Generic name: brivaracetam [ briv-a-RA-se-tam ]
Drug class: Pyrrolidine anticonvulsants
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 7, 2023.
Uses for brivaracetam
Brivaracetam injection is used to help control partial onset seizures in the treatment of epilepsy. This medicine cannot cure epilepsy and will only work to control seizures for as long as you continue to use it.
This medicine is to be given only by or under the supervision of your doctor.
Before using brivaracetam
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of brivaracetam injection in children 1 month of age and older. However, safety and efficacy have not been established in children younger than 1 month of age.
Although appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of brivaracetam injection have not been performed in the geriatric population, no geriatric-specific problems have been documented to date. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related liver, kidney, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving brivaracetam injection.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Depression, or history of or
- Mental illness, history of—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Kidney disease, severe (eg, end-stage) having dialysis—Use is not recommended in patients with this condition.
- Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
Proper use of brivaracetam
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a hospital. Brivaracetam is given through a needle that is placed in one of your veins.
Once your condition improves, your doctor will switch you to an oral medicine that works the same way. If you have any concerns about this, talk to your doctor.
This medicine comes with a Medication Guide. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Precautions while using brivaracetam
It is very important that your doctor check your progress closely while you are receiving this medicine. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.
Brivaracetam may cause changes in mood or behavior, problems with coordination, or unusual tiredness or weakness. Tell your doctor right away if you start to feel depressed, anxious, or angry, getting upset easily, restless, or if you have thoughts about hurting yourself. Report any unusual thoughts or behavior that trouble you, especially if they are new or getting worse quickly.
This medicine may cause some people to become dizzy, drowsy, tired, or less alert than they are normally. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or not alert.
This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including bronchospasm and angioedema. Tell your doctor if you have difficulty in breathing or swallowing, a fever, large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs, nausea, reddening of the skin, especially around the ears, swelling of the eyes, face, or inside of the nose, or unusual tiredness or weakness.
Do not interrupt or stop receiving this medicine without checking first with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are using before stopping it completely.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Side Effects of brivaracetam
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- changes in behavior
- chest pain or discomfort
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- double vision
- dry mouth
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- irregular heartbeats
- lack or loss of strength
- loss of balance control
- seeing double
- sensation of spinning
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
- thoughts of killing oneself
- trouble sleeping
- unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness
- unusually deep sleep
- unusually long duration of sleep
- Shakiness and unsteady walk
- unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
- uncontrolled eye movements
Incidence not known
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
- noisy breathing
- reddening of the skin, especially around the ears
- swelling of the eyes, face, or inside of the nose
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Change in taste
- difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
- loss of taste
- pain at the injection site
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about brivaracetam
- Check interactions
- Compare alternatives
- Reviews (62)
- Side effects
- Dosage information
- During pregnancy
- Drug class: pyrrolidine anticonvulsants
- En español
- Brivaracetam oral/injection drug information
- Brivaracetam (Oral) (Advanced Reading)
- Brivaracetam Tablets
- Brivaracetam Injection
Related treatment guides
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.