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Epilepsy drug Fycompa launched on NHS across UK

13 Jul 2015

The epilepsy drug perampanel has been launched across the UK for the treatment of primary generalised tonic-clonic seizures. Will it revolutionise seizure control for thousands of people?

Perampanel – trademarked Fycompa – is a relatively new epilepsy drug manufactured by Eisai. On 8 July, the drug was made available in the UK through the NHS.

Fycompa is a first-in-class anti-epileptic drug (AED). This means that it is the first drug to affect the brain in this specific way. The drug dampens epileptic activity in a particular type of receptor in the brain.

Because it works differently than the drugs that have gone before it, it is hoped that Fycompa will control seizures in people where other treatments have failed.

TabletsFycompa is now available through the NHS for the treatment of primary generalised tonic-clonic (PGTC) seizures in cases of idiopathic generalised epilepsy (IGE).

Fycompa is the first new treatment designed to combat PGTC seizures in five years. In clinical trials, 31 per cent of people (almost a third) achieved seizure freedom when Fycompa was added to their treatment regime.

Prof Ley Sander is a consultant neurologist at the National Hospital and at the Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy. Prof Sander said: “The launch of perampanel in the UK for refractory generalised convulsions is welcome news for people living with this type of seizure.

“Perampanel has a novel mechanism of action and this may explain why some people have such an excellent response in terms of seizure response from these convulsions. Indeed, seizure freedom allows many of these people to lead a more normal life.”

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Comments: read the 7 comments or add yours


I've been given the opportunity to try this new drug whilst being part of the study of effectiveness and side effects, it is an add on to my already taking phenytoin, acetazolomide and clobazam .. I'm in my 3rd week of taking 2mg a day with no side effects so far so good let's hope this really is the wonder drug for us with uncontrolled Epilepsy

Submitted by Nicola Holmes on

My son in his early forties was prescribed this drug. Hopefully it will work for many but you do need to be aware of the possible side effects on behaviour. He became very loud, aggressive and spoke to strangers rather inappropriately without any idea what he was doing. Once he came off this drug his behaviour reverted to normal.

Submitted by Margaret Smith on

In the first month, it reduced from 7 focal to 3. Went through a bad patch with 19 focals. Then reduced to 3-4 again. I'm uncontrolled but perampanel has helped me.

Submitted by Sheila Danks on

Dear Sheila
That’s good to hear. And long may it continue to help.

Diane Wallace
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Diane, Epilepsy... on

My son is 17 and has extremely difficult to control epilepsy since birth. He has tried most drugs, the Ketogenic diet and has a VNS. He was prescribed Perampanel in September 2015 on a low dose and we have gradually increased it to 8mg per day. The effect has been amazing. Whilst he still has a few seizures each week, he recovers from them quicker, we are using less rescue medication ie, Midazolam and he is much brighter, less sedated and is more interactive at school at home. We are very pleased with the results at present,

Submitted by Lisa James on

That’s brilliant news Lisa. Thanks so much for sharing that with us. Long may it continue.



Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by Cherry-Epilepsy... on

i have started to take fyccompa, for about 4 months now graudally noticed alot of my hair on my clothes now its coming out in clumps.. it dosent state hair loss on side effects but its the only thing i can think off ..

Submitted by rachel friend on

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