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Generic Name: brivaracetam (BRIV a RA se tam)
Brand Name: Briviact

What is brivaracetam?

Brivaracetam is an anti-epileptic drug, also called an anticonvulsant.

Brivaracetam is used together with other medicines to treat partial onset seizures in people with epilepsy who are at least 16 years old.

Brivaracetam may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about brivaracetam?

Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking seizure medicine. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking brivaracetam?

You should not use brivaracetam if you are allergic to it.

Brivaracetam may be habit-forming. Never share brivaracetam with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.

To make sure brivaracetam is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • depression or a mood disorder;

  • suicidal thoughts or actions;

  • liver disease; or

  • alcoholism or drug addiction.

Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking seizure medicine. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

Follow your doctor's instructions about taking seizure medication if you are pregnant. Seizure control is very important during pregnancy, and having a seizure could harm both mother and baby. Do not start or stop taking this medicine without your doctor's advice, and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of brivaracetam on the baby.

It is not known whether brivaracetam passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Brivaracetam is not approved for use by anyone younger than 16 years old.

How should I take brivaracetam?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Take this medicine with a full glass of water. You may take brivaracetam with or without food.

Measure the oral solution (liquid) with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Do not crush, chew, or break a brivaracetam tablet. Swallow it whole.

Do not stop using brivaracetam suddenly, even if you feel fine. Stopping suddenly may cause serious medical problems or increased seizures. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Do not allow the liquid medicine to freeze. Throw away any unused brivaracetam liquid if it has been longer than 5 months since you first opened the bottle.

Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Brivaracetam may be a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking brivaracetam?

Brivaracetam may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how this medicine will affect you. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls or other accidents.

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Brivaracetam side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe drowsiness;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • loss of balance or coordination;

  • unusual changes in mood or behavior; or

  • unusual thoughts, hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real).

Common side effects may include:

  • dizziness, drowsiness;

  • nausea, vomiting; or

  • feeling tired.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect brivaracetam?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • rifampin; or

  • other seizure medications, especially carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Equetro, Tegretol), or phenytoin (Dilantin).

Your dosages of other medicines may be different while you are taking brivaracetam. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with brivaracetam, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about brivaracetam.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.01.

Date modified: October 14, 2016
Last reviewed: May 25, 2016