effectiveness was a between group comparison of the percent reduction in weekly partial seizure frequency relative to placebo over the entire 14-week randomized treatment period (titration + evaluation period). Secondary outcome variables included the responder rate (incidence of patients with ≥ 50% reduction from baseline in partial-onset seizure frequency per week). Table 13 displays the results of this study.

Placebo (N=97) Levetiracetam (N=101)
Percent reduction in partial seizure frequency over placebo 26.8%*

The percentage of patients (y-axis) who achieved ≥ 50% reduction in weekly seizure rates from baseline in partial-onset seizure frequency over the entire randomized treatment period (titration + evaluation period) within the two treatment groups (x-axis) is presented in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Responder Rate (≥ 50% Reduction from Baseline) in Study 4

figure 7
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*statistically significant versus placebo

Effectiveness in Partial-Onset Seizures in Pediatric Patients 1 Month to <4 Years of Age

The effectiveness of levetiracetam for the treatment of partial-onset seizures therapy in pediatric patients was established in one multicenter, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study (Study 5), conducted at 62 sites in North America, South America, and Europe in pediatric patients 1 month to less than 4 years of age with partial seizures, uncontrolled by standard epileptic drugs (AEDs). Eligible patients on a stable dose of 1 to 2 AEDs, who experienced at least 2 partial-onset seizures during the 48-hour baseline video EEG were randomized to receive either levetiracetam or placebo. The enrolled population included 116 patients (levetiracetam N=60, placebo N=56) with refractory partial onset-seizures, whether or not secondarily generalized. Randomization was stratified by age range as follows: 1 month to less than 6 months of age (N=4 treated with levetiracetam), 6 months to less than 1 year of age (N=8 treated with levetiracetam), 1 year to less than 2 years of age (N=20 treated with levetiracetam), and 2 years to less than 4 years of age (N=28 treated with levetiracetam). The study consisted of a 5-day evaluation period which included a 1-day titration period followed by a 4-day maintenance period. Levetiracetam dosing was determined by age and weight as follows: children 1 month to less than 6 months old were randomized to a target dose of 40 mg/kg/day, and children 6 months to less than 4 years old were randomized to a target dose of 50 mg/kg/day. The primary measure of effectiveness was the responder rate (percent of patients with ≥ 50% reduction from baseline in average daily partial-onset seizure frequency) assessed by a blinded central reader using a 48-hour video EEG performed during the last two days of the 4-day maintenance period. A total of 109 patients were included in the efficacy analysis. A statistically significant difference between levetiracetam and placebo was observed (see Figure 5). The treatment effect associated with levetiracetam was consistent across age groups.

Figure 5: Responder Rate for All Patients Ages 1 Month to < 4 Years (≥ 50% Reduction from Baseline) in Study 5

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*statistically significant versus placebo

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