About retigabine for epilepsy
|Type of medicine||Anti-epileptic|
|Used for||Epilepsy which is difficult to control in adults|
Having epilepsy means that you have had repeated seizures. A seizure is a short episode of symptoms caused by a burst of abnormal electrical activity in your brain. Different parts of the brain control different parts and functions of your body. Therefore, the symptoms that occur during a seizure depend on where the abnormal burst of electrical activity occurs. Symptoms that may occur during a seizure can affect your muscles, sensations, behaviour, emotions, consciousness, or a combination of these.
Retigabine is given alongside other anti-epileptic medicines and helps to control the symptoms of seizures. It works by stabilising the abnormal electrical activity in the brain.
Before taking retigabine
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking retigabine it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are under 18 or over 65 years of age.
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have any heart problems, especially if you have an abnormal heart rhythm.
- If you have liver or kidney problems.
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or to any other medicine.
How to take retigabine
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. The leaflet will give you more information about the brand of retigabine you have been given, and a full list of possible side-effects from taking it.
- Take retigabine exactly as your doctor has told you. You will be asked to take it three times each day. Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you how many tablets to take each time. Your dose will also be on the label of your pack. You need to take your doses of retigabine regularly every day.
- When you first start taking retigabine, your doctor will give you a small dose and then gradually increase your dose. This allows your doctor to make sure that you have the dose that helps your condition and avoids any unwanted symptoms.
- Swallow the tablets whole - do not chew, crush or break them. You can take retigabine tablets before or after meals.
- Try to take your doses of retigabine at the same times each day. This will help you to avoid missing any.
- If you do forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember and then leave at least three hours before you take your next dose. After this, continue to take your doses at your usual times. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.
- Retigabine can colour your urine. This is nothing to worry about. If, however, you have any difficulties passing urine or any pain when you pass urine, you must tell your doctor about this as soon as possible.
- When you first start a new treatment for epilepsy there may be a change in the number or type of seizures you experience. Your doctor will advise you about this.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable for you to take alongside your other medicines. This is because some medicines and herbal remedies (such as St John's wort) should not be taken with retigabine.
- If you are a woman and want to have a family, make sure you discuss this with your doctor well in advance of becoming pregnant. This is so that you can be given advice from a specialist before you become pregnant. If you become pregnant while you are taking retigabine, you must tell your doctor straightaway.
- If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor for advice about taking retigabine and alcohol. Drinking alcohol may increase the risk of side-effects and may not be recommended for you.
- While you are taking retigabine, there is a small risk that you may develop mood changes or distressing feelings, and thoughts about suicide. If this happens, you must tell your doctor straightaway.
- People with epilepsy must stop driving at first. Your doctor will advise you about when it may be possible for you to resume driving again. This will usually be after a year free of seizures.
- If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking retigabine because it can affect the way some anaesthetics work.
- Do not stop taking this medicine unless your doctor tells you to do so. Stopping retigabine suddenly can cause problems and your doctor will probably want you to reduce your dose gradually if this is necessary.
Can retigabine cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common retigabine side-effects - these affect around 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling dizzy, tired or sleepy
Blurred sight or double vision
|If any of these happen, do not drive or use tools or machines|
|Feeling sick, indigestion||Stick to simple meals - avoid rich and spicy food|
|Constipation||Eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water each day|
|Dry mouth||Try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking sugar-free sweets|
|Difficulties passing urine||Let your doctor know about this as soon as possible|
|Feeling confused or disorientated, thinking or believing things that are not real||Let your doctor know about this as soon as possible|
|Increased appetite, feeling unsteady or shaky, forgetfulness, vertigo (a spinning sensation), numbness or tingling feelings||If any of these become troublesome, let your doctor know|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store retigabine
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 62nd Edition (Sep 2011) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Trobalt®; Manufacturer's PIL, Trobalt®, GlaxoSmithKline UK, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated March 2011.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr Hannah Gronow|
|Last Checked: 14/03/2012||Document ID: 13856 Version: 1||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.