On October 22, 2012, the Food and Drug Administration approved Fycompa (perampanel) to treat people 12 years and older who suffer from partial onset seizures. The drug is used to treat people with epilepsy who cannot control their seizures with the current medication they’re taking.
A partial seizure is the most common type of seizure for a person suffering from epilepsy. The condition occurs when there are unusually high levels of activity in the brain’s nerve cells. The partial seizures usually affect one or limited parts of the brain, but the condition can spread to other parts of the brain.
Seizures are dangerous. Common symptoms of seizures include spasms or uncontrolled limb movements, strange behavior, and unconsciousness.
Fycompa controlled seizures better than a placebo in three different clinical trials. However, the drug does come with mild and severe side effects in some cases.
The Food and Drug Administration states that the most common types of side effects with Fycompa include the following: dizziness, fatigue, irritable attitude, upper respiratory infections, increase in weight, ataxia, gait disturbance, anxiety, trouble with balance, stuttering, general weakness, blurred vision, aggressiveness, and hypersomnia.
The drug will come in a box with a printed warning about the high risk of certain neuropsychiatric side effects. Some of the following side effects were reported as severe and even life-threatening in some cases: paranoia, euphoria, change of mental status, aggression, anger, general agitation, and threatening behavior.
The FDA instructs patients and caregivers to contact a health care professional right away if the person taking Fycompa has changes in mood or behavior that is not normal. Many health care providers will monitor patients when they start taking higher doses of the drug.
Before taking the drug, read the patient Medication Guide that comes with the drug to learn about drug safety.
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration