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Efficacy, retention, and safety of brivaracetam in adult patients with genetic generalized epilepsy.

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Published:12th Nov 2019
Author: Fonseca E, Guzmán L, Quintana M, Abraira L, Santamarina E, Salas-Puig X et al.
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Ref.:Epilepsy Behav. 2019;102:106657.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy, tolerability, and retention of brivaracetam (BRV) in genetic generalized epilepsy (GGE) in real-life practice.

Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study of adult patients with GGE in whom BRV was started between 2016 and 2018, completing a follow-up period of ≥6 months. Clinical and electroencephalogram (EEG) characteristics were analyzed at baseline and at follow-up as outcome measures.

Results: Brivaracetam was started in 37 patients (mean age: 29.9 ± 12.3 years; 73% women). Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy was the most common syndrome (43.2%). The primary indications for starting BRV were lack of efficacy (51.4%) and adverse events (AEs) (27%) of other antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). In total, 32.4% of patients received BRV monotherapy. Retention rate at 6 months was 81.1%; 83.8% of patients were considered responders, and 62.2% achieved seizure freedom. The primary reasons for withdrawal were treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs, 57.1%) and lack of efficacy (42.9%). The higher number of prior AED use was a risk factor for a lack of response [median = 4 (interquartile range (IQR): 3–4) vs 2 (IQR: 1–3); p < 0.05]. Patients with a previous response to valproic acid tended to have a higher response rate to BRV (86.7% vs 50%, p = 0.169). Eighty-three point eight percent (83.8%) of previous levetiracetam (LEV) responders also showed a good response to BRV. In terms of patients who presented LEV-related AEs, AE resolution was observed in 79.8%, particularly with regard to psychiatric AEs. Follow-up EEGs were compared with baseline EEGs in 25 patients (67.6%) during follow-up. Most patients showed a reduction (52%) or no change (36%) in interictal epileptiform discharge (IED) frequency.

Significance: Brivaracetam shows good responder and retention rates in GGE and is generally well tolerated. It is an appropriate alternative treatment for GGE, especially in refractory epilepsy and when other AEDs are not tolerated.


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