What should I watch for?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for a regular check on your progress. Do not change brands or dosage forms of this medicine without discussing the change with your doctor or health care professional. If you are taking this medicine for epilepsy (seizures), do not stop taking it suddenly. This increases the risk of seizures. Wear a Medic Alert bracelet or necklace. Carry an identification card with information about your condition, medications, and doctor or health care professional.
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.
This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.
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. Any worsening of mood, or thoughts of suicide or dying should be reported to your health care professional right away.
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.
This medicine may cause a decrease in vitamin D and folic acid. You should make sure that you get enough vitamins while you are taking this medicine. Discuss the foods you eat and the vitamins you take with your health care professional.
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:
Blurred vision or double vision
continuous back-and-forth eye movements
Actions that are out of control
behavioral changes (especially in children)
confusion, agitation, or hostility (especially in the elderly)
feeling of unreality
feeling sad or empty
increase in seizures
lack of appetite
loss of balance control
loss of interest or pleasure
muscle trembling, jerking, or stiffness
other problems with muscle control or coordination
sense of detachment from self or body
shakiness and unsteady walk
stiffness of the arm or leg
sudden, wide mood swings
talking, feeling, and acting with excitement
thoughts or attempts of killing oneself
twisting movements of the body
uncontrolled movements, especially of the face, neck, and back
Black, tarry stools
blood in the urine or stools
bone or joint pain
darkening of the urine
difficulty with speaking or slurred speech
irregular, pounding, or unusually slow heartbeat
lower back or side pain
mental depression with restlessness and nervousness or other mood or mental changes
muscle or stomach cramps
nosebleeds or other unusual bleeding or bruising
numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in the hands and feet
pain, tenderness, swelling, or bluish color in the leg or foot
painful or difficult urination
pinpoint red spots on the skin
rapid weight gain
ringing, buzzing, or other unexplained sounds in the ears
sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
swelling of the face, hands, feet, or lower legs
swollen or painful glands
sudden decrease in the amount of urine
tightness in the chest
uncontrolled body movements
unusual tiredness or weakness
visual hallucinations (seeing things that are not there)
yellow eyes or skin
Incidence not known
Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
decreased urine output
dilated neck veins
extreme tiredness or weakness
general feeling of discomfort or illness
joint or muscle pain
red skin lesions, often with a purple center
red, irritated eyes
swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
thickening of bronchial secretions
unusual bleeding or bruising
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:
Incidence not known
aching joints or muscles
dryness of the mouth
increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight (skin rash, itching, redness or other discoloration of the skin, or severe sunburn)
irritation or soreness of the tongue or mouth
lack or loss of strength
loss of hair
loss of memory
problems with memory
sexual problems in males
stomach pain, upset, or discomfort
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.