Brivaracetam is an anticonvulsant medication that is used in the treatment of patients with epilepsy in adults and in children over 4 years. It is usually prescribed in concomitance with other medications to control seizures that only affect a part of the brain (the so-called "partial-origin seizures").
Brivaracetam acts by reducing abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Brivaracetam binds to the SV2A protein, which is present in the synaptic vesicle and is thought to be involved in seizures development. The binding of brivaracetam to SV2A is thought to be the main mechanism of action of this drug.
Hypersensitivity to brivaracetam and other derivatives of pyrrolidone.
In children under 4 years old, the safety and efficacy of brivaracetam have not yet been established.
Taking brivaracetam may generate risk of developing suicidal thoughts/behaviours, so it is very important to monitor the psychology of the patient.
The prescription of brivaracetam in renal patients undergoing dialysis is not recommended since there are no safety or efficacy data recorded.
In patients with hepatic impairment, precautions should be taken before prescribing brivaracetam, since there are no safety or efficacy data for these patients. It is strongly recommended to adjust the dose very rigorously and monitor the patient if it is decided to prescribe this medication to this kind of patients.
The most common side effects are: constipation, nausea, vomiting, extreme tiredness or lack of energy.
More serious but less common side effects are: inflammation of the face, throat, tongue, lips and eyes, difficulty for swallowing or breathing, hoarseness, hallucinations, delusions, suicidal thoughts and suicidal behaviors.