Felbatol is a prescription medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993. It is approved for the treatment of severe epilepsy when other drugs cannot effectively control seizures. Since Felbatol can cause serious side effects, it is not prescribed unless your physician believes that the drug’s potential benefits outweigh its risks. Felbatol is also known by its drug name, Felbamate.
Felbatol should not be used by people who have a history of liver problems or blood disorders, or who have previously shown hypersensitivity to Felbamate or other carbamate drugs. Felbatol should be used with caution in people with kidney disorders or suicidal thoughts. Felbatol is not advised for use by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Felbatol is an anticonvulsant, or drug that is used to control seizures. Felbatol is a member of the carbamate class of drugs. It is believed that Felbatol works in cases of epilepsy by inhibiting nerve signals.
How do I take it?
Before starting you on Felbatol, your physician will order blood tests to establish your liver function. While you are taking Felbatol, you will receive blood tests every week or two weeks to ensure that your liver is not being damaged by the medication. You may also continue to receive testing after you stop taking Felbatol.
Felbatol is taken orally as a tablet or liquid three or four times a day. You may take Felbatol with or without food.
Avoid driving or operating machinery until you are certain you understand how Felbatol affects you.
Drinking alcohol while taking Felbatol can intensify some side effects.
Do not stop taking Felbatol suddenly. If you decide to stop taking Felbatol, consult your physician for a plan to taper off gradually.
Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Felbatol.
Multiple studies have shown that Felbamate (Felbatol) is effective in treating partial seizures.
Felbamate has also been used successfully to treat partial and general seizures in people with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. In one study, participants who received Felbamate experienced 26 percent fewer seizures, compared with a five percent increase in those given the placebo.
Felbatol has caused severe, even fatal side effects including blood disorders and liver failure. Some of these side effects have occurred even after people had stopped taking Felbatol.
Older adults may experience some side effects of Felbatol more intensely than other people.
Common side effects of Felbatol include sleepiness, runny nose, nervousness, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, heartburn, weight loss, trouble falling or staying asleep, and changes in menstrual bleeding.
Call your doctor if you experience mood swings, changes in behavior, suicidal thoughts, chest pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes, or symptoms of infection while taking Felbatol.
Many drugs can cause allergic reactions that, in the most serious cases, can result in death. Seek immediate medical help if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing or swelling in the face, throat, eyes, lips or tongue.