Generic Name: brivaracetam (briv-a-RA-se-tam)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Feb 19, 2021.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Anticonvulsant
Uses for brivaracetam
Brivaracetam is used to help control partial onset seizures in the treatment of epilepsy. Brivaracetam cannot cure epilepsy and will only work to control seizures for as long as you continue to use it.
Brivaracetam is available only with your doctor's prescription.
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 brivaracetam, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to brivaracetam 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 in children 4 to 15 years of age. However, safety and efficacy have not been established in children younger than 4 years of age.
Although appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of brivaracetam 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.
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 taking brivaracetam, 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 brivaracetam 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 brivaracetam. 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
Take brivaracetam only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. Also, do not change your dose without checking first with your doctor.
Brivaracetam comes with a Medication Guide. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
You may take brivaracetam with or without food.
Swallow the tablet whole with liquid. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
Measure the oral liquid with a marked measuring spoon, dropper, oral syringe, or medicine cup. The average household teaspoon may not hold the right amount of liquid. You may also take the oral liquid using a nasogastric tube or gastrostomy tube.
The dose of brivaracetam will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of brivaracetam. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage forms (solution or tablets):
- For partial onset seizures:
- Adults and children 16 years of age and older—At first, 50 milligrams (mg) 2 times a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed and tolerated. However, the dose is usually not more than 100 mg 2 times a day.
- Children 4 to 15 years of age weighing 50 kilograms (kg) or more—At first, 25 to 50 mg 2 times a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed and tolerated. However, the dose is usually not more than 100 mg 2 times a day.
- Children 4 to 15 years of age weighing 20 kg to less than 50 kg—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. At first, 0.5 to 1 milligram per kilogram (mg/kg) of body weight 2 times a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed and tolerated. However, the dose is usually not more than 2 mg/kg 2 times a day.
- Children 4 to 15 years of age weighing 11 kg to less than 20 kg—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. At first, 0.5 to 1.25 mg/kg of body weight 2 times a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed and tolerated. However, the dose is usually not more than 2.5 mg/kg 2 times a day.
- Children younger than 4 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For partial onset seizures:
If you miss a dose of brivaracetam, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Throw away any unused oral liquid 5 months after first opening the bottle.
Precautions while using brivaracetam
It is very important that your doctor check your or your child's progress at regular visits, especially for the first few months you are taking brivaracetam to allow for a change in the dose and to check for any 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, angry, getting upset easily, restless, or have thoughts about hurting yourself. Report any unusual thoughts or behavior that trouble you, especially if they are new or getting worse quickly.
Brivaracetam may make you dizzy, drowsy, tired, or less alert than you are normally. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how brivaracetam affects you.
Brivaracetam 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 genitals, 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 stop using brivaracetam without first checking with your doctor. Stopping the medicine suddenly may cause your seizures to return or to occur more often. 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.
Brivaracetam side effects
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 immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- changes in behavior
- chest pain or discomfort
- deep or fast breathing with dizziness
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- double vision
- dry mouth
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- irregular heartbeat
- numbness of feet, hands and around mouth
- 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
- uncontrolled eye movements
- unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
Incidence not known
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or genitals
- 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:
- Difficulty having a bowel movement
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
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- 30 Reviews
- Drug class: pyrrolidine anticonvulsants
- Other brands
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