Medical Breaking News: FDA Approves New Epilepsy Treatment

medical updateThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved BRIVIACT® (brivaracetam) as adjunctive therapy (a therapy used together with primary treatment) in the treatment of partial-onset seizures in patients 16 years of age and older with epilepsy. The Drug Enforcement Administration is anticipated to classify BRIVIACT®according to the drug scheduling process within the next 90 days, after which time BRIVIACT® will become commercially available in the U.S.

This is significant, because uncontrolled seizures can have serious, long-term effects, and approximately 30% of epilepsy patients remain uncontrolled on currently available treatments.

The most common adverse reactions occurring at a frequency of at least 5% in patients treated with BRIVIACT doses of at least 50 mg/day and greater than placebo were somnolence and sedation, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea and vomiting symptoms.

Here are the basics on what epilepsy is and isn’t.

  • Epilepsy is a condition of the brain causing seizures.
  • A seizure is a disruption of the electrical communication between neurons
  • Someone is said to have epilepsy if they experience two or more unprovoked seizures separated by at least 24 hours

By the numbers:

  • 65 MILLION: Number of people around the world who have epilepsy.
  • OVER 2 MILLION: Number of people in the United States who have epilepsy.
  • 1 IN 26 people in the United States will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime.
  • BETWEEN 4 AND 10 OUT OF 1,000: Number of people on earth who live with active seizures at any one time.
  • 150,000: Number of new cases of epilepsy in the United States each year
  • ONE-THIRD: Number of people with epilepsy who live with uncontrollable seizures because no available treatment works for them.
  • 6 OUT OF 10: Number of people with epilepsy where the cause is unknown
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