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Rufinamide is used with other medication(s) to control seizures in people who have Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (a severe form of epilepsy that begins during childhood and causes several types of seizures, behavioural disturbances, and developmental delays). Rufinamide is in a class of medications called anticonvulsants. It works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain. Rufinamide is thought to work by acting on the sodium channels in the brain that carry excessive electrical charges that may cause seizures. Banzel is for use in adults and children who are at least 1 year old.
Rufinamide comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken with food twice a day. Take Rufinamide at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Rufinamide exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Rufinamide tablets may be swallowed whole, broken in half on the score mark, or crushed. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the best way for you to take Rufinamide. Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of Rufinamide and gradually increase your dose, not more than once every other day. Rufinamide may help to control your condition but will not cure it. Continue to take Rufinamide even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Rufinamide without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking Rufinamide, your seizures may worsen. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually.
You should not use Banzel if you are allergic to Rufinamide, or if you have:
• a genetic heart rhythm disorder
• severe liver disease.
To make sure Banzel is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
• heart disease
• liver disease
• kidney disease
• depression, mental illness, or suicidal thoughts
Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking Banzel. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
Do not start or stop taking seizure medication during pregnancy without your doctor's advice. Having a seizure during pregnancy could harm both mother and baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
Banzel can make hormonal birth control less effective, including birth control pills, injections, implants, skin patches, and vaginal rings. To prevent pregnancy while using rufinamide, use a barrier form of birth control: condom, diaphragm, cervical cap, or contraceptive sponge.
Banzel should not be given to a child younger than 1 year old.
Drowsiness, dizziness, loss of coordination, trouble walking, tiredness, headache, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or blurred/double vision may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
A small number of people who take anticonvulsants for any condition (such as seizure, bipolar disorder, pain) may experience depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, or other mental/mood problems. Tell your doctor right away if you or your family/caregiver notice any unusual/sudden changes in your mood, thoughts, or behaviour including signs of depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, thoughts about harming yourself.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: fever, swollen lymph nodes, rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What are other important facts to know about the medication?
You should not use Banzel if you have a severe liver disease, or a genetic heart rhythm disorder called short QT syndrome.
You should not stop taking Banzel suddenly, unless your doctor tells you to stop the medicine because of a serious side effect.
Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking seizure medication. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.