What should I watch for?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Wear a medical identification bracelet or chain to say you have epilepsy, and carry a card that lists all your medications.
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 except on your doctor's advice. You may develop a severe reaction. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take.
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.
Avoid extreme heat. This medicine can cause you to sweat less than normal. Your body temperature could increase to dangerous levels, which may lead to heat stroke.
This medicine may increase the chance of developing metabolic acidosis. If left untreated, this can cause kidney stones, bone disease, or slowed growth in children. Symptoms include breathing fast, fatigue, loss of appetite, irregular heartbeat, or loss of consciousness. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of these side effects. Also, tell your doctor about any surgery you plan on having while taking this medicine since this may increase your risk for metabolic acidosis.
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.
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:
feeling sad or empty
lack of appetite
loss of interest or pleasure
mood or mental changes
shakiness or unsteady walking
trouble with concentrating
trouble with sleeping
large, flat blue or purplish patches on the skin
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:
Abdominal or stomach pain
difficulty with memory
loss of appetite
unusual tiredness or weakness
Aching muscles or joints
acid or sour stomach
bad, unusual, or unpleasant taste in the mouth
change in taste
difficulty with speaking
difficulty with thinking
general ill feeling
runny or stuffy nose
tingling, burning, or prickly feelings on the skin
uncontrolled, back and forth, or rolling eye movements
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.