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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking felbamate (Felbatol)?
Felbamate can cause serious side effects and is usually given only to people with severe epilepsy when the need for seizure control outweighs the risk of side effects. You may be asked to sign a consent form after you and your doctor have discussed the risks and benefits of taking felbamate.
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to felbamate, or if you have liver disease or a history of blood cell disorders such as anemia.
If you have kidney disease, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take felbamate.
You may have thoughts about suicide while taking this medication. Tell your doctor if you have new or worsening depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several months of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.
Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether felbamate is harmful to an unborn baby. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Felbamate can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take felbamate (Felbatol)?
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
If you are switching to felbamate from another anticonvulsant medication, carefully follow your doctor's instructions about timing and dosage when switching from one drug to another. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose over several weeks or months to make sure you get the best results from this medication.
Shake the liquid form of felbamate well before measuring a dose. To ensure that you measure a correct dose, measure the suspension with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not with a regular tablespoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.
Felbamate can cause a decrease in many types of blood cells (white cells, red cells, platelets). This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. Call your doctor at once if you have any unusual bleeding, weakness, or any signs of infection, including flu-like symptoms. These symptoms may first develop even after you have been using the medication for several months.
To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood may need to be tested on a regular basis while taking felbamate. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
Do not stop taking felbamate without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel better. You may have increased seizures if you stop taking felbamate suddenly. You will need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.
Contact your doctor if your seizures get worse or you have them more often while taking felbamate.
Carry an ID card or wear a medical alert bracelet stating that you are taking felbamate, in case of emergency. Any doctor, dentist, or emergency medical care provider who treats you should know that you are taking a seizure medication.
It is important to use felbamate regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
Store felbamate at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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