Evaluation of levetiracetam for early post-traumatic seizure prophylaxis: A level II trauma center experience

Timothy A. Amin, Steven F. Nerenberg, Osama A. Elsawy, Antai Wang, Jackie P. Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can induce early or late post-traumatic seizures (PTS). While PTS incidence is low, prophylaxis is used despite a lack of consensus on agent or duration. Levetiracetam (LEV) for early PTS prophylaxis is preferred due to its safety and efficacy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate LEV for early PTS prophylaxis. Methods and materials: A single-center, retrospective chart review of TBI patients ≥18 years who received LEV for early PTS prophylaxis between August 2018–July 2019. The primary outcome was LEV duration. Secondary outcomes were incidence of seizure, intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital length of stay (LOS). Results: Of the 137 included, mean age was 59 ± 20 years and 69.3% were male. The mean admission GCS was 13 ± 4 and 77.4% had mild TBI. Median LEV duration was 7 (IQR 4–10) days and 13.9% met recommended 7-day duration. Those prescribed LEV >7 days had more than twice the median LEV duration than those prescribed ≤7 days [10.25 (8.5–15.5) vs 4 (1.5–4.5) days, p < 0.0001]. Electroencephalography-confirmed PTS occurred in 2.2%, with an early PTS incidence of 0.73%. Median ICU and hospital LOS were 2 (IQR 1–7) and 7 (IQR 3–16) days, respectively. Conclusions: The incidence of PTS was low as most patients in our study had mild or moderate TBI. Early PTS prophylaxis with LEV for 7 days is appropriate, although the majority of patients did not meet the recommended duration. Efforts to standardize and implement PTS prophylaxis protocols are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e78-e82
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


  • Antiepileptic
  • Seizure
  • Trauma
  • Traumatic brain injury


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