Brivaracetam

Brivaracetam treats partial onset seizures. Call your doctor if you have any changes in behavior such as aggression, anger, anxiety, mood swings, depression, irritability, or hallucinations.

Brivaracetam Overview

Reviewed: December 8, 2014
Updated: 

Brivaracetam is a prescription medication used alone or with other medicines to treat partial-onset seizures in people 16 years of age and older with epilepsy. Brivaracetam belongs to a group of drugs called antiepileptics. These work by reducing the frequency of seizures.

This medication comes in a tablet and solution form and is usually taken 2 times a day by mouth with or without food. The brivaracetam tablets should be swallowed whole with liquid. Do not crush or chew brivaracetam tablets before swallowing.

This medication is also available in an injectable form to be given directly into a vein (IV) by a healthcare professional.

Common side effects of brivaracetam include nausea and vomiting. Brivaracetam can also cause dizziness and drowsiness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how brivaracetam affects you.

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Brivaracetam Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautions

Uses of Brivaracetam

Brivaracetam is a prescription medication used alone or with other medicines to treat partial-onset seizures in people 16 years of age and older with epilepsy. Partial-onset seizures begin in a limited area of the brain.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Brivaracetam Brand Names

Brivaracetam may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Brivaracetam Drug Class

Brivaracetam is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Brivaracetam

Serious side effects have been reported with brivaracetam. See the "Brivaracetam Precautions" section.

Common side effects of brivaracetam include the following:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • vomiting

This is not a complete list of brivaracetam side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Brivaracetam Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • rifampin
  • carbamazepine
  • phenytoin

Brivaracetam is very similar levetiracetam, which is another medication used to treat seizures. With this being said, taking to brivaracetam with levetiracetam is not recommended as it will Not add therapeutic benefit. 

This is not a complete list of brivaracetam drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Brivaracetam Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with brivaracetam including the following:

Like other antiepileptic drugs, brivaracetam may cause suicidal thoughts or actions in a very small number of people, about 1 in 500 people taking it.

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you:

  • thoughts about suicide or dying
  • attempts to commit suicide
  • new or worse depression
  • new or worse anxiety
  • feeling agitated or restless
  • panic attacks
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • new or worse irritability
  • acting aggressive, being angry, or violent
  • acting on dangerous impulses
  • an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania)
  • other unusual changes in behavior or mood

How can I watch for early symptoms of suicidal thoughts and actions?

  • Pay attention to any changes, especially sudden changes, in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings.
  • Keep all follow-up visits with your healthcare provider as scheduled.
  • Call your doctor between visits as needed, especially if you are worried about symptoms.

Do not stop brivaracetam without first talking to your doctor.

  • Stopping brivaracetam suddenly can cause serious problems. Stopping a seizure medicine suddenly can cause seizures that will not stop (status epilepticus).
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions can be caused by things other than medicines. If you have suicidal thoughts or actions, your healthcare provider may check for other causes.

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms:

  • mood and behavior changes such as aggression, agitation, anger, anxiety, apathy, mood swings, depression, hostility, and irritability. Irritability and anxiety are common with brivaracetam. A few people may get psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are really not there), delusions (false or strange thoughts or beliefs) and unusual behavior.
  • extreme sleepiness, tiredness, dizziness and weakness. 
  • problems with muscle coordination (problems walking and moving)

Brivaracetam may result in allergic reactions including difficulty breathing and angioedema (hives that appear to be under the skin). If you notice difficulty breathing and angioedema, contact you doctor immediately. Your doctor will more than likely discontinue your medication. 

Brivaracetam may make you feel drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how Briviact will affect you.

Do not take brivaracetam if you are allergic to brivaracetam or to any of its ingredients. 

Brivaracetam Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of brivaracetam, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking brivaracetam, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to brivaracetam or to any of its ingredients
  • have liver problems
  • have abused or been dependent on prescription medicines, street drugs, or alcohol
  • have or have had depression, mood problems or suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • have any other medical problems
  • are pregnant or planning to become pregnant 
  • are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Brivaracetam and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Brivaracetam falls into category C. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. However, bBased on animal data, brivaracetam may cause harm to your unborn baby. It is not known if brivaracetam will harm your unborn baby. 

Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant while taking brivaracetam. You and your healthcare provider will have to decide if you should take brivaracetam while you are pregnant.

If you become pregnant while taking brivaracetam, talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry. You can enroll in this registry by calling 1-888-233-2334. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the safety of brivaracetam and other antiepileptic medicines during pregnancy. 

Brivaracetam and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if brivaracetam crosses into human milk. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you take brivaracetam. 

Brivaracetam Usage

Take brivaracetam exactly as prescribed.

Your healthcare provider will tell you how much brivaracetam to take and when to take it.

Your healthcare provider may change your dose if needed. Do not change your dose without talking to your healthcare provider. 

This medication comes in a tablet and solution form and is usually taken 2 times a day by mouth with or without food.

Swallow Briviact tablets whole with a liquid. Do not chew or crush Briviact tablets before swallowing.

If your healthcare provider has prescribed Briviact oral solution, be sure to ask your pharmacist for a medicine dropper or medicine cup to help you measure the correct amount of Briviact oral solution. Do not use a household teaspoon. Ask your pharmacist for instructions on how to use the measuring device the right way. 

The Briviact tablets should be swallowed whole with liquid. Do not crush or chew Briviact tablets before swallowing.

This medication is also available in an injectable form to be given directly into a vein (IV) by a healthcare professional.

Brivaracetam Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • your liver function
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication

The recommended starting dose of brivaracetam when used alone or in combination with other medications is 50 mg twice daily. Your dose will be increased or decreased based on you respond to this medication and how well you tolerate the medication. Your dose will be decreased if you have liver dysfunction. 

Brivaracetam Overdose

If you take too much brivaracetam, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If brivaracetam is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

  • Store at room temperature between 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C). 
  • Do not freeze brivaracetam oral solution.
  • Safely dispose, as instructed by your pharmacist, any opened bottle of brivaracetam oral solution after 5 months of first opening the bottle, even if there is medicine left in the bottle. 
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.