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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in Epilepsy Research, Volume 131, March 2017, Pages 70-75.

The published version is available at Copyright © Asadi-Pooya et al.


Brivaracetam (BRV), a selective, high-affinity ligand for synaptic vesicle protein 2A, is a new antiepileptic drug (AED) for adjunctive treatment of focal (partial-onset) seizures in adults with epilepsy. This post-hoc analysis was conducted to explore the efficacy of adjunctive BRV in patients with prior levetiracetam (LEV) exposure and whether changes in efficacy were related to the similar mechanism of action of these two drugs. Data were pooled from three Phase III studies (NCT00490035; NCT00464269; NCT01261325) of adults with focal seizures taking 1-2 AEDs who received placebo or BRV 50-200mg/day without titration over a 12-week treatment period. Patients taking concomitant LEV at enrollment were excluded from this analysis. Patients were categorized by their status of prior exposure to LEV, carbamazepine (CBZ), topiramate (TPM), or lamotrigine (LTG), to investigate any consistent trend towards reduced response in AED-exposed subgroups compared to AED-naïve subgroups, regardless of the mechanism of action. Study completion rates, percent reduction from baseline in focal seizure frequency over placebo, ≥50% responder rates, and tolerability were evaluated for each subgroup. A total of 1160 patients were investigated. Study completion rates were similar in the AED-exposed subgroups and AED-naïve subgroups. In subgroups with (531 patients) or without (629 patients) prior LEV exposure, ≥50% responder rates for each dose of BRV compared with placebo were generally higher among the LEV-naïve subgroups than the previously LEV-exposed subgroups. LEV-exposed subgroups receiving BRV doses ≥50mg/day showed greater ≥50% responder rates than those receiving placebo. Similar results were observed for CBZ, TPM, and LTG. Previous treatment failure with commonly prescribed AEDs (LEV, CBZ, TPM, or LTG) is associated with a reduced response to BRV irrespective of the mechanism of action. Hence, this post-hoc analysis indicates that previous treatment failure with LEV does not preclude the use of BRV in patients with epilepsy.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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