Adjunctive Brivaracetam in Focal Epilepsy: Real-World Evidence from the BRIVAracetam add-on First Italian netwoRk STudy (BRIVAFIRST)

Simona Lattanzi, Laura Canafoglia, Maria Paola Canevini, Sara Casciato, Valentina Chiesa, Filippo Dainese, Giovanni De Maria, Giuseppe Didato, Giovanni Falcicchio, Martina Fanella, Edoardo Ferlazzo, Giacomo Fisco, Massimo Gangitano, Anna Teresa Giallonardo, Filippo Sean Giorgi, Angela La Neve, Oriano Mecarelli, Elisa Montalenti, Federico Piazza, Patrizia PulitanoPier Paolo Quarato, Federica Ranzato, Eleonora Rosati, Laura Tassi, Carlo Di Bonaventura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: In randomized controlled trials, add-on brivaracetam (BRV) reduced seizure frequency in patients with drug-resistant focal epilepsy. Studies performed in a naturalistic setting are a useful complement to characterize the drug profile. Objective: This multicentre study assessed the effectiveness and tolerability of adjunctive BRV in a large population of patients with focal epilepsy in the context of real-world clinical practice. Methods: The BRIVAFIRST (BRIVAracetam add-on First Italian netwoRk STudy) was a retrospective, multicentre study including adult patients prescribed adjunctive BRV. Patients with focal epilepsy and 12-month follow-up were considered. Main outcomes included the rates of seizure‐freedom, seizure response (≥ 50% reduction in baseline seizure frequency), and treatment discontinuation. The incidence of adverse events (AEs) was also considered. Analyses by levetiracetam (LEV) status and concomitant use of strong enzyme-inducing antiseizure medications (EiASMs) and sodium channel blockers (SCBs) were performed. Results: A total of 1029 patients with a median age of 45 years (33–56) was included. At 12 months, 169 (16.4%) patients were seizure-free and 383 (37.2%) were seizure responders. The rate of seizure freedom was 22.3% in LEV-naive patients, 7.1% in patients with prior LEV use and discontinuation due to insufficient efficacy, and 31.2% in patients with prior LEV use and discontinuation due to AEs (p < 0.001); the corresponding values for ≥ 50% seizure frequency reduction were 47.9%, 29.7%, and 42.8% (p < 0.001). There were no statistically significant differences in seizure freedom and seizure response rates by use of strong EiASMs. The rates of seizure freedom (20.0% vs. 16.6%; p = 0.341) and seizure response (39.7% vs. 26.9%; p = 0.006) were higher in patients receiving SCBs than those not receiving SCBs; 265 (25.8%) patients discontinued BRV. AEs were reported by 30.1% of patients, and were less common in patients treated with BRV and concomitant SCBs than those not treated with SCBs (28.9% vs. 39.8%; p = 0.017). Conclusion: The BRIVAFIRST provided real-world evidence on the effectiveness of BRV in patients with focal epilepsy irrespective of LEV history and concomitant ASMs, and suggested favourable therapeutic combinations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCNS Drugs
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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