Aptiom (eslicarbazepine acetate) is a prescription drug that’s used to treat partial onset seizure. The drug comes as a tablet that you swallow, usually once per day.
Aptiom is used in adults and certain children to treat partial onset seizure.*
The active ingredient in Aptiom is eslicarbazepine acetate. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)
Aptiom belongs to a group of drugs called anticonvulsants. It’s available as an oral tablet.
This article describes the dosages of Aptiom, as well as its strengths and how to take it. To learn more about Aptiom, see this in-depth article.
* Doctors sometimes refer to partial onset seizure as partial seizure or focal onset seizure.
This section describes the usual dosages of Aptiom. Keep reading to learn more.
What is Aptiom’s form?
Aptiom is available as an oral tablet.
What strengths does Aptiom come in?
Aptiom comes in four strengths:
- 200 milligrams (mg)
- 400 mg
- 600 mg
- 800 mg
What are the usual dosages of Aptiom in adults?
The typical starting dosage of Aptiom in adults is 400 mg once per day. After this, your doctor will likely increase your dose weekly. They’ll increase it until you reach the right dosage to manage your condition. But ultimately they’ll prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The maximum dosage of Aptiom in adults is 1,200 mg once per day.
The information below describes dosages that are commonly taken or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for partial onset seizures
The typical adult starting dosage of Aptiom for partial onset seizure is 400 mg once per day. Some people have a higher risk of seizures. In these cases, your doctor may prescribe a higher starting dosage of 800 mg once per day. Your doctor will discuss with you the pros and cons of a higher starting dosage.
Depending on how you react to the starting dosage of Aptiom, your doctor will gradually increase your dose. They’ll do this weekly until you reach the right dosage to manage your condition. Typically, your doctor will increase your dose by 400–600 mg weekly.
After a starting dosage, you’ll take a maintenance dosage for the remainder of your treatment. The typical maintenance dosage in adults is 800–1,200 mg once per day.
The maximum dosage of Aptiom is 1,200 mg once per day.
What’s the dosage of Aptiom for children?
Aptiom is approved to treat partial onset seizure in children ages 4 years and older. The dosage for children is based on their body weight in kilograms (kg). For reference, 1 kg is about 2.2 pounds (lb).
|Weight in kg
|Approximate weight in lb
|200 mg once per day
|400–600 mg once per day
|600 mg once per day
|300 mg once per day
|500–800 mg once per day
|800 mg once per day
|300 mg once per day
|600–900 mg once per day
|900 mg once per day
|greater than 38 kg
|greater than 84 lb
|400 mg once per day
|800–1,200 mg once per day
|1,200 mg once per day
* After a starting dosage, your child will take a maintenance dosage for the remainder of their treatment.
Typically, your child’s doctor will slowly increase your child’s dosage. They’ll do this weekly until your child reaches the right dosage to manage their condition. The maximum dosage of Aptiom in children also depends on their body weight.
For more information about Aptiom’s dosage for children, talk with your child’s doctor or a pharmacist.
Is Aptiom taken long term?
Yes, Aptiom is usually taken as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that it’s safe and effective for your condition, you’ll likely take it long term.
In certain cases, you may need a dosage adjustment for Aptiom.
You may need dosage adjustments if:
- you’re taking other medications with Aptiom
- you have kidney problems
If you have moderate to severe kidney problems, your dosage likely will be reduced by half (50%). This means you’ll take half of the recommended starting and maintenance dosages of Aptiom.
If you have questions about any dosage adjustments you may need, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can provide more information.
The dosage of Aptiom your doctor prescribes may depend on several factors. These include:
- the severity of the condition the drug is treating
- body weight (in children)
- other medications you may be taking
- other conditions you may have (see the “Dosage adjustments” section above)
Aptiom may affect your liver. The drugmaker doesn’t have a suggested dosage adjustment for mild to moderate liver problems. But the medication is not recommended if you have severe liver problems.
If you have symptoms of liver problems while taking Aptiom, call your doctor right away. Symptoms include dark urine, nausea or vomiting, and yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
Aptiom comes as a tablet that you swallow once per day with or without food. Try to take the medication around the same time each day. This helps keep steady levels of the medication in your body to manage your condition.
Swallow the tablet whole. But if you have difficulty swallowing tablets, you can crush it. You can also see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication.
For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of Aptiom, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Accessible drug containers and labels
Some pharmacies provide medication labels that:
- have large print
- use braille
- feature a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio
Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesn’t.
Let your pharmacist know if you have difficulty opening medication bottles. They may have tips to help, or they may be able to supply Aptiom in an easy-open container.
Before you begin treatment, talk with your doctor about what you should do if you miss a dose of Aptiom. They can tell you the best course of action. For example, they can explain when you can take a missed dose. They can also explain when to skip a missed dose and continue with your next scheduled dose.
It’s important to take Aptiom exactly as prescribed. Missing doses can increase your risk of seizure.
If you need help remembering to take your dose of Aptiom on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.
Do not take more Aptiom than your doctor prescribes, as this can lead to harmful effects.
Symptoms of overdose
Symptoms caused by an overdose can include:
- nausea and vomiting
- tingling in your mouth
- difficulty walking
- double vision
- very low sodium levels, which can trigger seizures
What to do in case you take too much Aptiom
Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Aptiom. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room.
Taking Aptiom can lead to physical dependence. This condition occurs when your body relies on a drug to function as usual.
If you suddenly stop taking Aptiom, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. These side effects can occur when you stop taking a drug on which your body has become dependent. Examples of withdrawal symptoms include:
- diarrhea and vomiting
- watery eyes
- runny nose
- abdominal pain
- feeling colder or hotter than usual
- tremor (shaking)
Suddenly stopping Aptiom also may increase your risk of seizures, which can include status epilepticus. This means a seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes or you don’t become fully conscious after it.
If you have to stop treatment with Aptiom, discuss this with your doctor. They’ll likely lower your dosage slowly over time, which can help reduce your risk of seizure.
Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Aptiom’s dosage.
Is Aptiom’s dosage similar to the dosages of Topamax or Keppra?
Aptiom (eslicarbazepine acetate), Topamax (topiramate), and Keppra (levetiracetam) all are approved to treat partial onset seizure. And all three medications belong to the anticonvulsant group of drugs. But Topamax and Keppra are also approved to treat other types of seizure and some other conditions.
The forms, strength in milligrams, and dosages of each drug also differ. For example, Topamax comes as oral coated tablets and oral sprinkle capsules* in different strengths. The dosages of Topamax depend on the condition it’s treating, your age, and other factors.
Keppra comes as an oral tablet, an oral extended-release tablet,† and an oral liquid solution in various strengths. It’s also available as an intravenous infusion (an injection into your vein over a period of time). The dosages of Keppra depend on the condition it’s treating and other factors.
Your doctor will prescribe the drug and the dosage that’s right for you.
To learn more about how these drugs compare, talk with your doctor.
* You can swallow a sprinkle capsule whole. Or you can open it, sprinkle it on certain foods, and then swallow it.
† “Extended release” means the drug is released into your body slowly over some time.
How long does it take for Aptiom to start working?
Aptiom starts to work soon after you take it. By 4 or 5 days after you start Aptiom, the drug reaches steady levels in your body. This is why it’s important to take Aptiom on a regular basis as prescribed by your doctor.
If you have other questions about what to expect from your Aptiom treatment, talk with your doctor.
The sections above describe the usual dosages provided by the drugmaker. If your doctor recommends Aptiom for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.
Remember, you should not change your dosage of Aptiom without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Aptiom exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage.
Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:
- Would a higher dose of Aptiom increase my risk of side effects?
- How long does the drug stay in my body after I take a dose?
- Will I need a lower dose of Aptiom if I’m taking other seizure medications?
To learn more about Aptiom, see the “Aptiom (eslicarbazepine acetate)” article.
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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 another 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.