Felbamate is a medicine used in epilepsy to control focal seizures. This medication is not available in Indian sub-continent, when this information sheet was last updated. It is reserved only in severe forms of epilepsy such as Lennox Gastaut Syndrome when other medications have failed to control seizures.
Why is it important for my child to take this medicine?
It is important that your child takes Felbamate regularly so that they have no Seizures or fewer seizures.
Do not stop giving Felbamate suddenly, as your child may have more seizures.
When should I give Felbamate ?
Twice a day; morning and evening. Ideally, 10-12 hours apart.
For example, anytime between 7 to 8 am and right after 12 hours between 7 to 8 pm. You can adjust the time slot according to your comfort.
Make sure you are giving the medication at the same time, so it becomes a habit and the chances of missing a dose are less.
What if I forget to give it?
Tablets: The child can be given the missed dose, if you remember to give it within a lapse of 6 hours. If you fail to give the missed dose within 6 hours, then might as well leave it. It is advisable to wait until the time of next routine dose.
Never give a double dose of Felbamate .
If, within 30 minutes of taking the medication, the child vomits, then the dose can be repeated. However, if the child vomits 30 minutes after taking the dose, then the dose must not be repeated.
How much of the drug dosage should be given?
Your doctor will work out the amount of Felbamate (the dose) that is right for your child. You will get that in your prescription.
When you first start giving Felbamate to your child, you are supposed to give them a small amount of it and then increase the dose little by little over the course of few days or weeks. This helps your child’s body to get use to the medication. The whole course will be explained by your doctor.
It is non-negotiable to follow your doctor’s instructions about how much dosage has to be given.
You will know the given dosage is right when your child is free of seizures or convulsions (fits) and has no obvious side effects.
How should I give it? “Giving Medicines”
Tablets: A whole tablet must be swallowed with a glass of water, juice or milk. They can also be given by crushing and mixing it in water/ juice or small serving of yogurt / Curd.
Could this medication have any side effects on my child? “Side effects”
Felbamate has serious side effects which has been its biggest disadvantage.
Aplastic anemia, it’s a serious problem with production of blood, where body stops making all forms of blood cells. This leads to risk of life-threatening infection. This problem can happen anytime once you start taking the medication, there is a higher risk for few months even after you STOP taking this medication.
Hence an informed consent must be signed by parent / adult before this medication is prescribed in countries where this medication is available.
Liver disease: There is a higher risk of liver problem compared to other medications.
Other side-effects you need to know about
Your child may get these side-effects when they first start taking Felbamate. They will usually settle down within a week or so as their body gets used to the medicine. Continue to give Felbamate to your child as your doctor has told you to.
- Your child may be unusually sleepy, or their behavior may change.
- Your child may have nausea (sensation of vomiting) or vomiting.
- Weight loss
If your child develops Rash, Then Stop Medications and SEEK IMMEDIATE advice from a DOCTOR
Sometimes your child may experience other side-effects that are not listed above. If you notice any abnormalities with your child’s body or behavior, do not hesitate and immediately contact your doctor.
Can other common medicines be given at the same time as Felbamate ?
Consult with your doctor before giving any other medicines to your child. This includes herbal or complementary medicines.
- Some other medicines used to treat epilepsy may affect how well Felbamate works or may cause side effects.
If your child is experiencing more fits or seizures, or any other side effects after using other medications, talk to your doctor immediately.
Where should I keep this medicine?
Keep the medicine in a cupboard, or secured away from any heat source and direct sunlight.
- Make sure the medicine is out of your child’s reach.
- Store the medication in the same box it was packed in initially.
FOLLOW STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS AS PER MANUFACTURER.
For more information please see the manufacturer’s information leaflet.
- IAP Drug Formulary Web Update 2020(3) Edition 58, https://www.iapdrugformulary.com/Home
- Consumer Medicines Information (CMI), https://www.tga.gov.au/consumer-medicines-information-cmi
- British National Formulary for Children (BNFC)
- Food and Drug Administration, USA https://www.fda.gov
The medical information provided on this platform is deliberately simplified to make it conceivable for a layman. Remember the fact that, every individual has a different pathophysiology for the disease that requires individual medical attention to address the same. Content available on the internet cannot be taken as a substitute to the medical advice given by your health practitioner. Sometimes the information may not be precise and accurate, misleading at times. It is hence non-negotiable to seek medical consultation for any queries you may have.
Dr. C P Ravi Kumar
Consultant Paediatric Neurologist