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A review of the pharmacology and clinical efficacy of brivaracetam

Authors Klein P, Diaz A, Gasalla T, Whitesides J

Received 31 May 2017

Accepted for publication 23 August 2017

Published 19 January 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 1—22


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Arthur Frankel

Pavel Klein,1 Anyzeila Diaz,2 Teresa Gasalla,3 John Whitesides4

1Mid-Atlantic Epilepsy and Sleep Center, Bethesda, MD, USA; 2Neurology Patient Value Unit, UCB Pharma, Smyrna, GA, USA; 3Neurology Patient Value Unit, UCB Pharma, Monheim am Rhein, Germany; 4Asset Development, UCB Pharma, Raleigh, NC, USA

Abstract: Brivaracetam (BRV; Briviact) is a new antiepileptic drug (AED) approved for adjunctive treatment of focal (partial-onset) seizures in adults. BRV is a selective, high-affinity ligand for synaptic vesicle 2A (SV2A) with 15- to 30-fold higher affinity than levetiracetam, the first AED acting on SV2A. It has high lipid solubility and rapid brain penetration, with engagement of the target molecule, SV2A, within minutes of administration. BRV has potent broad-spectrum antiepileptic activity in animal models. Phase I studies indicated BRV was well tolerated and showed a favorable pharmacokinetic profile over a wide dose range following single (10–1,000 mg) and multiple (200–800 mg/day) oral dosing. Three pivotal Phase III studies have demonstrated promising efficacy and a good safety and tolerability profile across doses of 50–200 mg/day in the adjunctive treatment of refractory focal seizures. Long-term data indicate that the response to BRV is sustained, with good tolerability and retention rate. BRV is highly effective in patients experiencing secondarily generalized tonic–clonic seizures. Safety data to date suggest a favorable psychiatric adverse effect profile in controlled studies, although limited postmarketing data are available. BRV is easy to use, with no titration and little drug–drug interaction. It can be initiated at target dose with no titration. Efficacy is seen on day 1 of oral use in a significant percentage of patients. Intravenous administration in a 2-minute bolus and 15-minute infusion is well tolerated. Here, we review the pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and clinical data of BRV.

Keywords: brivaracetam, efficacy, epilepsy, focal seizures, pharmacokinetics, tolerability

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