What is Felbatol?Felbatol 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).
Felbatol is usually used only when other medications have failed to control severe cases of epilepsy.
What is the most important information I should know about Felbatol?Felbatol, taken by itself or with other prescription and/or non-prescription drugs, can result in a very rare and potentially fatal blood abnormality in which red blood cell count declines drastically. Warning signs of this abnormality, called aplastic anemia, include weakness, fatigue, and a tendency to easily bruise or bleed.
Taking Felbatol can also result in potentially fatal liver damage. Warning signs of a liver problem include dark urine, loss of appetite, stomach upset, and yellow skin or eyes. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop these symptoms. The sooner Felbatol is discontinued, the better your chances of recovery.
Felbatol should not be used by patients until there has been a complete discussion of the potential risks and benefits and the patient, parent, or guardian has provided written informed consent.
Who should not take Felbatol?Do not take Felbatol if you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to the medication or similar drugs. Also, do not take Felbatol if you have ever had any blood abnormalities or liver problems.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Felbatol?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Felbatol. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver disease, a history of blood abnormalities, or a history of kidney problems.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults and children 14 years and older: Whether Felbatol is taken alone or with other antiepileptic drugs, the usual starting dose is 1,200 milligrams (mg) per day divided into smaller doses and taken 3-4 times daily. Your doctor may gradually increase your daily dose to as much as 3,600 mg.
If you are already taking a drug to control your epilepsy, your doctor will reduce your dosage when you add Felbatol.
Children 2 to 14 years old with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome: The usual dose is 15 mg per 2.2 pounds (lb) of body weight per day divided into smaller doses 3-4 times daily. Your doctor may gradually increase your child's dose to 45 mg per 2.2 lb of body weight per day.
Your doctor will reduce the amount of any other epilepsy drug your child is taking when starting Felbatol.
How should I take Felbatol?Take Felbatol exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Felbatol should not be stopped suddenly. This could increase the frequency of your seizures.
If you are taking Felbatol liquid, shake well before using. You can take Felbatol tablets with or without food.
What should I avoid while taking Felbatol?Do not stop taking Felbatol even if you feel better. Continue taking Felbatol to prevent seizures from recurring.
Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight because Felbatol may increase the sensitivity of the skin to sunlight.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Felbatol?If Felbatol is taken 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 Felbatol with any of the following: carbamazepine, phenobarbital, and phenytoin.
What are the possible side effects of Felbatol?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects in adults taking Felbatol alone may include: anxiety, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, inability to fall or stay asleep, loss of appetite, nausea, sinus inflammation, upper respiratory tract infection, upset stomach, vomiting
Side effects in adults taking Felbatol with other medications may include: abnormal stride, abnormal taste, abnormal vision, anxiety, constipation, depression, dizziness, double vision, fatigue, headache, inability to fall or stay asleep, loss of appetite, nervousness, sleepiness, tremor, upper respiratory tract infection, upset stomach, vomiting
Side effects in children taking Felbatol with other medication may include: abnormally small pupils (pinpoint pupils), abnormal stride, abnormal thoughts, constipation, coughing, fatigue, fever, headache, hiccups, inability to control urination, inability to fall or stay asleep, lack of muscle coordination, loss of appetite, mood changes, nervousness, pain, rash, red or purple spots on the skin, sleepiness, sore throat, unstable emotions, upper respiratory tract infections, upset stomach, vomiting, weight loss
Can I receive Felbatol if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The effects of Felbatol during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Felbatol?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.
How should I store Felbatol?Store Felbatol at room temperature in a tightly closed container and away from excessive heat and moisture.