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Precautions and Warnings With Rufinamide

Understanding precautions and warnings with rufinamide prior to taking it can help ensure a safe treatment process. These precautions include being aware of potential drug interactions, possible side effects, and the risks of suddenly stopping the drug. Potential safety concerns also apply to people who have certain medical conditions, such as familial short QT syndrome or liver disease.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Rufinamide?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking rufinamide (Banzel™) if you have:
  • Familial short QT syndrome (a genetic heart rhythm problem)
  • Liver disease, such as liver failure, hepatitis, or cirrhosis
  • Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Rufinamide

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking rufinamide include the following:
  • Studies suggest that seizure medications may increase the risk of suicide. Make sure to watch for any usual changes in behavior or mood, and make sure your family and friends know to keep an eye out for such problems.
  • Rufinamide can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and coordination problems. You may want to see how the medication affects you before driving or operating heavy machinery.
  • This drug can cause a slight change in the heart rhythm known as QT shortening. This does not appear to be a problem for most people.
  • Seizure medications, including rufinamide, can cause severe allergic reactions that can affect multiple organs in the body. Let your healthcare provider know right away if you develop an unexplained rash, especially if it is accompanied by a fever.
  • As with all seizure medications, you should not suddenly stop taking rufinamide, as this can cause seizures to become worse.
  • Rufinamide has not been adequately studied in people with liver problems. Your healthcare provider may want to monitor you more closely and might recommend a lower rufinamide dosage if you have liver disease.
  • Rufinamide can potentially interact with several other medications (see Drug Interactions With Rufinamide).
  • Rufinamide is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not currently known (see Banzel and Pregnancy).
  • It is not known if rufinamide passes through breast milk in humans. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Banzel and Breastfeeding).
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Rufinamide Drug Information

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