Lacosamide for epilepsy

Name: Lacosamide for epilepsy

Before taking lacosamide

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine can only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking lacosamide it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you have a heart rhythm disorder.
  • If you have any problems with the way your liver works, or if you have any problems with the way your kidneys work.
  • If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.

How to take lacosamide

  • Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about lacosamide, and will also provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you could experience from taking it.
  • Take lacosamide exactly as your doctor tells you to. You will be asked to take two doses daily, one dose in the morning and one in the evening. It is likely that you will be prescribed a low dose when you first start taking it, and then your dose will be increased as your body gets used to it. Your doctor or pharmacist will explain this to you, and directions will also be printed on the label of the pack to remind you about what the doctor said to you.
  • You can take lacosamide either with or without meals. Swallow the tablet with a drink of water.
  • If you forget to take a dose at your usual time, take it as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose. Try to take the correct number of doses each day, but do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.
  • When you first start a new treatment for epilepsy there may be a change in the number or type of seizures you experience. Your doctor will advise you about this.
  • Lacosamide can make you feel dizzy, especially when you first start treatment. Take care that you do not fall or trip when moving around.
  • Drinking alcohol while you are on lacosamide can increase feelings of dizziness and may not be recommended for you. Ask for your doctor's advice.
  • While you are being treated for epilepsy there is a small risk that you may develop mood changes, distressing thoughts and feelings about suicide. If this happens, you must tell your doctor about it straightaway.
  • People with epilepsy must stop driving at first. Your doctor will advise you about if and when it may be possible for you to resume driving again.
  • Many anti-epileptic medicines can harm an unborn child. If you are a woman, make sure you have discussed with your doctor which types of contraception are suitable for you and your partner. If you want to have a family, discuss this with your doctor so that you can be given advice from a specialist before you become pregnant.
  • You need to take lacosamide regularly every day. Do not stop taking it unless your doctor tells you to stop. Stopping treatment suddenly can cause problems and your doctor will want you to reduce your dose gradually if this becomes necessary.

Can lacosamide cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the more common ones associated with lacosamide. The best place to find a full list of the side-effects which can be associated with your medicine, is from the manufacturer's printed information leaflet supplied with the medicine. Alternatively, you can find an example of a manufacturer's information leaflet in the reference section below. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

Common lacosamide side-effectsWhat can I do if I experience this?
Feeling dizzy, sleepy, tired or unsteady; double visionTake care that you do not fall or trip when moving around. Do not drive and do not use tools or machines
HeadacheAsk your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller
Feeling sick, constipation, windStick to simple foods - avoid fatty or spicy meals
Changes in mood, difficulties thinking, poor co-ordination, feeling shaky, unusual eye movementsIf any of these become troublesome, discuss them with your doctor

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.

How to store lacosamide

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
  • Once a bottle of VimpatĀ® Syrup has been opened, it will keep for four weeks. After this time, make sure you have a fresh supply.
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