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(fel bam' ate)Felbamate may cause a serious blood condition called aplastic anemia. Symptoms of aplastic anemia can start any time you are taking felbamate or for a period of time after you stop taking felbamate. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had blood problems. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take felbamate. If you experience any of the following symptoms while taking felbamate or after you stop taking felbamate, call your doctor immediately: fever, sore throat, chills, other signs of infection, bleeding, easy bruising, extreme tiredness, weakness, or lack of energy. Felbamate may cause liver damage. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take felbamate. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: nausea, extreme tiredness, unusual bleeding or bruising, lack of energy, loss of appetite, pain in the upper right part of the stomach, yellowing of the skin or eyes, or flu-like symptoms. Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain tests before, during, and after treatment to check your body's response to felbamate. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking felbamate. You will have to sign an informed consent form before you start taking felbamate.
Before taking felbamate,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to felbamate; carbamate medications such as meprobamate (Miltown), methocarbamol (Robaxin), and rivastigmine (Exelon); or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: carbamazepine (Tegretol), clopidogrel (Plavix); phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton), phenytoin (Dilantin), oral contraceptives (birth control pills), and valproate (Depacon). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any of the conditions listed in the IMPORTANT WARNINGS section or kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking felbamate, call your doctor.
- you should know that felbamate may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication.
- you should know that your mental health may change in unexpected ways and you may become suicidal (thinking about harming or killing yourself or planning or trying to do so) while you are taking felbamate for the treatment of epilepsy, mental illness, or other conditions. A small number of adults and children 5 years of age and older (about 1 in 500 people) who took anticonvulsants such as felbamate to treat various conditions during clinical studies became suicidal during their treatment. Some of these people developed suicidal thoughts and behavior as early as one week after they started taking the medication. There is a risk that you may experience changes in your mental health if you take an anticonvulsant medication such as felbamate, but there may also be a risk that you will experience changes in your mental health if your condition is not treated. You and your doctor will decide whether the risks of taking an anticonvulsant medication are greater than the risks of not taking the medication. You, your family, or your caregiver should call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms: panic attacks; agitation or restlessness; new or worsening irritability, anxiety, or depression; acting on dangerous impulses; difficulty falling or staying asleep; aggressive, angry, or violent behavior; mania (frenzied, abnormally excited mood); talking or thinking about wanting to hurt yourself or end your life; withdrawing from friends and family; preoccupation with death and dying; giving away prized possessions; or any other unusual changes in behavior or mood. Be sure that your family or caregiver knows which symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor if you are unable to seek treatment on your own.
- weight loss
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- swelling of the face
- runny nose
- differences in menstrual bleeding
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- rapid or pounding heartbeat