What is RUFINAMIDE?
(RUFINAMIDE) Rufinamide is used with other medications to prevent or control seizures (epilepsy) associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). This medication is an anticonvulsant. Rufinamide is thought to work by acting on the sodium channels in the brain that carry excessive electrical charges that may cause seizures.
How should I use RUFINAMIDE?
Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Instructions for Use provided by your pharmacist before you start using rufinamide and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication by mouth with food as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. In children, the dosage is also based on weight. If you are using the suspension form of this medication, shake the bottle well before each dose. Measure each dose carefully with the provided oral dosing syringe. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. Rinse the syringe with tap water after each use. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. It is very important to follow your doctor's dosing instructions exactly. It may take several weeks to reach the best dose for you and to get the full benefit from this medication. Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. This drug works best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. It is best to take rufinamide at evenly spaced intervals throughout the day and night. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions (such as seizures) may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or worsens.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take RUFINAMIDE?
Before taking rufinamide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: family history of a certain heart problem (QT shortening in the EKG), kidney disease, liver disease, mental/mood disorders (such as depression, thoughts of suicide). This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or blur your vision. It may also cause double vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness or clear vision until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis). During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
What may interact with RUFINAMIDE?
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Some products that may interact with this drug are: orlistat, valproate. This medication may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring. This could cause pregnancy. Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist if you should use additional reliable birth control methods while using this medication. Also tell your doctor if you have any new spotting or breakthrough bleeding, because these may be signs that your birth control is not working well. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness including alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as diazepam, triazolam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, and opioid pain relievers (such as codeine). Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
What if I miss a dose of RUFINAMIDE?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
What side effects may I notice from receiving RUFINAMIDE?
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 last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor 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 behavior 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. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Where should I keep RUFINAMIDE?
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. If using the suspension, store the bottle upright. Throw out the suspension within 90 days of first opening the bottle. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.