What should I watch for?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. If you take this medicine for seizures, wear a Medic Alert bracelet or necklace. Carry an identification card with information about your condition, medicines, and doctor or health care professional.
It is important to take this medicine exactly as directed. When first starting treatment, your dose will need to be adjusted slowly. It may take weeks or months before your dose is stable. You should contact your doctor or health care professional if your seizures get worse or if you have any new types of seizures. Do not stop taking this medicine unless instructed by your doctor or health care professional. Stopping your medicine suddenly can increase your seizures or their severity.
Contact your doctor or health care professional right away if you develop a rash while taking this medicine. Rashes may be very severe and sometimes require treatment in the hospital. Deaths from rashes have occurred. Serious rashes occur more often in children than adults taking this medicine. It is more common for these serious rashes to occur during the first 2 months of treatment, but a rash can occur at any time.
You may get drowsy, dizzy, or have blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. To reduce dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol can increase drowsiness and dizziness. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
If you are taking this medicine for bipolar disorder, it is important to report any changes in your mood to your doctor or health care professional. If your condition gets worse, you get mentally depressed, feel very hyperactive or manic, have difficulty sleeping, or have thoughts of hurting yourself or committing suicide, you need to get help from your health care professional right away. If you are a caregiver for someone taking this medicine for bipolar disorder, you should also report these behavioral changes right away. The use of this medicine may increase the chance of suicidal thoughts or actions. Pay special attention to how you are responding while on this medicine.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.
Women who become pregnant while using this medicine may enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry by calling 1-888-233-2334. This registry collects information about the safety of antiepileptic drug use during pregnancy.
Common and Rare Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
changes in vision
clumsiness or unsteadiness
continuous, uncontrolled back and forth or rolling eye movements
increase in seizures
Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
muscle cramps, pain, or weakness
red or irritated eyes
small red or purple spots on the skin
sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
swelling of the face, mouth, hands, or feet
swollen lymph nodes
trouble with breathing
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual tiredness or weakness
yellow eyes or skin
Incidence not known
Back, leg, or stomach pains
blood in the urine
bloody, black or tarry stools
bluish lips or skin
cough or hoarseness
coughing or vomiting blood
difficulty with breathing
difficulty with swallowing
general body swelling
general feeling of discomfort or illness
general feeling of tiredness or weakness
loss of appetite
loss of balance control
lower back or side pain
pain or burning in the throat
painful or difficult urination
pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
persistent bleeding or oozing from puncture sites, mouth, or nose
rapid, shallow breathing
redness, soreness, or itching skin
shortness of breath
sores, welting, or blisters
stiffness of the arms and legs
swollen or painful glands
tic-like (jerky) movements
tightness in the chest
unexplained bleeding or bruising
Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:
Symptoms of overdose
Clumsiness or unsteadiness (severe)
continuous, uncontrolled back and forth or rolling eye movements (severe)
dryness of the mouth (severe)
increased heart rate
slurred speech (severe)
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.