Rufinamide ((ru-FIN-a-mide))


Generic Name: Rufinamide ((ru-FIN-a-mide))

Used to Treat: Control seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome

Seizure Type: Myoclonic, Absence Seizures, Drop Attacks, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome

Forms of the medicine:

200mg and 400 mg

General Info:

What is Banzel?
Banzel (BAN-zel) is the brand name for the seizure medicine rufinamide (ru-FIN-a-mide). Banzel is usually used as an add-on treatment to control seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, which is a severe form of epilepsy. Banzel is taken orally and is available in 200mg and 400 mg film-coated tablets.

How do I take Banzel?
Take this medication exactly as it is prescribed for you. Usually your doctor will tell you to take Banzel two times a day. Your doctor will start you on low dose of Banzel and gradually increase your dose. To precisely adjust dose, tablet can be taken whole, as half tablets or crushed. Do not take the medication in larger amounts or longer than recommended by your doctor. Banzel is absorbed better when taken with food so it is usually taken with a meal. However, try to take in the same manner and at the same time every day. Do not change your dosage or taking schedule without your doctor's advice. Call your doctor if you are not sure about your dose or schedule of the medication. Banzel is not for the people who have Familial Short QT syndrome, which is a rare familial disease of abnormal heart rhythm. If you or your family member have a heart rhythm problem, discuss with your doctor before taking Banzel so that your doctor could check your heart rhythm with an electrocardiogram (EKG).

What if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take an extra dose, unless prescribed by your doctor. What if I experience side effects? Various side effects may occur while taking this medicine. Call your doctor if you have any questions concerning your possible side effects. However, do not stop taking your medication without advice from your doctor. They will discuss and recommend possible options. At times it is necessary to continue taking your medication despite these side effects. There are other side effects that may be serious and indicate that your body is not tolerating the drug properly. Call a doctor right away if these side effects become severe or cause considerable problems in your daily functions. If you experience a change in seizures, severe rash, allergic reaction, or thoughts about dying contact your doctor immediately as these may indicate potentially serious or life threatening problems.

Side Effects
  • drowsiness
  • vomiting
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • dizziness
  • irritability
  • attention difficulty
  • itchiness
  • stomach pain

Contact your physician immediately if you experience any of the following side effects:

  • worsening or longer lasting seizures
  • thoughts about suicide or dying
  • attempt to commit suicide
  • new or worse depression
  • new or worse anxiety
  • feeling agitated or restless
  • panic attacks
  • new or worse irritability
  • acting aggressive, being angry, or violent
  • acting on dangerous impulses
  • other unusual changes in behavior or mood
  • severe fever or chilling

Keep this medicine in its original container, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store your prescription at room temperature, away from excess heat and moisture (i.e. not the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

Recommendation for women
Women taking birth control pills should discuss contraception with a physician before taking Banzel. Safety in pregnancy has not been established. Women who are taking this medication and who wish to become pregnant should discuss treatment options with their physicians before the pregnancy begins. Banzel is likely to be excreted in breast milk. Breast feeding mothers should talk to a physician before taking this medication.

Side Effects

Dizziness, Fatigue, Difficulty concentrating, Vomiting, Irritability, Drowsiness, Appetite loss, Headaches