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Migraine is characterized by moderate to severe recurrent headache lasting for 4-72 h. Cortical hyperexcitability may play a crucial role in migraine onset. Therefore, antiepileptic drugs, such as levetiracetam, may be beneficial. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and prospective studies that evaluated the efficacy of levetiracetam in migraine prophylaxis. Electronic databases, including PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, were searched for articles on migraine prophylaxis and levetiracetam published before May 2020. The main outcomes were number of patients with >50% headache frequency reduction, frequency of headache, and headache severity. We identified 4 RCTs involving 192 patients and 4 prospective studies involving 85 patients. The overall data on number of patients with >50% headache frequency reduction, headache frequency, and headache severity were subjected to meta-analysis, which revealed significant differences between the levetiracetam and the placebo groups (risk ratio [RR] of number of patients with >50% headache frequency reduction = 0.46, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.35 to 0.61; weighted mean difference [WMD] of headache frequency per month = -3.78, 95% CI = -5.52 to -2.03; standard mean difference [SMD] of headache severity = -2.42, 95% CI = -4.47 to -0.37). Our study indicated that levetiracetam can significantly reduce headache frequency and severity in adults and children. Thus, oral levetiracetam can be a therapeutic option for migraine prophylaxis, especially concerning with the adverse effects or teratogenicity of other preventive treatments. Copyright © 2020 Formosan Medical Association. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Po-Hua Yen, Yi-Chun Kuan, Ka-Wai Tam, Chen-Chih Chung, Chien-Tai Hong, Yao-Hsien Huang. Efficacy of levetiracetam for migraine prophylaxis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of the Formosan Medical Association = Taiwan yi zhi. 2021 Jan;120(1 Pt 3):755-764

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PMID: 32861551

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