|Type of medicine||Anti-epileptic|
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. Epilepsy cannot be 'cured', but the seizures can be prevented in most people by suitable anti-epileptic medication. Eslicarbazepine works alongside other anti-epileptic medicines to stabilise the electrical activity of your brain. This prevents the seizures from occurring.
Before taking eslicarbazepine
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 eslicarbazepine 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 heart, 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 eslicarbazepine
- 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 eslicarbazepine you have been given, and a full list of possible side-effects from taking it.
- Take eslicarbazepine exactly as your doctor has told you. Your dose will also be on the label of your pack. You need to take eslicarbazepine regularly every day to prevent the seizures from occurring.
- When first starting this treatment your doctor will give you a small dose (usually half a tablet each day) 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.
- You can take eslicarbazepine tablets before or after meals.
- Try to take your dose of eslicarbazepine at the same time each day. This will help you to avoid missing any of your doses.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the missed dose. 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.
- 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.
- 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 a woman using hormonal contraception ('the pill'), discuss this with your doctor, as you may need to use additional barrier methods of contraception such as condoms while you are on eslicarbazepine. This is because eslicarbazepine makes 'the pill' less effective. If you 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 eslicarbazepine, you must tell your doctor straightaway.
- While you are taking eslicarbazepine, 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.
- If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking eslicarbazepine.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable for you to take alongside your other medicines.
- Do not stop taking this medicine unless your doctor tells you to do so. Stopping eslicarbazepine suddenly can cause problems and your doctor will probably want you to reduce your dose gradually if this is necessary.
Can eslicarbazepine 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 eslicarbazepine 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 or double vision
|Do not drive or use tools or machines|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller|
|Feeling or being sick||Stick to simple meals - avoid rich and spicy food|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace the lost fluids|
|Feeling unsteady, difficulty concentrating, shakiness, vertigo (a spinning sensation)||If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor for advice|
If you develop a severe skin rash or experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store eslicarbazepine
- 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, Zebinix® 800 mg tablets; Manufacturer's PIL, Zebinix® 800 mg tablets, Eisai Ltd, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated November 2011.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr Adrian Bonsall|
|Last Checked: 18/04/2012||Document ID: 13600 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.