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Levetiracetam "doesn't interact with oral contraceptive" - study

5 August, 2002

The anti-epileptic drug levetiracetam (Keppra) does not interact with oral contraceptives containing ethinyl estradiol or levonorgestrel, according to research published in the journal Epilepsia.

Researchers, led by Dr Isabelle Ragueneau-Majlessi of the University of Washington School of Pharmacy in Seattle, studied 18 women who took oral contraceptives containing either ethinyl estradiol or levonorgestrel for the first 21 days of the first of two consecutive menstrual cycles. They were then given either levetiracetam or a placebo for the second 21 days.

Levels of the active ingredient of the contraceptive were measured in the blood of the women and researchers found that levels did not statistically differ between those given Keppra or those taking placeboes.

Dr Ragueneau-Majlessi told HealthScout News:

"Drug interactions between antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and oral contraceptives are a critical concern for women with epilepsy. To date, few AEDs have been shown not to impede the effect of oral contraceptives."