FDA Approves New Medication, Briviact, to Treat Partial Onset Seizures

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Briviact (brivaracetam), a new medication by UCB, Inc., to treat partial onset seizures in epilepsy patients 16 years and older in combination with other medications.

Patients with epilepsy suffer from recurrent seizures, which include abnormal brain activity, and possibly muscle spasms or uncontrolled body movements, abnormal sensations, or even strange behaviors or thoughts. Partial onset seizures are so named because they start in a restricted area of the brain.

The FDA approved Briviact after determining its effectiveness in three clinical trials including 1,550 patients. The drug decreased the frequency of seizures when it was taken with other anti-seizure medications.

Common side effects from the clinical trials include drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea and vomiting.

The drug must be dispensed with a Medication Guide to inform patients about its use and risks. Some serious risks are suicidal thoughts or attempts, agitation, new or worsening depression, aggression, and panic attacks.

About the Author

Julie Kaplan, Pharm. D.
Julie Kaplan is a licensed pharmacist in Virginia and the District of Columbia. She received a Bachelor’s of Arts in English from The College of William and Mary and a Doctor of Pharmacy from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has experience in patient communication from working as a retail pharmacist.