Issues for Surgery

Precipitation of rebound seizures or status epilepticus if omitted.

  Advice in the Perioperative period

Elective and Emergency Surgery


Patients should be advised to take their regular medications on the day of surgery1, 2, 3.

Abrupt withdrawal of any anticonvulsant drug should be avoided1.

Confirm with the patient if they need to be maintained on a specific manufacturer’s product (see Further Information).

Post-operative Advice

Regular dosing of the patient’s usual oral medication should be re-established as early as possible post-operatively2, 3.

If patients are unable to take their regular oral medication post-operatively, consider using the intravenous route. The intravenous dose and frequency should be the same as the established oral dose1.

  Interaction(s) with Common Anaesthetic Agents

None1, 4, 5, 6. 

For general information regarding the use of anaesthetic agents in patients with epilepsy – see Antiepileptics – A General Overview.

  Interaction(s) with other Common Medicines used in the Perioperative Period

None1, 4, 5, 6.

 For general information regarding the use of antiemetics in patients with epilepsy – see Antiepileptics – A General Overview.

  Further Information


MHRA/CHM Advice: Antiepileptic Drugs: updated advice on switching between different manufacturer’s products for a particular drug (November 2017)1

Brivaracetam is a category 3 antiepileptic, hence it is usually unnecessary to ensure that patients are maintained on a specific manufacturer’s product as therapeutic equivalence can be assumed. However, other factors are important when considering if switching is appropriate such as patient anxiety, risk of confusion or dosing errors. (For more information see Antiepileptics – A General Overview).


  1. Joint Formulary Committee. British National Formulary (online) London: BMJ Group and Pharmaceutical Press [Accessed 30th June 2019]
  2. Perks A, Cheema S, Mohanraj R. Anaesthesia and epilepsy. BJA: British Journal of Anaesthesia. 2012; 108(4):562-571
  3. Carter EL, Adapa RM. Adult epilepsy and anaesthesia. BJA Education. 2015; 15(3):111-117
  4. Baxter K, Preston CL (eds), Stockley’s Drug Interactions (online) London: Pharmaceutical Press. [Accessed on 18th July 2019]
  5. Brivaracetam. In: Brayfield A (Ed), Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference. London: The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. [Accessed 15th July 2019]
  6. Summary of Product Characteristics – Briviact® (brivaracetam) film-coated tablets. UCB Pharma Limited. Accessed via 18/07/2019 [date of revision of the text August 2018]