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Generic name: Felbamate
Why is Felbamate prescribed?
Felbamate, a relatively new epilepsy medication, is used alone or with other drugs to treat partial seizures with or without generalization (seizures in which consciousness may be retained or lost). It is also used with other medications to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (a childhood condition characterized by brief loss of awareness and muscle tone).
Felbamate is prescribed only when other medications have failed to control severe cases of epilepsy.
Most important fact about Felbamate
When taking Felbamate, be alert for signs of a very rare but dangerous side effect called aplastic anemia, in which the red blood cell count declines drastically. Warning signs include weakness, fatigue, and a tendency to easily bruise or bleed.
Felbamate has also been known to cause fatal cases of liver failure. Warning signs of a liver problem include dark urine, loss of appetite, stomach upset, and yellow skin or eyes. Alert the doctor immediately if you develop these symptoms. The sooner Felbamate is discontinued, the better your chances of recovery.
How should you take Felbamate?
Take Felbamate exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Felbamate should not be stopped suddenly. This could increase the frequency of your seizures.
If you are taking Felbamate liquid, shake well before using.
--If you miss a dose...
Take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take a double dose.
Felbamate should be stored in a tightly closed container, at room temperature, away from excessive heat and moisture.
What side effects may occur?
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, notify your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Felbamate.
Why should Felbamate not be prescribed?
If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Felbamate or similar drugs, or if you have ever had any blood abnormalities or liver problems, do not take Felbamate. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.
Special warnings about Felbamate
Remember to watch for signs of aplastic anemia. (See "Most important fact about Felbamate.") If you have ever had liver problems, be sure to tell your doctor.
Expect your doctor to monitor your response carefully when you start taking Felbamate and to check your liver function every 1 or 2 weeks.
Possible food and drug interactions when taking Felbamate
If you are taking Felbamate with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Felbamate with other epilepsy drugs, such as Dilantin, Depakene, Depakote, Tegretol, and phenobarbital.
Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
The effects of Felbamate during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Felbamate appears in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If Felbamate is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.
ADULTS 14 YEARS OF AGE AND OVER
Whether Felbamate is taken alone or with other antiepileptic drugs, the usual starting dose is 1,200 milligrams per day divided into smaller doses and taken 3 or 4 times daily. Your doctor may gradually increase your daily dose to as much as 3,600 milligrams.
If you are already taking a drug to control your epilepsy, your doctor will reduce its dosage when you add Felbamate.
CHILDREN WITH LENNOX-GASTAUT SYNDROME (2 TO 14 YEARS)
The usual dose is 15 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight per day divided into smaller doses taken 3 or 4 times daily. Your doctor may gradually increase your child"s dose to 45 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight per day. The doctor will reduce the amount of any other epilepsy drug your child is taking when starting Felbamate.
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical treatment immediately.
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