Briviact vs Keppra For Seizures – Differences & Side Effects

Briviact

It is the brand name of a drug called brivaracetam, that belongs to a group of drugs known as antiepileptics.

Mechanism of Action

It works by reducing the frequency of seizures.

Uses

This prescription medication is used to treat partial-onset seizures in people 16 years of age and older with epilepsy, a central nervous system disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal.

Epilepsy is a fairly common neurological disorder that affects over 3 million people in the United States and an estimated 65 million people worldwide.

The most common symptom of epilepsy is repeated seizures. Other symptoms may also include:

  • the person becomes stiff;
  • short blackouts;
  • the sufferer becomes fearful for no reason;
  • confused memory;
  • peculiar changes in senses;
  • sudden bouts of blinking without apparent stimuli;
  • the sufferer seems dazed and unable to communicate;
  • a convulsion with no temperature;
  • for a short period, the individual is unresponsive to questions;
  • the person suddenly falls for no clear reason;
  • repetitive movements which seem inappropriate;
  • sudden bouts of chewing;
  • intermittent fainting spells, during which bowel control is lost.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose is 50 mg twice per day. The maximum recommended dose is 200 mg per day.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • feeling tired;
  • drowsiness;
  • vomiting;
  • nausea;
  • dizziness.

Rare side effects may include:

  • unusual changes in mood or behavior;
  • severe drowsiness;
  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real);
  • unusual thoughts;
  • loss of balance;
  • a feeling like you might pass out.

Contraindications

Before taking this antiepileptic, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • drug addiction;
  • alcoholism;
  • liver disease;
  • suicidal thoughts;
  • depression or a mood disorder.

AlcoholAlcohol

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this antiepileptic since alcohol use can substantially increase the risk of severe side effects.

Drug Interactionsdrugs pills meds

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • lamotrigine;
  • atorvastatin;
  • levothyroxine;
  • clonazepam;
  • Lyrica (pregabalin);
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine);
  • Topamax (topiramate);
  • Keppra (levetiracetam);
  • topiramate;
  • adzenys;
  • Klonopin (clonazepam);
  • Vimpat (lacosamide);
  • Lamictal (lamotrigine);
  • Zofran (ondansetron);
  • levetiracetam;
  • trazodone;
  • opsumit;
  • Lomotil (atropine/diphenoxylate);
  • Singulair (montelukast);
  • ProAir HFA (albuterol);
  • lorazepam.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

There are no well-done studies to determine whether this antiepileptic is safe to use during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. Tell your healthcare provider that you are pregnant or plan to fall pregnant before using this medication.

It is not known exactly whether this antiepileptic passes into human breast milk or if it could negatively affect a breastfed infant. Tell your healthcare provider that you are breastfeeding a baby before using this antiepileptic.

Keppra

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:UCB_Keppra_1000mg.jpg

It is the brand name of a drug called levetiracetam, that belongs to a group of drugs known as anticonvulsants.

Mechanism of Action

It works by stabilizing electrical activity in the brain.

Uses

This prescription medication is used to treat epilepsy, sometimes in combination with other drugs.

Dosage

Initiate treatment with a daily dose of 1000 mg/day, given as twice-daily dosing (500 mg twice daily). Additional dosing increments may be given (1000 mg/day additional every 2 weeks) to a maximum recommended daily dose of 3000 mg.

The effect of this anticonvulsant lasts for around 18 to 24 hours. Its peak effect can be observed within about 4 hours for an extended-release tablet and within one hour for an immediate release tablet.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

It is not known exactly whether this anticonvulsant passes into human breast milk or if it could negatively affect a breastfed infant. Tell your healthcare provider that you are breastfeeding a baby before using this anticonvulsant.

There are no well-done studies to determine whether this medication is safe to use during pregnancy. Tell your healthcare provider that you are pregnant or plan to fall pregnant before using this anticonvulsant.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • infection;
  • becoming aggressive;
  • dizziness;
  • weakness;
  • feeling tired;
  • nasal congestion;
  • decreased appetite;
  • sleepiness;
  • irritability.

Less common side effects may include:

  • painful mouth sores;
  • muscle weakness;
  • skin sores;
  • loss of balance;
  • pain when swallowing;
  • swollen gums;
  • severe tingling;
  • unusual changes in behavior;
  • problems with walking;
  • easy bruising;
  • confusion;
  • feeling very weak;
  • extreme drowsiness;
  • hallucinations;
  • trouble breathing.

Alcohol

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this anticonvulsant since alcohol use can substantially increase the risk of severe side effects.

Drug Interactions

Let your healthcare provider know if you are taking anything that could make you feel drowsy, particularly:

  • muscle relaxants;
  • diphenhydramine (Sominex, Banophen);
  • narcotic pain relievers, like – codeine;
  • Diazepam (Valium);
  • Symbicort;
  • sleeping medications, like – alprazolam (Xanax);
  • Zolpidem (Edluar);
  • antihistamines, such as – cetirizine (Alleroff).

Contraindications

To make sure that this anticonvulsant is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
  • a history of mental illness;
  • a history of suicidal thoughts;
  • depression or other mood problems.

Bottom Line – Briviact vs Keppra

Briviact (active ingredient – brivaracetam) is an anti-epileptic drug that is used to treat partial onset seizures in people with epilepsy who are at least 16 years old.

Keppra (active ingredient – levetiracetam) is an anticonvulsant medication that is used to prevent and treat seizures. It belongs to a group of drugs called anticonvulsants.

Both drugs target the synaptic vesicle protein 2A, however, Briviact is noted to be more selective and has a higher affinity for this receptor than Keppra.

According to a 2014 study, people treated with Briviact 20, 50, 100 mg per day were compared with a placebo group. Patients treated with brivaracetam at a dose of 50 mg per day experienced a substantial reduction in seizure frequency compared with the placebo group.

Regarding their price, the average retail price for 60 tablets of Briviact 100 mg is $1,100, while the average retail price for 60 tablets of Keppra 500 mg is $220.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5265234/
http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/index.jsp?curl=pages/medicines

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