What Is Felbamate Used For?
If you have severe epilepsy, a healthcare provider may prescribe felbamate. Approved uses of this medication include treating partial seizures in adults and seizures caused by Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in children as young as two years old. However, felbamate can cause potentially serious side effects and should only be used when other medications have failed to adequately control the seizures.
Felbamate (Felbatol®) is a prescription medication used for treating severe epilepsy when other medications have not adequately worked to prevent seizures. Specifically, it is approved to treat the following types of seizures:
- Partial seizures, either alone or in combination with other seizure medications
- Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in children, in combination with other seizure medications.
Felbamate should only be used in people with severe epilepsy that has not been adequately treated with other medications, as it has the potential to cause serious side effects (see Side Effects of Felbamate).
Epilepsy is a neurological condition associated with abnormal electrical signaling in the brain. These abnormal electrical signals can lead to seizures. Therefore, epilepsy is sometimes called a seizure disorder.
However, a person can have a seizure and not have epilepsy. For example, alcohol withdrawal can cause seizures. For a person to be diagnosed with epilepsy, he or she must have at least two seizures that are not due to other medical causes.
In over half of all cases, the cause of epilepsy is not known. When the cause is known, it may be one of the following:
- Other medical conditions, such as a stroke or Alzheimer's disease
- Head trauma
- A brain tumor or brain infection, such as meningitis
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Genetics (see Genes and Epilepsy).