How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Brivaracetam belongs to the class of medications called anti-epileptic medications. It is used by adults in addition to other medications treat and prevent partial-onset seizures in adults with epilepsy who continue to experience seizures while taking other anti-seizure medications. Brivaracetam does not cure epilepsy and only works to control seizures as long as the medication is taken. Brivaracetam works by affecting the transmission of nerve signals in the brain.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each white-to-off-white, round, film-coated tablet debossed with "u10" on one side contains 10 mg of brivaracetam. Nonmedicinal ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, lactose monohydrate, betadex (β-cyclodextrin), anhydrous lactose, magnesium stearate, polyvinyl alcohol, talc, polyethylene glycol 3350, and titanium dioxide.
Each grey, oval, film-coated tablet, debossed with "u25" on one side contains 25 mg of brivaracetam. Nonmedicinal ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, lactose monohydrate, betadex (β-cyclodextrin), anhydrous lactose, magnesium stearate, polyvinyl alcohol, talc, polyethylene glycol 3350, titanium dioxide, yellow iron oxide, and black iron oxide.
Each yellow, oval, film-coated tablet, debossed with "u50" on one side contains 50 mg of brivaracetam. Nonmedicinal ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, lactose monohydrate, betadex (β-cyclodextrin), anhydrous lactose, magnesium stearate, polyvinyl alcohol, talc, polyethylene glycol 3350, titanium dioxide, yellow iron oxide, and red iron oxide.
Each purple, oval, film-coated tablet debossed with "u75" on one side contains 75 mg of brivaracetam. Nonmedicinal ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, lactose monohydrate, betadex (β-cyclodextrin), anhydrous lactose, magnesium stearate, polyvinyl alcohol, talc, polyethylene glycol 3350, titanium dioxide, yellow iron oxide, red iron oxide, and black iron oxide.
Each green-grey, oval, film-coated tablet debossed with "u100" on one side contains 100 mg of brivaracetam. Nonmedicinal ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, lactose monohydrate, betadex (β-cyclodextrin), anhydrous lactose, magnesium stearate, polyvinyl alcohol, talc, polyethylene glycol 3350, titanium dioxide, yellow iron oxide, and black iron oxide.
Each 1 mL of slightly viscous, clear, colorless-to-yellowish, raspberry-flavoured liquid contains 10 mg of brivaracetam. Nonmedicinal ingredients: sodium citrate anhydrous citric acid, methylparaben, carboxymethylcellulose sodium, sucralose, sorbitol solution, glycerin, raspberry flavor, and purified water.
Each 1 mL of clear, colorless, sterile solution contains 10 mg of brivaracetam. Nonmedicinal ingredients: sodium acetate (trihydrate), glacial acetic acid, sodium chloride, and water for injection.
How should I use this medication?
The usual starting dose of brivaracetam is 50 mg taken by mouth, 2 times a day. Depending on how well it works and how you react to it, your doctor may gradually increase the dose to a maximum of 100 mg taken 2 times a day.
Brivaracetam may be taken with or without food.
The tablets should be swallowed whole with liquid. Do not chew or crush them. If you are using the liquid, use an oral syringe to measure each dose, as it gives a more accurate measurement than household teaspoons.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children. Store the liquid in its original container. Any oral liquid left 5 months after opening the bottle should be safely disposed of and a fresh supply started.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you are allergic to brivaracetam or any ingredients of the medication.
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- delusions (false or strange thoughts or beliefs)
- hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren't there)
- poor coordination
- unusual behaviour
- unusual infections (symptoms may include fever or chills, severe diarrhea, shortness of breath, prolonged dizziness, headache, stiff neck, weight loss, or listlessness)
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)
- signs of a severe skin reaction such as blistering, peeling, a rash covering a large area of the body, a rash that spreads quickly, or a rash combined with fever or discomfort
- thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Behaviour changes: Behaviour changes may occur with many medications used to treat seizures. Some people have reported changes in behaviour associated with taking brivaracetam. There have been occasional reports of aggressive behaviour or hostility, anxiousness, disorientation, or decreased memory. If you experience any of these effects or notice them in a family member who is taking this medication, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Dizziness and drowsiness: Brivaracetam may cause drowsiness or dizziness, affecting your ability to drive or operate machinery. Avoid driving, operating machinery, or performing other potentially hazardous tasks until you have determined how you are affected by this medication.
Hypersensitivity syndrome: A severe allergic reaction called hypersensitivity syndrome has occurred for some people with the use of brivaracetam. Stop taking the medication and get immediate medical attention if you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, including fever, swollen glands, yellowing of the skin or eyes, or flu-like symptoms with skin rash or blistering.
Infection: Brivaracetam can reduce the number of cells that fight infection in the body (white blood cells). If you experience fever, sore throat, fatigue, weakness, or generally feel unwell while taking brivaracetam, contact your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will do blood tests regularly to monitor the number of specific types of blood cells in your blood.
Kidney function: There is little information available regarding the effect of decreased kidney function on this medication. If you have decreased kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Brivaracetam is not recommended for people with end-stage renal disease who are being treated with dialysis.
Liver function: Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor may want to test your liver function regularly with blood tests while you are taking this medication.
If you experience symptoms of liver problems such as fatigue, feeling unwell, loss of appetite, nausea, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools, abdominal pain or swelling, and itchy skin, contact your doctor immediately.
Stopping the medication: Stopping this medication suddenly may cause an increase in frequency or length of seizures. Before stopping this medication, talk to your doctor about the best way to gradually decrease the dose, to avoid these problems.
Suicidal thoughts and behaviour: Occasionally, people taking medications to treat seizures may experience thoughts of suicide. If you experience these symptoms or any other behaviour change while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately. Family members or caregivers of people who are taking this medication should contact the person's doctor immediately if they notice unusual behaviour changes.
Pregnancy: There is no information available regarding the safety and effectiveness of this medication if it is taken during pregnancy. This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if brivaracetam passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between brivaracetam and any of the following:
- antihistamines (e.g., cetirizine, doxylamine, diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine, loratadine)
- antipsychotics (e.g., chlorpromazine, clozapine, haloperidol, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone)
- barbiturates (e.g., butalbital, pentobarbital, phenobarbital)
- benzodiazepines (e.g., alprazolam, diazepam, lorazepam)
- birth control pills (estrogen/progestin)
- chloral hydrate
- general anesthetics (medications used to put people to sleep before surgery)
- muscle relaxants (e.g., baclofen, cyclobenzaprine, methocarbamol, orphenadrine)
- narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine, fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone)
- other seizure medications (e.g., carbamazepine, clobazam, levetiracetam, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, topiramate, valproic acid, zonisamide)
- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs; e.g., citalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline)
- sodium oxybate
- tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., clomipramine, desipramine, imipramine)
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Brivlera