Generic Name: felbamate, Oral tablet

Generic Name:

felbamate, Oral tablet

Felbatol

All Brands

  • Felbatol
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for felbamate

Oral tablet
1

Felbamate is an oral drug used to treat seizures in people with epilepsy. It’s used when other treatments have failed. It may be used alone or in combination with other antiepileptic drugs.

2

The usual adult starting dose is 1200 mg taken in three or four divided doses per day. If your seizures are still not under control, your doctor may increase your dose to a maximum of 3600 mg per day.

3

Don’t stop taking felbamate without talking to your doctor first. Stopping this drug suddenly can cause seizures.

4

Felbamate may increase your risk for life-threatening conditions, including blood problems (aplastic anemia) and liver failure.

5

Common side effects include changes in the way that food tastes, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, dizziness, sleepiness, double vision, headache, and trouble sleeping.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.

  • Aplastic anemia warning. Felbamate may increase your risk for a life-threatening blood condition called aplastic anemia. In this condition, your bone marrow doesn’t make enough new blood cells. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms:
    • frequent infections or ones that don’t go away
    • easy bruising or nosebleeds
    • severe tiredness and weakness
  • Liver problems warning. Felbamate may increase your risk for liver failure. This is serious and can require a liver transplant or even be fatal. Call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms:  
    • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
    • dark-colored urine
    • nausea or vomiting
    • loss of appetite
    • pain on the right side of your stomach

Suicidal thoughts

Felbamate may cause you to have thoughts or behaviors of hurting yourself. Call your doctor right away if you have any unusual changes in your mood or behavior or if you have thoughts of hurting yourself.

Suddenly stopping felbamate

Don’t stop taking this drug without talking to your doctor first. Stopping felbamate suddenly can cause seizures or a seizure that won’t stop.

Drug features

Felbamate is a prescription drug. It’s available in these forms: oral tablet and oral suspension.

Felbamate is available in its generic form. Generic drugs usually cost less. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

Felbamate may be taken as part of a combination therapy with other antiepileptic drugs.

Why it's used

Felbamate is prescription drug that’s used to treat epileptic seizures when other treatments have failed.

More Details

How it works

Felbamate belongs to a class of drugs called anticonvulsants or antiepileptic drugs (AEDs).

More Details

Why it's used

Felbamate is prescription drug that’s used to treat epileptic seizures when other treatments have failed.

  • In adults, felbamate can be used alone or with other drugs to treat partial seizures with and without generalization.
  • In children, felbamate can be used with other drugs to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

How it works

Felbamate belongs to a class of drugs called anticonvulsants or antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

It isn’t fully understood how felbamate works, but it’s believed that it can:

  • prevent neurons in your brain from becoming too active
  • increase your seizure threshold (so that it will be harder to trigger a seizure)
  • stop the spread of seizures
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felbamate Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with felbamate include:

  • weight loss

  • vomiting

  • trouble sleeping

  • nausea

  • dizziness

  • sleepiness

  • headache

  • double vision

  • changes in the way that food tastes

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • aplastic anemia. Symptoms may include:

    • fever, sore throat, or other infections that come and go or don’t go away
    • frequent infections
    • bruising more easily than normal
    • red or purple spots on your body
    • bleeding from your gums or nosebleeds
    • severe fatigue or weakness
  • liver problems. Symptoms may include:

    • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
    • dark-colored urine
    • nausea or vomiting
    • loss of appetite
    • pain on the right side of your stomach
  • suicidal thoughts and actions. Symptoms may include:

    • thoughts about suicide or dying
    • attempts to commit suicide
    • new or worse depression
    • new or worse anxiety
    • feeling agitated or restless
    • panic attacks
    • trouble sleeping (insomnia)
    • new or worse irritability
    • acting aggressive or being angry or violent
    • acting on dangerous impulses
    • an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania)
    • other unusual changes in mood or behavior
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Felbamate may cause drowsiness and dizziness. Talk to your doctor before you drink alcohol or take other drugs that may make you sleepy or dizzy. Taking these drugs with felbamate could make your symptoms worse.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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felbamate May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Felbamate can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Alcohol interaction

Felbamate may cause drowsiness and dizziness. You shouldn’t drink alcohol while taking this drug until you speak with your doctor about the risks. Drinking alcohol with felbamate may increase your risk for drowsiness and dizziness.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Drugs for seizures
  • phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • valproate (Depakote, Depakene)
  • carbamazepine (Tegretol, Carbatrol, Epitol, and Equetro)
  • phenobarbital

Taking felbamate with these drugs will increase the levels of the other seizure medications in your body. Your doctor will reduce your dose of your other seizure drug when you first start taking felbamate. They may also monitor your blood levels to see if your dose needs to be lowered more.

If you’re already taking felbamate and you start on one of these drugs, the level of felbamate in your body may decrease. Your doctor may need to increase your dose of felbamate to achieve the same effect.

Low-dose combination oral birth control pills

Taking felbamate with low-dose oral birth control pills may decrease levels of your birth control pill in your blood. This means that it won’t work as well to prevent pregnancy. Your doctor may suggest that you use another form of birth control while you’re taking felbamate.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) drugs
  • cobicistat (Tybost)
  • cobicistat/elvitegravir/emtricitabine/tenofovir (Stribild)
  • cobicistat/darunavir (Prezcobix)
  • cobicistat/atazanavir (Evotaz)
  • atazanavir (Reyataz)
  • darunavir (Prezista)

Felbamate may decrease the levels of some of these drugs, leading to less HIV control and the potential for the virus to become resistant to the medication. Discuss with your doctor before taking these medications together.

Hepatitis C drugs
  • dasabuvir/ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir (Viekira Pak)

Felbamate may decrease the levels of some of the drugs in this combination product, increasing the potential for hepatitis C treatment failure. Discuss with your doctor before taking these medications together.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with kidney disease

Felbamate is removed from your body by your kidneys. If your kidneys aren’t working well, more of the drug may stay in your body longer. This raises your risk for side effects. If you have kidney problems, your doctor will decrease your felbamate dose.

People with mood disorders

Felbamate may worsen existing depression, other mood disorders, or suicidal thoughts or behavior. Your doctor will decide if felbamate is right for you.

People with liver disease

You shouldn’t use this drug if you have a history of liver disease. It can cause liver failure, which is life threatening.

People with blood disorders

You shouldn’t use this drug if you have a history of blood disorders (dyscrasias). It can cause aplastic anemia, which is life threatening.

Pregnant women

Felbamate is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Felbamate should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

If you become pregnant while taking felbamate, talk to your doctor about registering with the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the safety of antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy.

Women who are breast-feeding

Felbamate may pass through breast milk. This may cause serious effects in a breastfeeding child.

You and your doctor may need to decide if you’ll take felbamate or breastfeed.

For seniors

Your body may process this drug more slowly. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose so that too much of this drug doesn’t build up in your body. Too much of the drug in your body can be toxic.

For children

The safety and effectiveness of felbamate in children younger than 2 years old haven’t been established.

When to call the doctor

Call your doctor if you have an increase in seizures or if you begin experiencing a different type of seizure. Your doctor will decide if your dose needs to be increased or if your medication needs to be changed.

If you’re diagnosed with hepatitis or develop any type of liver disease not related to the drug, tell your doctor immediately.

Allergies

Felbamate can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives
  • rash
  • peeling or blistering of your skin

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it or other carbamates. Taking it again could be fatal.

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How to Take felbamate (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Epileptic seizures

Brand: Felbatol

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 400 mg, 600 mg
Form: Oral suspension
Strengths: 600 mg/5 mL

Generic: felbamate

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 400 mg, 600 mg
Form: Oral suspension
Strengths: 600 mg/5 mL
Adult dosage (ages 18-64 years)
  • Felbamate alone: The standard starting dose is 1,200 mg per day, taken in three or four divided doses per day. If you still have seizures, your doctor may increase your daily dose by 600 mg every 2 weeks to a maximum dose of 3600 mg per day.
  • Felbamate in combination with other drugs to treat seizures: The dose for felbamate is 1,200 mg per day, taken in three or four divided doses per day. Your doctor will decrease the doses of your other seizure drugs. If your seizures still aren’t controlled, your doctor may increase your felbamate dose by 1,200 mg every week to a maximum dose of 3,600 mg per day.
  • Switching from other seizure drugs to felbamate alone: Your doctor may decide to stop your other seizure drugs and have you take felbamate by itself. Switching will require a different dosing schedule. Your doctor will slowly decrease the doses of your other seizure drugs and slowly increase your felbamate dose at the same time.
Child dosage (ages 15-17 years)
  • Felbamate alone: The standard starting dose is 1,200 mg per day, taken in three or four divided doses. If you still have seizures, your doctor may increase your dose by 600 mg every 2 weeks to a maximum dose of 3,600 mg per day.
  • Felbamate in combination with other drugs to treat seizures: The dose for felbamate is 1,200 mg per day, taken in three or four divided doses. Your doctor will decrease the doses of your other seizure drugs. If your seizures still aren’t under control, your doctor may increase your felbamate dose by 1,200 mg every week to a maximum dose of 3,600 mg per day.
  • Switching from other seizure drugs to felbamate alone: Your doctor may decide to stop your other seizure drugs and have you take felbamate by itself. Switching will require a different dosing schedule. Your doctor will slowly decrease the doses of your other seizure drugs and slowly increase your felbamate dose at the same time.
Child dosage (ages 2-14 years)

The dose for felbamate is 15 mg/kg per day, taken in divided doses three or four times per day. Your doctor will decrease the doses of your other seizure drugs. If your seizures still aren’t under control, your doctor may increase your dose by 15 mg/kg per day every week to a maximum of 45 mg/kg per day.

Child dosage (ages 0-1 years)

The safety and effectiveness of felbamate in children under 2 years of age haven’t been established.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Your doctor may choose to start you on a lower dose. As you age, your organs (such as your liver and kidneys) may not work as well as they did when you were younger. This could lead to more of the drug staying in your body, putting you at risk for side effects. Also, if you are older, you are more likely to have other diseases and be on other medications. Your doctor will take all of this into account when choosing the right dose for you.

Warnings

Your dose may decrease as you age since your body may get rid of the drug more slowly.

Children may better tolerate the oral suspension.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Felbamate comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you don’t take it at all or skip or miss doses

Felbamate doesn’t cure epilepsy, but it can help control your seizures if you take it as directed by your doctor. If you don’t take felbamate at all or skip doses, you may experience a return of seizures or an increase in how often you have seizures.

If you stop taking it

Stopping felbamate suddenly can serious problems. Don’t stop taking it without talking to your doctor first. Stopping this drug suddenly can cause seizures or a seizure that won’t stop.

If you take too much

If you take too much, you may have nausea, a very fast heart rate, trouble with balance, crystallization of your urine, and kidney failure.

If you think that you have taken too much felbamate, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe or life threatening, go to an emergency room or call 9-1-1.

What to do if you miss a dose

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you think about it. If it’s near the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take felbamate at your normal time.

Don’t take two doses at the same time or extra doses, because it will increase your risk for side effects.

How to tell if the drug Is working

You can tell if this drug is working if you have fewer seizures.

Felbamate is a long-term drug treatment.

Important considerations for taking felbamate

Store felbamate at room temperature

Keep it from 68–77°F (20–25°C).

Shake the oral suspension well before using.

Keep felbamate away from high temperature.

Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store this drug away from moisture and damp locations.

Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.

Throw away any medication that’s expired or that you no longer need. Ask your pharmacist how to throw out unused drugs.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show your pharmacy’s label to clearly identify the medication. Keep the original prescription label with you when traveling.
  • Be sure to have enough felbamate before you travel. You don’t want to run out of this medication when you’re traveling.

Clinical monitoring

Before starting and during treatment with felbamate, your doctor may check the following:

  • kidney function. If you have kidney problems, your doctor will decrease your felbamate dose.
  • liver function. If your liver tests aren’t normal, your doctor will stop your therapy with felbamate and continue to monitor your liver until your tests return to normal.
  • blood counts. Your doctor will test your blood to check for signs of aplastic anemia. If your blood counts are severely low, your doctor will stop your treatment with felbamate.
  • symptoms of depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behavior

Sun sensitivity

Although very rare, felbamate may make you more sensitive to the sun and cause an allergic reaction. Wear sunscreen and don’t stay out in the sun for long periods of time.

Hidden costs

You may need to pay for blood tests needed for monitoring during your treatment with felbamate.

Insurance

Some insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for felbamate.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

What does the pill look like?

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SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does felbamate Cost?

Oral tablet
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Lowest price for felbamate

Walgreens $209.81
Rite-Aid $222.88
Walmart $358.74
These represent the lowest cash prices for felbamate and may be lower than your insurance.

Find the lowest prices of felbamate near you

These represent the lowest cash prices for felbamate and may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on August 4, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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