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FDA Approves Briviact for Partial Onset Seizures

Drug sanctioned for epilepsy patients aged 16 and older

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FRIDAY, Feb. 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Briviact (brivaracetam) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat partial onset seizures in people aged 16 and older with epilepsy.

Briviact, taken with other medications, was evaluated in clinical studies involving 1,550 participants and was found to reduce the frequency of seizures. Common side effects included drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea.

As with other anti-epilepsy medications, Briviact may carry more serious risks, including suicidal thoughts or actions, feelings of agitation, new or worsening depression, aggression, and panic attacks, the FDA said. Rarely, users may develop allergic reactions that include symptoms such as swelling of the lips, eyelids or tongue, and difficulty breathing, the agency added.

"Patients can have different responses to the various seizure medicines that are available," Billy Dunn, M.D., director of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement. "With the approval of Briviact, I am pleased that patients with epilepsy have a new treatment option."

Briviact is marketed by Smyrna, Ga.-based UCB Inc.

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