Perampanel is an anti-epileptic medication for treating seizures in adults and children. It is usually used in conjunction with other anti-epileptic drugs.
Perampanel acts as an anticonvulsant and is used to treat partial-onset seizures that can develop into general seizures. It is particularly useful for managing partial or frontal seizures.
Perampanel is commonly used to manage generalised tonic-clonic seizures in patients, who are older than twelve years.
Perampanel is taken orally and is sold under the brand name, Fycompa.
Perampanel belongs to a class of drugs called AMPA glutamate antagonists. Perampanel is used for treating partial (focal) seizures, commonly seen in people with epilepsy.
It blocks AMPA receptors for glutamate in the brain. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that excites nerve cells, leading to seizures. Perampanel also acts as an anticonvulsant.
This drug is also being studied for its possible use in managing neurological issues such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and neuropathic pain.
The most common side effects of Perampanel are somnolence (excessive sleepiness), fatigue and dizziness. Gait disorders, problems with balance and ataxia (impaired balance or coordination) are some of the other side effects. It may also lead to such side effects as violent behaviour, aggression and suicidal thoughts.
Blurred vision, vertigo, nausea, malaise, drowsiness, changes in appetite and weight gain are a few other side effects.
1. Why is Perampanel taken at night?
Perampanel, an anticonvulsant, has the potential to depress the central nervous system or CNS, leading to higher chances of drowsiness, sedation and depression. It can also lead to fatigue-related events like extreme lethargy. Hence, Perampanel is taken before going to sleep at night. Furthermore, Perampanel impairs one’s ability to drive and operate heavy machinery.
2. How long does Perampanel stay in your system?
Perampanel has a long half-life. It stays in your body for approximately six days; therefore, once-a-day dosage of this drug is sufficient. The levels of Perampanel in the blood decrease gradually after abrupt cessation. You should never take this drug on your own because it can worsen your condition. Consult a doctor.
3. Why is Perampanel a controlled substance?
Perampanel is a Schedule III controlled substance. This drug can easily be abused as it can lead to euphoria at higher dosages. It can also lead to sedation and dissociative phenomena, such as being spaced out and detachment created by abusing recreational drugs. So one must exercise caution while taking this drug.
4. Can you drink alcohol while taking Perampanel?
Like Perampanel, alcohol is a CNS depressant. Hence, having alcohol with this medication can increase the risk of fatigue, somnolence and movement and gait problems. This can affect your capacity to carry out simple activities, thereby increasing the chance of falling down or other accidents. Hence, always take precautions - do not mix the two.
5. Is Perampanel safe during pregnancy?
There’s insufficient data on the effect of Perampanel on pregnancy. There’s hardly any study in this regard. Animal studies have not shown any adverse effects of Perampanel on animals at lower doses. Embryotoxicity, however, was observed in rats at higher drug doses. Your doctor will not recommend Perampanel during pregnancy.
6. Does Perampanel help with seizures?
Yes, Perampanel helps treat partial (focal) seizures that are extremely common in people with epilepsy by blocking the AMPA receptors for glutamate in the brain. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that stimulates nerve cells, which can lead to seizures. It also works as an anticonvulsant and is used along with other anti-seizure medicines.
7. Can children take Perampanel?
Your doctor will not prescribe Perampanel for children aged under four years because the drug’s efficacy and safety trials are yet to be completed for this age group. Your doctor will prescribe this medication for managing epilepsy in kids belonging to other age groups, but at much lower dosages and under the care of a specialist.
8. Is Perampanel harmful?
Perampanel can be dangerous as it causes considerable side effects. Apart from neurological issues like dizziness, gait and movement disorders and drowsiness, Perampanel can cause changes in your behaviour. The medication can even trigger suicidal thoughts and cause debilitating falls. It can lead to skin rashes and other side effects such as swollen glands.
9. Is Perampanel a controlled drug?
Perampanel abuse can lead to high psychological dependence and withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, fatigue, lethargy, mood swings and insomnia. It can lead to euphoria and dissociation, especially if taken at higher doses. Therefore, the US Drug Enforcement Administration has included this drug in Schedule III. Please consult a doctor for more information.
10. Does Perampanel cause weight gain?
Yes, weight gain is associated with Fycompa, the brand name for Perampanel. In drug trials, it was seen that weight gain was more common among patients who have taken higher doses of Perampanel, i.e 8 mg and 12 mg per day.This drug also leads to increased triglyceride levels that are highly toxic for your heart
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