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Keywords:

  • antiepileptics;
  • brivaracetam;
  • pharmacodynamics;
  • pharmacokinetics;
  • tolerability;
  • ucb 34714

WHAT IS ALREADY KNOWN ABOUT THIS SUBJECT

• The pharmacokinetic profile, metabolism and proof of concept of a single oral dose of brivaracetam have been reported.

• Previous studies have shown that it was well absorbed, had linear kinetics and was well tolerated, and suggested effective doses of 10–80 mg in photoparoxysmal epilepsy.

WHAT THIS STUDY ADDS

• We now report the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and tolerability in healthy volunteers after multiple doses.

AIMS

Brivaracetam is a novel synaptic vesicle protein 2A ligand that has shown potent activity in animal models of epilepsy. This study examined the pharmacokinetics, central nervous system pharmacodynamics and adverse event profile of multiple oral doses of brivaracetam in healthy male subjects.

METHODS

Three successive panels of 12 healthy male subjects received double-blind brivaracetam 200, 400 or 800 mg day−1 (all doses well above the expected therapeutic range) or placebo (9 : 3), in two divided doses, for 14 days.

RESULTS

Brivaracetam was rapidly absorbed (tmax∼2 h) and eliminated (t1/2 7–8 h). Volume of distribution was slightly lower than total body water. A small fraction of the dose (5–8%) was excreted unchanged in urine together with significant levels of metabolites, suggesting predominantly metabolic clearance. Based on 6-β-hydroxycortisol/cortisol ratios in urine, there was no evidence of induction of CYP3A4 activity. Saliva and plasma brivaracetam levels were highly correlated. Adverse events were mostly mild to moderate, central nervous system-related and resolved within the first day of treatment. No clinically relevant changes were observed in laboratory tests, vital signs, physical examinations or ECGs. Pharmacodynamic tests showed dose-related sedation and decreased alertness that only persisted at 800 mg daily.

CONCLUSIONS

Brivaracetam was well tolerated by healthy male volunteers at doses of 200–800 mg daily for 2 weeks, well above the expected clinically effective dose range. Brivaracetam had a favourable pharmacokinetic profile in this population, characterized by rapid absorption, volume of distribution limited to total body water, apparent single-compartment elimination and dose proportionality.