Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Remember Keppra: seizure control with subcutaneous levetiracetam infusion
  1. Fay Louise Murray-Brown1 and
  2. Alison Stewart2
  1. 1 Department of Palliative Medicine, Rowcroft Hospice, Torquay, Torbay, UK
  2. 2 Department of Palliative Medicine, Hospiscare, Exeter, Devon, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Fay Louise Murray-Brown, Department of Palliative Medicine, Rowcroft Hospice, Torquay, Torbay, UK; faymurray-brown{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

A 60-year-old woman with end-stage carcinoma of unknown primary and brain metastases was admitted to the hospice with global deterioration. Following a seizure some months earlier, she had been maintained on the oral antiepileptic levetiracetam. Shortly after admission seizure activity developed in her right leg; levetiracetam was increased from 500 to 750 mg two times a day with good effect. Gradually, she deteriorated spending more time asleep although had periods of alertness where she ‘held court’ with her family, including her devoted young grandson. Eight days following admission she was unable to take oral medication, a subcutaneous syringe driver (SCSD) was necessary to control pain, nausea and seizures. Midazolam was considered too sedating given the family visits she enjoyed. Levetiracetam is one of the least sedating antiepileptics. A SCSD was prescribed containing levetiracetam 1.5 g (100 mg/mL), (the levetiracetam oral to injectable conversion is 1:1), metoclopramide 30 mg and oxycodone 15 mg over 24 h, diluted with water to 48 mL in a 50 mL syringe. The Palliative …

View Full Text


  • Contributors FLM-B wrote the letter. AS edited the first draft. Both approved the final draft.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.