Epilepsy Home > Felbatol Warnings and Precautions
It is important to tell your healthcare provider about any existing medical conditions you have and all other medications you are taking before starting Felbatol. Warnings and precautions also relate to the safety of taking this drug if you have anemia, liver problems, or kidney disease. You may also not be able to use it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Felbatol® (felbamate) if you have:
- Anemia or other blood disorders
- Liver disease, such as cirrhosis, liver failure, or hepatitis
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Specific Warnings and Precautions With FelbatolSome precautions and warnings to be aware of prior to taking Felbatol include the following:
- Seizure medications, including Felbatol, may increase the risk for suicidal thoughts or behaviors (see Seizure Medications and Suicide). Please seek immediate medical attention if you have thoughts of suicide, depression, or any unusual changes in your mood or behavior while taking Felbatol.
- Felbatol can cause a type of anemia called aplastic anemia, which can increase your risk of infection or bleeding. Although aplastic anemia is rare, it can cause potentially life-threatening complications. There is no way to tell ahead of time if you will develop this condition while taking Felbatol.
Before starting this medication, and throughout your treatment, your healthcare provider may recommend blood tests to help detect if you develop aplastic anemia. In addition, make sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have sudden or frequent infections, unusual bruising or bleeding, or low energy and weakness, as these may be signs of this serious condition.
- Felbatol can cause liver failure and should not be used if you have a history of liver problems. There is no way to tell if you will develop liver failure ahead of time while taking this product.
Before starting Felbatol, and throughout your treatment, your healthcare provider may recommend blood tests to monitor your liver function. Tell your healthcare provider if you notice any signs of liver damage, such as:
- Dark urine
- A loss of appetite
- General feelings of discomfort
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin (jaundice)
- Upper-right abdominal pain (stomach pain).
- The kidneys remove Felbatol from the body. Thus, if your kidneys are not functioning properly, this drug may accumulate in the bloodstream, increasing your risk of side effects. If you have kidney problems, your healthcare provider may need to adjust your Felbatol dosage.
- Felbatol can interact with a number of other medications (see Felbatol Drug Interactions).
- As with all seizure medications, do not suddenly stop taking Felbatol. Talk to your healthcare provider before stopping this medication.
- Felbatol is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Felbatol and Pregnancy).
- Felbatol passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking this medication (see Felbatol and Breastfeeding).