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Precautions and Warnings With Ezogabine

If you have depression, heart problems, or liver disease, tell your healthcare provider before taking ezogabine. Other safety precautions with this drug include warnings of potential drug interactions and possible allergic reactions for some people. This medication can also increase your risk for developing certain problems, such as irregular heart rhythms, urinary retention, and psychological problems.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Ezogabine?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking ezogabine (Potiga™) if you have:
  • Depression
  • A history of suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • An enlarged prostate
  • An irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • Heart failure
  • A history of a heart attack or other serious heart problems
  • Liver disease, such as liver failure, hepatitis, or cirrhosis
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure or renal failure
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Ezogabine Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this medicine include the following:
  • Ezogabine can cause urinary retention (problems passing urine), which can lead to serious complications. Men with an enlarged prostate may have a higher risk for developing this problem. Let your healthcare provider know if you experience any symptoms of this condition, such as:
    • Problems with starting to urinate
    • Difficulty emptying the bladder
    • A weak urine stream
    • Painful urination.
  • In studies, ezogabine sometimes caused psychological problems, such as hallucinations, confusion, or psychotic symptoms (such as paranoia or delusions). People should be aware of this risk before taking ezogabine and should report any of these side effects to their healthcare providers right away.
  • Studies suggest that seizure medications may increase the risk of suicide. Make sure to watch for any unusual behaviors or mood changes, and be sure your family and friends know to keep an eye out for such problems.
  • Ezogabine can cause a blue discoloration of the skin (often on or around the mouth), the whites of the eyes, and the nail beds. This side effect is usually seen after using the drug for a few years, although sometimes it can appear sooner. It is unknown if this discoloration is permanent.
  • Ezogabine can cause pigment changes in the retina of the eye. It is possible that these changes could lead to a loss of vision. People should have an eye exam before starting ezogabine and periodically thereafter to check for retinal changes.
  • Ezogabine can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and coordination problems. You may want to see how this medicine affects you before driving or operating heavy machinery.
  • In rare cases, ezogabine can cause irregular heart rhythms. Be watchful for symptoms of an irregular heart rhythm, such as fainting, heart palpitations, or a rapid or slow pulse. These problems may be more likely to occur in people with heart problems.
  • As with all seizure medications, you should not stop taking ezogabine suddenly, as this can make your seizures worse.
  • If you have liver problems, kidney problems, or are over the age of 65, you will probably need a lower ezogabine dosage.
  • Ezogabine is a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown (see Potiga and Pregnancy).
  • It is not known if ezogabine 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 Potiga and Breastfeeding).
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