Successful bilateral electroconvulsive therapy in a patient with a seizure disorder taking levetiracetam, lorazepam, and zonisamide: A case report

Ian R. McGrane, Rachel E. Tenison, Dana M. Bimler, Robert C. Munjal, Jason R. Molinaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be considered for treatment of severe, treatment-resistant, and emergent depression associated with MDD or bipolar disorder. Patients with epilepsy usually take medications that raise the seizure threshold, which poses challenges during ECT. We report a 66-year-old male with epilepsy taking levetiracetam extended-release (XR), lorazepam, and zonisamide requiring ECT for severe MDD. After literature review, the XR form of levetiracetam was changed to higher doses of the immediate-release (IR) formulation, and zonisamide was discontinued 2 days prior to ECT in the hospital and was resumed when the patient underwent outpatient continuation ECT. The patient was treated to remission after receiving 8 acute bilateral ECT treatments before being transitioned to continuation ECT. We provide a brief review of medication management of antiepileptic drugs and other medications that increase the seizure threshold during ECT. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case describing the management of levetiracetam, lorazepam, and zonisamide concomitantly during ECT. Our case suggests that utilizing the IR formulation of levetiracetam, administering the evening dose early the day prior to the procedure, and temporarily discontinuing zonisamide prior to bilateral ECT is effective for the treatment of severe MDD while maintaining seizure prophylaxis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-26
Number of pages4
JournalMental Health Clinician
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Anticonvulsant
  • Benzodiazepine
  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • Epilepsy
  • Levetiracetam
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Seizure disorder
  • Zonisamide

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