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(roo fin' a mide)
Before taking rufinamide,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to rufinamide or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol), phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone (Mysoline), triazolam (Halcion), and valproic acid (Depakene, Depakote, Stavzor). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had familial short QT syndrome (an inherited condition that causes irregular heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, or sudden death). Your doctor will probably tell you not to take rufinamide.
- tell your doctor if you are being treated with dialysis (treatment to remove waste from the blood when the kidneys are not working well) and if you have or have ever had liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking rufinamide, call your doctor.
- you should know that rufinamide may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, rings, implants, and injections). Talk to your doctor about methods of birth control that will work for you while you are taking rufinamide.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking rufinamide.
- you should know that rufinamide may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking rufinamide. Alcohol can make the side effects from rufinamide worse.
- you should know that your mental health may change in unexpected ways, and you may become suicidal (think about harming or killing yourself or plan or try to do so) while you are taking rufinamide. A small number of adults and children 5 years of age and older who took anticonvulsants such as rufinamide during clinical studies were found to be twice as likely to become suicidal than people who did not take the medication. This increased risk of suicidal behavior was seen as early as one week after starting the medication. You, your family, or your caregiver should call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms: difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, impulsive and dangerous behavior, panic attacks, anxiety, agitation, hostility, mania (frenzied, abnormally excited mood), talking or thinking about wanting to hurt yourself or end your life, withdrawing from friends and family, new or worsening depression, preoccupation with death and dying, or giving away prized possessions. Be sure that your family or caregiver knows which symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor if you are unable to seek treatment on your own.
- loss of coordination
- difficulty walking
- excessive movement or activity
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- uncontrollable movements of the eyes
- difficulty paying attention
- loss of appetite
- back pain
- stomach pain
- swelling of the face
- decreased ability to respond to others
- blurred or double vision
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- dark-colored urine
- light-colored stool