Banzel is approved for use in combination with certain other medications to treat seizures caused by Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Although it is not entirely clear how Banzel works, it is thought to work by affecting sodium channels in the brain, preventing the abnormal activity from spreading to other parts. Treating any other type of seizure is considered an off-label Banzel use.
What Is Banzel Used For?Banzel™ (rufinamide) is a prescription seizure medication. Specifically, it is approved to treat seizures due to Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS).
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is a severe form of epilepsy. Epilepsy is a brain condition that occurs when there are sudden, brief changes in how the brain's electrical system works. This change in brain activity can lead to a seizure (see Epilepsy Symptoms). Depending on which part of the brain that is affected, a seizure may affect the person's consciousness, body movements, emotions, or senses (taste, touch, smell, vision, or hearing).
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome usually begins early in children, typically before four years of age. This type of epilepsy is often accompanied by developmental delays and other problems. The seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome can be particularly difficult to treat, and many people need to be on several medications.
Banzel is approved for use along with other seizure medications to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome seizures, and is approved for use in adults and children as young as four years old. As is typical with new seizure medications, Banzel is not approved to be used alone, as it has not been adequately studied for such use. In studies, people were given either Banzel or a placebo (a "sugar pill" that does not contain any active ingredients) to take in addition to their usual seizure medications, because it would be unethical to give a person with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome just a placebo without the other medications.