Perampanel is prescribed alongside other anti-epileptic medicines.
Take it once daily, at bedtime. Try not to miss any doses.
The most common side-effects are feeling dizzy and sleepy.
About perampanel for epilepsy
|Type of medicine||An anti-epileptic medicine|
|Used for||Epilepsy in adults and in children aged over 12 years|
|Available as||Tablets and oral liquid medicine|
Perampanel is used alongside other medicines in the treatment of seizures. A seizure is a short episode of symptoms which is caused by a burst of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Generalised seizures occur if you have a burst of abnormal electrical activity which spreads throughout the brain. Generalised seizures affect consciousness and may cause a convulsion. With a focal seizure, the burst of electrical activity stays in one part of the brain and therefore you tend to have localised or 'focal' symptoms. Because different parts of the brain control different functions, your symptoms will depend on which part of your brain is affected. Focal seizures can sometimes develop into seizures which affect all of your brain. These are called secondary generalised seizures.
Perampanel is prescribed alongside other anti-epileptic medicines. It works by stabilising the electrical activity in your brain.
Before taking perampanel
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine can only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking perampanel it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breastfeeding.
- If you have any problems with the way your liver works, or if you have any problems with the way your kidneys work.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to take perampanel
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about perampanel, and it will also provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you could experience from taking it.
- Take perampanel exactly as your doctor tells you to. You will be asked to take a low dose when you first start taking it, and then your dose will be increased as your body gets used to it. Your doctor or pharmacist will explain this to you, and directions will also be printed on the label of the pack to remind you about what the doctor said to you.
- Perampanel is taken as a once-daily dose at bedtime. Try to avoid missing any doses. If you do forget, just take your next dose when it is due - do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
- Swallow the tablet whole with a drink of water. Do not chew, break or crush the tablet.
- If you (or your child) have been prescribed the oral liquid medicine, follow the manufacturer's instructions for using the oral syringe.
- Perampanel can be taken with or without food.
- There are several strengths of perampanel tablets and each strength is a different colour. When you collect a new supply, check to make sure they are the colour you are expecting. If not, ask your pharmacist to check it out for you.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.
- When you first start a new treatment for epilepsy there may be a change in the number or type of seizures you experience. Your doctor will advise you about this.
- Perampanel could make you feel sleepy, especially when you first start treatment.
- While you are being treated for epilepsy there is a small risk that you may develop mood changes, distressing thoughts and feelings about suicide. If this happens, you must tell your doctor about it straightaway.
- People with epilepsy must stop driving at first. Your doctor will advise you about if and when it may be possible for you to resume driving again.
- Drinking alcohol while you are on perampanel can increase the risk of side-effects and may not be recommended for you. Ask for your doctor's advice.
- Many anti-epileptic medicines can harm an unborn child. If you are a woman, make sure you have discussed with your doctor which types of contraception are suitable for you and your partner. If you want to have a family, discuss this with your doctor so that you can be given advice from a specialist before you become pregnant.
- You need to take perampanel regularly every day. Do not stop taking it unless your doctor tells you to stop. Stopping treatment suddenly can cause problems and your doctor will want you to reduce your dose gradually if this becomes necessary.
Can perampanel cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the more common ones associated with perampanel. The best place to find a full list of the side-effects which can be associated with your medicine, is from the manufacturer's printed information leaflet supplied with the medicine. Alternatively, you can find an example of a manufacturer's information leaflet in the reference section below. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Common perampanel side-effects||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling dizzy, sleepy, tired or unsteady; double vision||Take care that you do not fall or trip when moving around. Do not drive and do not use tools or machines|
|Feeling sick (nausea)||Stick to simple foods - avoid fatty or spicy meals|
|Changes in appetite or weight, changes in mood (such as feeling aggressive, confused or anxious), back pain||If any of these become troublesome, discuss them with your doctor|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the tablets, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store perampanel
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
- The oral liquid medicine lasts for 90 days after first opening. It's a good idea to write the date you opened the bottle on to the label.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital at once. Take the container with you, even if it is empty, so the doctor knows what has been taken.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
If you are due to have an operation or any dental treatment, please tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your prescribed medicines.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading and references
Manufacturer's PIL, Fycompa® 2 mg, 4 mg, 6 mg, 8 mg, 10 mg, 12 mg film-coated tablets; Eisai Ltd, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated November 2018.
Manufacturer's PIL, Fycompa® 0.5 mg/1 ml oral suspension; Eisai Ltd, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated November 2018.
British National Formulary, 78th Edition (Sep 2019); British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.