Perampanel

About

Perampanel is a new anti-convulsant medication used to control seizures/fits. It is used in addition to other medication to treat focal or generalised seizures.

It must be prescribed by a doctor. You should never give your child anyone else’s medications.

 

Disclaimer

The information provided in this handout is limited and does not replace the need for a medical consultation. It is very important you speak to your doctor about all aspects of your medication including side effects when medication is first prescribed. Report any concerns to your doctor promptly.

Side effects

All medications have side effects. Not everyone will experience side effects.

Below are some of the possible side effects your child may experience:

  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness/tiredness
  • Behavioural change - irritability
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Weight gain
  • Vertigo (sense of spinning)
  • Unsteady walking or problems with balance
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anxiety

Serious side effects (seek immediate medical help):

  • Severe behavioural/psychiatric side effects - there are reports of increased aggression and irritability in patients taking Perampanel including physical assault and homicidal threats which have occurred in patients without any previous history of such behaviour.
  • Suicidal ideation (approximately 1 in 500).

If you notice unusual changes in mood, personality or behaviour in your child then you should contact your doctor immediately as the dose of Perampanel may need to be reduced or stopped.

Interactions

Your doctor will check and make sure that other drugs your child is taking are compatible with Perampanel. This is also important if you are giving your child herbal or complementary medicines. The doctor can check to make sure they are compatible.

  • Some medications that affect the liver, such as Carbamazepine (Tegretol) will affect how the body processes Perampanel and if your child is taking these, the dose may need to be adjusted.
  • Grapefruit juice and St John’s Wort will also affect the way Perampanel is processed by the liver and should be avoided while your child is taking Perampanel.

Need-to-know

Pregnancy and contraception

  • At higher doses Perampanel decreases the efficacy of hormonal contraceptives such as the oral contraceptive pill, so you should tell your doctor if your child is taking the contraceptive pill so the dose can be adjusted or alternative forms of contraception considered.
  • As it is one of the newest anti-convulsant medications there is currently little data on the safety of Perampanel during pregnancy.
  • If a pregnancy is planned, a discussion with your neurologist is recommended. For further information, refer to the Contraception and Pregnancy section.