Felbamate for Epilepsy
Felbamate comes in liquid and tablet forms.
How It Works
It is not known exactly how felbamate prevents seizures.
Why It Is Used
Felbamate may be used to prevent partial seizures in adults and children. But it has some very serious side effects. It is used with caution in younger children since they may not be able to communicate symptoms of potentially serious side effects, such as chills or stomach pain.
How Well It Works
Felbamate controls partial seizures in adults very well. In children with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, felbamate may reduce seizure frequency but not make the child seizure-free.1 But it has made some children more alert and improved their quality of life.
Common side effects of felbamate include:
Most of these problems tend to go away after the body adjusts to the drug. Weight loss and insomnia are common long-term problems, though.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning on antiepileptic medicines and the risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts. The FDA does not recommend that people stop using these medicines. Instead, people who take antiepileptic medicine should be watched closely for warning signs of suicide. People who take antiepileptic medicine and who are worried about this side effect should talk to a doctor.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
It may take time and careful, controlled adjustments by you and your doctor to find the combination, schedule, and dosing of medicine to best manage your epilepsy. The goal is to prevent seizures while causing as few side effects as possible. After you and your doctor figure out the medicine program that works best for you, make sure you follow your program exactly as prescribed.
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