Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Seizures in palliative medicine: brivaracetam


Seizures occur in around 13% of patients with cancer and can be distressing for family members to witness. In those unable to manage regular antiepileptic medications, midazolam can be administered subcutaneously using a syringe driver, but this may cause sedation. Brivaracetam is a newer drug licensed as an adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial-onset seizures with or without secondary generalisation and for restricted use in those with refractory epilepsy. It is associated with fewer behavioural or psychiatric side effects than levetiracetam, has a very low incidence of drug interactions and the maximal dose can be accommodated in a single syringe driver. We present three cases from 2019 to 2020 where subcutaneous brivaracetam has been successfully used in a Specialist Inpatient Palliative Care setting to manage seizures. Brivaracetam dosing is 1:1 conversion from oral:subcutaneous, with syringe driver doses ranging from 150 mg to 300 mg/24 hours being successfully used, with no adverse effects observed.

  • hospice care
  • neurological conditions
  • seizures
  • drug administration

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.