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  • Generic Name: (rufinamide)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 07/2015
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Banzel is a medicine used with other medicines to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Banzel is available as tablets and an oral suspension.

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Although it is unclear exactly how Banzel works, it is thought to help keep electrical signals balanced in the brain.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: Banzel has been shown to decrease the frequency and severity of seizures when taken with other medications.

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Banzel exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

      How do I know it is working?

      Your healthcare provider may ask you questions from time to time that will help assess how well your symptoms are controlled with treatment. You may notice a decrease in the number of seizures you normally experience.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      More common side effects may include: headache, dizziness, tiredness, drowsiness, nausea.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Increased suicidal thoughts or actions, with symptoms such as having thoughts about suicide or dying; attempting to commit suicide; new or worse depression, anxiety, or irritability; panic attacks; trouble sleeping; feeling agitated or restless; acting aggressive or being angry or violent; acting on dangerous impulses; an extreme increase in activity and talking; or other unusual changes in your behavior or mood.

      Banzel may also cause a serious allergic reaction that may affect your skin or other parts of your body such as your liver or blood cells. This may occur with or without a rash, with symptoms such as fever; frequent infections; severe muscle pain; swelling of your face, eyes, lips, or tongue; unusual bruising or bleeding; weakness; tiredness; or yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

      Banzel may also cause problems with walking or coordination.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not take Banzel if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

      Do not take Banzel if you have a condition called familial short QT syndrome (a genetic disease that affects the electrical system of the heart).

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Banzel. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart or liver problems; have or have had suicidal thoughts or actions, depression, or mood problems; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Adults >17 years: The recommended starting dose is 200 to 400 milligrams twice a day.

      Children ≥1 year: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child, based on his/her body weight.

      Your healthcare provider may increase the dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

      Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose if you receive hemodialysis, or if you are taking certain medications.

      It is important that you do not stop taking this medication abruptly. If you need to change or stop taking this medication, it is important that you only do this with the guidance of your healthcare provider.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Take Banzel exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Banzel without first talking to your healthcare provider.

      Take Banzel with food.

      Banzel tablets can be swallowed whole, cut in half, or crushed.

      Shake Banzel oral suspension well before taking each dose. Use the bottle adapter and dosing syringes provided to administer the medicine. Please review the instructions that come with your prescription on how to properly take Banzel oral suspension.

      It is important that you use additional non-hormonal forms of contraception while taking Banzel. Talk to your healthcare provider about appropriate forms of birth control.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not drink alcohol or take other medicines that make you sleepy or dizzy while you are taking Banzel until you talk to your healthcare provider.

      Do not drive a car, operate heavy machinery, or engage in other dangerous activities until you know how Banzel affects you.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If Banzel is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Banzel with the following: birth control pills, carbamazepine, lamotrigine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, triazolam, or valproate.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      The effects of Banzel during pregnancy are unknown. Banzel may be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Do not take Banzel while you are breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

      If you become pregnant while taking Banzel, talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the safety of seizure medicines during pregnancy.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      If you miss a dose of Banzel, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature.

      Protect Banzel tablets from moisture.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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