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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the indication for brivaracetam (Briviact, UCB) as both monotherapy or adjunctive therapy for partial-onset seizures in patients as young as 1 month of age.

All three brivaracetam formulations (tablets, oral solution, and IV) may now be used. The approval marks the first time that the IV formulation will be available for children, the company said in a news release.

The medication is already approved in the United States as monotherapy and adjunctive therapy in adults with epilepsy.

In an open-label follow-up pediatric study, an estimated 71.4% of patients aged 1 month to 17 years with partial-onset seizures remained on brivaracetam therapy at 1 year; and 64.3% did so at 2 years, the company reported.

“We often see children with seizures hospitalized, hydrochlorothiazide faq so it’s important to have a therapy like Briviact IV that can offer rapid administration in an effective dose when needed and does not require titration,” Raman Sankar, MD, PhD, distinguished professor and chief of pediatric neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in the release.

“The availability of the oral dose forms also allows continuity of treatment when these young patients are transitioning from hospital to home,” he added.

Safety Profile

Sankar noted that with approval now of both the IV and oral formulations for partial-onset seizures in such young children, “we have a new option that helps meet a critical need in pediatric epilepsy.”

The most common adverse reactions with brivaracetam include somnolence and sedation, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. In the pediatric clinical trials, the safety profile for pediatric patients was similar to adults.

In the adult trials, psychiatric adverse reactions, including nonpsychotic and psychotic symptoms, were reported in approximately 13% of adults taking at least 50 mg/day of brivaracetam compared with 8% taking placebo.

Psychiatric adverse reactions were also observed in open-label pediatric trials and were generally similar to those observed in adults.

Patients should be advised to report these symptoms immediately to a healthcare professional, the company noted.

Full prescribing information is available online. 

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