Steve Chung, MD: Perampanel's Effect on Insomnia in Patients With Epilepsy


The neurologist at Banner-University Medicine Neuroscience Institute discussed the findings of a study that suggest perampanel may improve insomnia by decreasing anxiety in patients with epilepsy.

“We now have some information from this poster that [perampanel] could benefit those people [with epilepsy] who already have anxiety disorder or anxiety symptoms in that it may improve their sleep and reduce insomnia.”

Results from a study analyzing the effect of perampanel (Fycompa; Eisai) that were accepted to be presented the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 2020 Annual Meeting suggest it may improve insomnia by decreasing anxiety in patients with epilepsy. Furthermore, the findings imply that the drug should be considered for treating patients who suffer from both insomnia and anxiety.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, Steve Chung, MD, neurologist, Banner-University Medicine Neuroscience Institute, who was not affiliated with the study, shared his thoughts on this finding, particularly noting that it helps improve the physician understanding of the Eisai agent. Chung noted that many neurologists and epileptologists describe that despite the fact that it works on a broad spectrum and has once-daily convenient dosing, the fear having or previously reported behavioral adverse effects have acted as a roadblock to choosing perampanel as a treatment.

The data showed perampanel to be associated with lowered Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) scores in patients with anxiety (B = -5.909; P = .001) but did not demonstrate a significant effect in those without anxiety (P = .431). There was a clinically significant interaction between anxiety-by-perampanel and insomnia on the analysis of covariance (P = .029). To find out more about what these data mean for clinicians, NeurologyLive asked for Chung’s insight.

For more coverage of AAN 2020, click here.


Jung M, Jo S, Kim HJ, et al. Perampanel May Improve Insomnia Through a Decrease in Anxiety in Patients with Epilepsy. Neurology. 2020;94(15 Suppl): 2068.

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