Seizures are the result of brief abnormal activity in the brain's electrical system. It is not exactly known how Fycompa works to treat seizures. The drug is thought to work by blocking the action of a chemical in the brain known as glutamate. Glutamate is the main excitatory chemical in the brain -- that is, it can excite brain neurons, causing them to fire rapidly.
By blocking the action of glutamate, Fycompa stops this rapid firing of neurons and prevents the spread of abnormal electrical activity throughout the brain. This action is thought to prevent seizures from occurring.
Fycompa is approved for use in children 12 years of age and older. It is unknown whether the medication is safe or effective for children younger than age 12, as it has not been adequately studied in this group. Talk to your child's healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of giving this medication to children.
Older adults appear to have a greater risk for certain Fycompa side effects, including dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, and problems with coordination and walking. Older adults are also more likely to experience a fall in relation to treatment, which could lead to head injury, a broken bone, or other problems. To help minimize the risk for these side effects, doses should be increased slowly in older adults, no more often than once every two weeks.
On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this medicine for treating something other than partial-onset seizures. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time there are no well-accepted off-label uses for Fycompa.