Nearly half of people with epilepsy (PWE) are expected to develop seizure clusters (SC), with the subsequent risk of hospitalization. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the use, effectiveness and safety of intravenous (IV) brivaracetam (BRV) in the treatment of SC.
Retrospective multicentric study of patients with SC (≥ 2 seizures/24 h) who received IV BRV. Data collection occurred from January 2019 to April 2022 in 25 Italian neurology units. Primary efficacy outcome was seizure freedom up to 24 h from BRV administration. We also evaluated the risk of evolution into Status Epilepticus (SE) at 6, 12 and 24 h after treatment initiation. A Cox regression model was used to identify outcome predictors.
97 patients were included (mean age 62 years), 74 (76%) of whom had a history of epilepsy (with drug resistant seizures in 49% of cases). BRV was administered as first line treatment in 16% of the episodes, while it was used as first or second drug after benzodiazepines failure in 49% and 35% of episodes, respectively. On the one hand, 58% patients were seizure free at 24 h after BRV administration and no other rescue medications were used in 75 out of 97 cases (77%) On the other hand, SC evolved into SE in 17% of cases. A higher probability of seizure relapse and/or evolution into SE was observed in patients without a prior history of epilepsy (HR 2.0; 95% CI 1.03 – 4.1) and in case of BRV administration as second/third line drug (HR 3.2; 95% CI 1.1 – 9.7). No severe treatment emergent adverse events were observed.
In our cohort, IV BRV resulted to be well tolerated for the treatment of SC and it could be considered as a treatment option, particularly in case of in-hospital onset. However, the underlying etiology seems to be the main outcome predictor.

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