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Case reports of improvement in behaviour following switching of patients with intellectual disability and epilepsy from levetiracetam to brivaracetam

Raghavendar Baburaj (Department of Learning Disability Directorate, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Cwmbran, UK)
Huw Morgan Dunstall (Department of Psychiatry of Intellectual Disabilities, Swansea Bay University Health Board, Bridgend, UK)
Catherine Bright (Department of Learning Disability Directorate, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Cwmbran, UK)
Charlotte Lawthom (Department of Neurology, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Cwmbran, UK)

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities

ISSN: 2044-1282

Article publication date: 8 April 2020

Abstract

Purpose

Epilepsy is a chronic illness affecting around 50 million people worldwide. Levetiracetam is an effective novel antiepileptic drug but can cause behavioural adverse events. A total of 10-15 per cent people with intellectual disability (ID) already present with Behaviour that Challenges (BtC). Brivaracetam is postulated to have a distinct pharmacological profile compared with levetiracetam which may result in fewer behavioural adverse events.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents two cases of people with epilepsy and ID being switched from levetiracetam to brivaracetam for reported behaviour adverse events.

Findings

The cases support that people with epilepsy and ID who are experiencing behavioural adverse events from levetiracetam can safely be switched to brivaracetam, resulting in significant reductions in BtC and potentially improved seizure control. Nevertheless, these results must be interpreted with caution, as aetiology for BtC in people with ID is often multifactorial.

Originality/value

This is one of the first papers to date, according to the best of the authors’ knowledge, to describe improved behavioural profile in people with ID and epilepsy when switching from levetiracetam to brivaracetam.

Keywords

Citation

Baburaj, R., Dunstall, H.M., Bright, C. and Lawthom, C. (2020), "Case reports of improvement in behaviour following switching of patients with intellectual disability and epilepsy from levetiracetam to brivaracetam", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 85-90. https://doi.org/10.1108/AMHID-11-2019-0039

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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