Briviact (brivaracetam) is a prescription drug used to treat partial-onset seizures. Briviact can cause side effects that range from mild to serious. Examples include drowsiness, dizziness, and low energy.

Specifically, Briviact is prescribed for people ages 1 month and older to treat partial-onset seizures.

The active ingredient in Briviact is brivaracetam. The drug comes as oral tablets and oral liquid solution. It’s also available as a liquid solution that’s given as an intravenous (IV) infusion (an injection into your vein over a period of time).

Keep reading to learn about the common, mild, and serious side effects Briviact can cause. For a general overview of the drug, including details about its uses, see this article.

Some people may experience mild to serious side effects during Briviact treatment. Examples of the drug’s commonly reported side effects include:

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects explained” section below.

Mild side effects have been reported with Briviact. These include:

In most cases, these side effects should be temporary. And some may be easily managed. But if you have symptoms that are ongoing or bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. And do not stop taking Briviact unless your doctor recommends it.

Briviact may cause mild side effects other than those listed above. See the drug’s prescribing information for details.

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects explained” section below.

Serious side effects have been reported with Briviact. These include:

If you develop serious side effects while taking Briviact, call your doctor right away. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects explained” section below.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks and reviews side effects of the medication. If you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Briviact, visit MedWatch.

Allergic reaction

For some people, Briviact can cause an allergic reaction, but it’s not known how often this occurred in the drug’s studies.

In general, symptoms of allergic reaction can be mild or serious. You can learn more about possible symptoms in this article.

What might help

If you have mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as a mild rash, call your doctor right away. They may suggest a treatment to help manage your symptoms and can determine whether you should keep taking Briviact.

If you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as swelling or trouble breathing, call 911 or your local emergency number right away. These symptoms could be life threatening and require immediate medical care.

If your doctor confirms you’ve had a serious allergic reaction to Briviact, they may have you switch to a different treatment.

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Get answers to some frequently asked questions about Briviact’s side effects.

Can Briviact cause weight gain or hair loss?

Weight gain and hair loss were not reported in studies of Briviact. However, Briviact may be taken with other seizure medications, and these other drugs may affect weight or cause hair loss.

For example, levetiracetam (Keppra) can cause decreased appetite. There have been reports of hair loss in people taking Keppra, but it’s unclear how often this happened or if Keppra was the cause.

Does Briviact cause long-term side effects?

It’s possible. Long-term side effects include those that may start at any time you’re taking a drug, even if you’ve taken it for a long time. It also includes side effects that may not go away, even after you stop taking the drug. But most side effects that occur with this drug are short-term.

Examples of long-term side effects reported in Briviact’s studies include:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • mood changes

However, once you stop taking Briviact, these side effects will likely go away.

Talk with your doctor to learn more about possible side effects of Briviact and how long they may last.

Is there a risk of misuse, dependence, or withdrawal with Briviact?

Yes, Briviact has a possible risk of misuse. This refers to taking a drug in a way other than how a doctor prescribes it.

Examples include taking the drug more often or at higher doses than recommended by your doctor. Misuse increases the risk of overdose, which can lead to difficulty breathing, coma, and even death.

Based on studies, Briviact should not cause dependence or withdrawal symptoms. (Dependence is when your body gets used to a drug and needs it for you to function as usual. Withdrawal symptoms are side effects that can occur when you stop taking a drug your body has become dependent on.)

You should not suddenly stop taking Briviact, as this can increase your risk of seizures. Before stopping your treatment, your doctor may lower your dosage slowly over time to help your body adjust.

Talk with them if you have questions about your risk of misuse, dependence, or withdrawal. And only take this drug exactly as prescribed.

Keeping track of side effects

During Briviact treatment, consider taking notes on any side effects you’re having. You can then share this information with your doctor. This is especially helpful when you first start a new drug or combination of treatments.

Your side effect notes can include things such as:

  • what dose of the drug you were taking when you had the side effect
  • how soon you had the side effect after starting that dose
  • what your symptoms were
  • how your symptoms affected your daily activities
  • what other medications you were taking
  • any other information you feel is important

Sharing notes with your doctor will help them learn more about how Briviact affects you. They can then use this information to adjust your treatment plan if needed.

Learn more about some of the side effects Briviact may cause.

Drowsiness

Drowsiness was a common side effect reported in studies of Briviact. This side effect is likely dose-dependent.

The higher the dose of Briviact, the more drowsy you will feel after taking it. You’re more likely to experience drowsiness when first starting Briviact. Because of this, you shouldn’t participate in activities requiring mental alertness, such as driving, until you know how this drug affects you.

What might help

Talk with your doctor if Briviact causes you to be excessively drowsy. They may be able to adjust your dose, change your medications, or provide recommendations to help reduce this side effect.

Mood changes

Mood changes were a common, sometimes serious, side effect reported in studies of Briviact. In rare cases, the drug can cause suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Mood changes may cause symptoms such as:

Factors that can increase the risk of mood changes with Briviact include whether you currently have or have had any mental health conditions.

What might help

Talk with your doctor about your medical history, including any mental health conditions, before starting Briviact.

Monitor yourself for any mood changes during treatment. If you notice changes in your mood, talk with your doctor immediately. They may adjust your dosage or change your medications. They may also recommend treatment for your mood changes.

Help is out there

If you or someone you know is in crisis and considering suicide or self-harm, please seek support:

If you’re calling on behalf of someone else, stay with them until help arrives. You may remove weapons or substances that can cause harm if you can do so safely.

If you are not in the same household, stay on the phone with them until help arrives.

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Below is important information you should consider before starting Briviact.

Warnings

Briviact can sometimes cause harmful effects in people with certain conditions. This is known as a drug-condition interaction. Other factors may also affect whether Briviact is a good treatment option for you.

Talk with your doctor about your health history before taking this drug. Be sure to tell them if any of the following factors apply to you:

Alcohol and Briviact

You should not take Briviact with alcohol. According to studies, consuming alcohol while taking Briviact can increase your risk of certain side effects. These include difficulty with attention and memory.

If you have questions about consuming alcohol during Briviact treatment, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding with Briviact

There’s limited information about the safety of Briviact use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Pregnancy

It’s not known whether it’s safe to take Briviact during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor before starting treatment with this drug.

If you’re able to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs during Briviact treatment.

If you take this drug while pregnant, consider signing up for The North American Antiepileptic Drug pregnancy registry by visiting the website or calling 888-233-2334. A pregnancy registry collects information about the safety of certain drugs when taken during pregnancy.

Breastfeeding

It isn’t known whether Briviact is safe to take while breastfeeding. Based on studies, Briviact passes into human breast milk. However, there isn’t much information on the effects of the drug on milk production or on a child who’s breastfed. If you’re breastfeeding or planning to do so, talk with your doctor before starting this medication.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.