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Felbatol

Pronounced: FELL-ba-tohl
Generic name: Felbamate


Why is this drug prescribed: Felbatol, 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). Felbatol is prescribed only when other medications have failed to control severe cases of epilepsy.

Most important fact about this drug: When taking Felbatol, 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. Felbatol 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 Felbatol is discontinued, the better your chances of recovery.

How should you take this medication: Take this medication 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. --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. --Storage instructions... Felbatol 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 Felbatol. Side effects in adults taking Felbatol alone may include: Acne, anxiety, constipation, diarrhea, double vision, ear infection, facial swelling, fatigue, headache, inability to fall or stay asleep, indigestion, loss of appetite, menstrual irregularities, nausea, nasal inflammation, rash, upper respiratory infection, urinary tract infection, vomiting, weight decrease Side effects in adults taking Felbatol with other medication may include: Abdominal pain, abnormal stride, abnormal taste, abnormal vision, anxiety, chest pain, constipation, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, double vision, dry mouth, fatigue, fever, headache, inability to fall or stay asleep, indigestion, lack of muscle coordination, loss of appetite, muscle pain, nausea, nervousness, pins and needles, rash, sinus inflammation, sleepiness, sore throat, stupor, tremor, upper respiratory infection, vomiting Side effects in children taking Felbatol with other medication may include: Abnormal stride, abnormal thinking, abnormally small pupils (pinpoint pupils), constipation, coughing, diarrhea, ear infection, fatigue, fever, headache, hiccups, inability to control urination, inability to fall or stay asleep, indigestion, lack of muscle coordination, loss of appetite, mood changes, nausea, nervousness, pain, rash, red or purple spots on skin, sleepiness, sore throat, taste changes, unstable emotions, upper respiratory infection, vomiting, weight decrease

Why should this drug not be prescribed: If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Felbatol or similar drugs, or if you have ever had any blood abnormalities or liver problems, do not take this medication. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.

Special warnings about this medication: Remember to watch for signs of aplastic anemia. (See "Most important fact about this drug.") 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 Felbatol and to check your liver function every 1 or 2 weeks.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: If you are taking Felbatol 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 other epilepsy drugs, such as Dilantin, Depakene, Depakote, Tegretol, and phenobarbital.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: The effects of Felbatol during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Felbatol appears in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If this medication is essential to your health,

Recommended dosage: ADULTS 14 YEARS OF AGE AND OVER: Whether Felbatol 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 Felbatol. 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 Felbatol.

Overdosage: Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical treatment immediately. Symptoms of Felbatol overdose may include: Mild stomach upset, unusually fast heartbeat









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