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The SANAD II study of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of valproate versus levetiracetam for newly diagnosed generalised and unclassifiable epilepsy: an open-label, non-inferiority, multicentre, phase 4, randomised control...

Anthony Marson, Girvan Burnside, Richard Appleton, Dave Smith, John Paul Leach, Graeme Sills, Catrin Tudur-Smith, Catrin Plumpton, Dyfrig A Hughes, Paula Williamson, Gus A Baker, Silviya Balabanova, Claire Taylor, Richard Brown, Dan Hindley, Stephen Howell, Melissa Maguire, Rajiv Mohanraj, Philip E Smith, Karen Lanyon, Mark Manford, Manali Chitre, Alasdair Parker, Nina Swiderska, Richard Appleton, James Pauling, Adrian Hughes, Rajat Gupta, Sadia Hanif, Mostafa Awadh, Sharmini Ragunathan, Nicola Cable, Paul Cooper, Daniel Hindley, Karl Rakshi, Sophie Molloy, Markus Reuber, Kunle Ayonrinde, Martin Wilson, Satyanarayana Saladi, John Gibb, Lesley-Ann Funston, Damhait Cassidy, Jonathan Boyd, Mal Ratnayaka, Hani Faza, Martin Sadler, Hassan Al-Moasseb, Clare Galtrey, Damien Wren, Anas Olabi, Geraint Fuller, Muhammed Khan, Chetana Kallappa, Ravi Chinthapalli, Baba Aji, Rhys Davies, Kathryn Foster, Nikolas Hitiris, Melissa Maguire, Nahin Hussain, Simon Dowson, Julie Ellison, Basil Sharrack, Vandna Gandhi, Rob Powell, Phil Tittensor, Beatrice Summers, Sastry Shashikiran, Penelope J Dison, Shanika Samarasekera, Doug McCorry, Kathleen White, Kannan Nithi, Martin Richardson, Richard Brown, Rupert Page, David Deekollu, Sean Slaght, Stephen Warriner, Mansoor Ahmed, Abhijit Chaudhuri, Gabriel Chow, Javier Artal, Danute Kucinskiene, Harish Sreenivasa, Singara Velmurugan,, Christos S Zipitis, Brendan McLean, Vaithianathar Lal, Angelous Gregoriou, Paul Maddison, Trevor Pickersgill, Joseph Anderson, Charlotte Lawthom, Stephen Howell, Gabriel Whitlingum, Wojtek Rakowicz, Lucy Kinton, Alisa McLellan, Sameer Zuberi, Andrew Kelso, Imelda Hughes, John Martland, Hedley Emsley, Christian de Goede, RP Singh, Carl-Christian Moor, Julia Aram, Rajiv Mohanraj, Kumar Sakthivel, Suresh Nelapatla, Chris Rittey, Ashwin Pinto, John Paul Leach, Hannah Cock, Anna Richardson, Erika Houston, Christopher Cooper, Geoff Lawson, Albert Massarano, Christine Burness, Anthony Marson, Dave Smith, Udo Wieshmann, Indranil Dey, Puthuval Sivakumar, Lap-Kong Yeung, Philip Smith, Hemalata Bentur, Tom Heafield, Anna Mathew, David Smith, Praveen Jauhari, Robert Powell

The Lancet, Volume: 397, Issue: 10282, Pages: 1375 - 1386

Swansea University Author: Robert Powell

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BackgroundValproate is a first-line treatment for patients with newly diagnosed idiopathic generalised or difficult to classify epilepsy, but not for women of child-bearing potential because of teratogenicity. Levetiracetam is increasingly prescribed for these patient populations despite scarcity of...

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Published in: The Lancet
ISSN: 0140-6736
Published: Elsevier BV 2021
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Abstract: BackgroundValproate is a first-line treatment for patients with newly diagnosed idiopathic generalised or difficult to classify epilepsy, but not for women of child-bearing potential because of teratogenicity. Levetiracetam is increasingly prescribed for these patient populations despite scarcity of evidence of clinical effectiveness or cost-effectiveness. We aimed to compare the long-term clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of levetiracetam compared with valproate in participants with newly diagnosed generalised or unclassifiable epilepsy.MethodsWe did an open-label, randomised controlled trial to compare levetiracetam with valproate as first-line treatment for patients with generalised or unclassified epilepsy. Adult and paediatric neurology services (69 centres overall) across the UK recruited participants aged 5 years or older (with no upper age limit) with two or more unprovoked generalised or unclassifiable seizures. Participants were randomly allocated (1:1) to receive either levetiracetam or valproate, using a minimisation programme with a random element utilising factors. Participants and investigators were aware of treatment allocation. For participants aged 12 years or older, the initial advised maintenance doses were 500 mg twice per day for levetiracetam and valproate, and for children aged 5–12 years, the initial daily maintenance doses advised were 25 mg/kg for valproate and 40 mg/kg for levetiracetam. All drugs were administered orally. SANAD II was designed to assess the non-inferiority of levetiracetam compared with valproate for the primary outcome time to 12-month remission. The non-inferiority limit was a hazard ratio (HR) of 1·314, which equates to an absolute difference of 10%. A HR greater than 1 indicated that an event was more likely on valproate. All participants were included in the intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis. Per-protocol (PP) analyses excluded participants with major protocol deviations and those who were subsequently diagnosed as not having epilepsy. Safety analyses included all participants who received one dose of any study drug. This trial is registered with the ISRCTN registry, 30294119 (EudraCt number: 2012-001884-64).Findings520 participants were recruited between April 30, 2013, and Aug 2, 2016, and followed up for a further 2 years. 260 participants were randomly allocated to receive levetiracetam and 260 participants to receive valproate. The ITT analysis included all participants and the PP analysis included 255 participants randomly allocated to valproate and 254 randomly allocated to levetiracetam. Median age of participants was 13·9 years (range 5·0–94·4), 65% were male and 35% were female, 397 participants had generalised epilepsy, and 123 unclassified epilepsy. Levetiracetam did not meet the criteria for non-inferiority in the ITT analysis of time to 12-month remission (HR 1·19 [95% CI 0·96–1·47]); non-inferiority margin 1·314. The PP analysis showed that the 12-month remission was superior with valproate than with levetiracetam. There were two deaths, one in each group, that were unrelated to trial treatments. Adverse reactions were reported by 96 (37%) participants randomly assigned to valproate and 107 (42%) participants randomly assigned to levetiracetam. Levetiracetam was dominated by valproate in the cost-utility analysis, with a negative incremental net health benefit of −0·040 (95% central range −0·175 to 0·037) and a probability of 0·17 of being cost-effectiveness at a threshold of £20 000 per quality-adjusted life-year. Cost-effectiveness was based on differences between treatment groups in costs and quality-adjusted life-years.InterpretationCompared with valproate, levetiracetam was found to be neither clinically effective nor cost-effective. For girls and women of child-bearing potential, these results inform discussions about benefit and harm of avoiding valproate.
College: Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
Funders: National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme.
Issue: 10282
Start Page: 1375
End Page: 1386