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Population-based study of risk of acute kidney injury with levetiracetam


Background and Objectives — Regulatory agencies warn about the risk of AKI with levetiracetam use on the basis of information from case reports. We conducted this study to determine whether new levetiracetam use versus nonuse is associated with a higher risk of AKI.

Design, Setting, Participants, and Measurements — This was a population-based retrospective cohort study of adults with epilepsy in Ontario, Canada. Patients who received a new outpatient prescription for levetiracetam between January 1, 2004 and March 1, 2017 were matched to two nonusers on stage of CKD, recorded seizure in the prior 90 days, and logit of a propensity score for levetiracetam use. The primary outcome was a hospital encounter (emergency department visit or hospitalization) with AKI within 30 days of cohort entry. Secondary outcomes were AKI within 180 days and change in the concentration of serum creatinine. We assessed the primary outcome using health care diagnosis codes. We evaluated the change in the concentration of serum creatinine in a subpopulation with laboratory measurements.

Results — We matched 3980 levetiracetam users to 7960 nonusers (mean age 55 years, 51% women). Levetiracetam use was not significantly associated with a higher risk of AKI within 30 days (13 [0.33%] events in levetiracetam users and 21 [0.26%] events in nonusers [odds ratio, 1.24; 95% confidence interval, 0.62 to 2.47]). Similarly, there was no significant association with AKI within 180 days (odds ratio, 0.70; 95% confidence interval, 0.43 to 1.13). The change in the concentration of serum creatinine did not significantly differ between levetiracetam users and nonusers.

Conclusions — In this population-based study levetiracetam use was not associated with a higher risk of AKI.



Yau K, Burneo JG, Jandoc R, McArthur E, Muanda FT, Parikh CR, Wald R, Weir MA, Garg AX. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2019; 14(1):17-26. Epub 2018 Dec 11.

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