Q. Is it common to feel dizzy while switching from Phenytoin to Briviact?

Answered by
Dr. Rajyaguru
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 13, 2016 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hello doctor,

I recently tried switching medicines from Phenytoin to Briviact. Last night, was the first time I tried it. I am transitioning off the Phenytoin. I became dizzy, disoriented and felt very weird. I have not had a seizure in the last 9 years. But, I was not ready to go off the medicines, since I do a lot of traveling. My neurologist recommended to try a new medication with less side effects. Is this a common experience while switching Phenytoin to Briviact? I took it last night at 9.30 and I am still feeling out of it and irritable. I have never had this side effect from the Phenytoin.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • Drowsiness and sleepiness are the most common side effect of the Briviact (Brivaracetam).
  • Usually, this side effect will get reduced over three to four days. If it does not improve, then I think you should switch back to Phenytoin. 
  • As you said, there were no seizures for 9 years, then it is a time to wean off your medicines.
  • I am sure that your doctor would have done an EEG (electroencephalogram) for you and there would be a plan to wean off the medicines if the EEG is normal.
  • If the side effects do not reduce over three to four days, you can switch back to Phenytoin and then gradually taper it under periodic EEG monitoring.

For further information consult a neurologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/neurologist

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