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Consider Felbatol


Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by recurring spontaneous seizures. The goal of treatment of epilepsy is freedom from seizures without unacceptable side effects. In the majority of cases, seizures can be controlled with a single antiepileptic drug (AED). However, 30-40% of patients continue to have seizures despite adequate trials of standard AEDs used alone or in combination. These patients are said to have refractory or intractable epilepsy.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/MedWatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information about FELBATOL, call Meda Pharmaceuticals Inc. at 1-800-526-3840.






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Indication
  • FELBATOL (felbamate) should not be used as initial therapy in epilepsy (see Warnings in full Prescribing Information).
  • FELBATOL is recommended for use only in those patients who do not respond well to other treatments and whose epilepsy is so severe that the potential risk of developing aplastic anemia (a severe blood disorder) or liver failure is outweighed by the potential benefit of felbamate treatment.
  • After the patient or their caregiver has discussed the potential risks of Felbatol treatment with their doctor and have provided written consent, FELBATOL treatment can be considered. FELBATOL, by itself or in combination with other drugs is approved for the treatment of partial seizures, with or without generalization, in adults with epilepsy, and as combination therapy in the treatment of partial and generalized seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in children.
Important Risk Information
  • FELBATOL should not be used in patients with a history of any blood or liver problems.
  • Routine blood tests should be performed that can help identify potential blood or liver problems.
  • FELBATOL should be discontinued if there is evidence that blood or liver problems have occurred.
  • Monitor for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in mood or behavior.
  • The most common adverse experiences observed in clinical studies are loss of appetite, vomiting, insomnia, nausea, headache, and sleepiness.
Please see the full Prescribing Information for additional safety information.


WARNING
1. APLASTIC ANEMIA THE USE OF FELBATOL® (felbamate) IS ASSOCIATED WITH A MARKED INCREASE IN THE INCIDENCE OF APLASTIC ANEMIA. ACCORDINGLY, FELBATOL® SHOULD ONLY BE USED IN PATIENTS WHOSE EPILEPSY IS SO SEVERE THAT THE RISK OF APLASTIC ANEMIA IS DEEMED ACCEPTABLE IN LIGHT OF THE BENEFITS CONFERRED BY ITS USE (SEE INDICATIONS). ORDINARILY, A PATIENT SHOULD NOT BE PLACED ON AND/OR CONTINUED ON FELBATOL® WITHOUT CONSIDERATION OF APPROPRIATE EXPERT HEMATOLOGIC CONSULTATION.
AMONG FELBATOL® TREATED PATIENTS, APLASTIC ANEMIA (PANCYTOPENIA IN THE PRESENCE OF A BONE MARROW LARGELY DEPLETED OF HEMATOPOIETIC PRECURSORS) OCCURS AT AN INCIDENCE THAT MAY BE MORE THAN A 100 FOLD GREATER THAN THAT SEEN IN THE UNTREATED POPULATION (I.E., 2 TO 5 PER MILLION PERSONS PER YEAR). THE RISK OF DEATH IN PATIENTS WITH APLASTIC ANEMIA GENERALLY VARIES AS A FUNCTION OF ITS SEVERITY AND ETIOLOGY; CURRENT ESTIMATES OF THE OVERALL CASE FATALITY RATE ARE IN THE RANGE OF 20 TO 30%, BUT RATES AS HIGH AS 70% HAVE BEEN REPORTED IN THE PAST.
THERE ARE TOO FEW FELBATOL® ASSOCIATED CASES, AND TOO LITTLE KNOWN ABOUT THEM TO PROVIDE A RELIABLE ESTIMATE OF THE SYNDROME’S INCIDENCE OR ITS CASE FATALITY RATE OR TO IDENTIFY THE FACTORS, IF ANY, THAT MIGHT CONCEIVABLY BE USED TO PREDICT WHO IS AT GREATER OR LESSER RISK.
IN MANAGING PATIENTS ON FELBATOL®, IT SHOULD BE BORNE IN MIND THAT THE CLINICAL MANIFESTATION OF APLASTIC ANEMIA MAY NOT BE SEEN UNTIL AFTER A PATIENT HAS BEEN ON FELBATOL® FOR SEVERAL MONTHS (E.G., ONSET OF APLASTIC ANEMIA AMONG FELBATOL® EXPOSED PATIENTS FOR WHOM DATA ARE AVAILABLE HAS RANGED FROM 5 TO 30 WEEKS). HOWEVER, THE INJURY TO BONE MARROW STEM CELLS THAT IS HELD TO BE ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ANEMIA MAY OCCUR WEEKS TO MONTHS EARLIER. ACCORDINGLY, PATIENTS WHO ARE DISCONTINUED FROM FELBATOL® REMAIN AT RISK FOR DEVELOPING ANEMIA FOR A VARIABLE, AND UNKNOWN, PERIOD AFTERWARDS.
IT IS NOT KNOWN WHETHER OR NOT THE RISK OF DEVELOPING APLASTIC ANEMIA CHANGES WITH DURATION OF EXPOSURE. CONSEQUENTLY, IT IS NOT SAFE TO ASSUME THAT A PATIENT WHO HAS BEEN ON FELBATOL® WITHOUT SIGNS OF HEMATOLOGIC ABNORMALITY FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME IS WITHOUT RISK.
IT IS NOT KNOWN WHETHER OR NOT THE DOSE OF FELBATOL® AFFECTS THE INCIDENCE OF APLASTIC ANEMIA. IT IS NOT KNOWN WHETHER OR NOT CONCOMITANT USE OF ANTIEPILEPTIC DRUGS AND/OR OTHER DRUGS AFFECTS THE INCIDENCE OF APLASTIC ANEMIA.
APLASTIC ANEMIA TYPICALLY DEVELOPS WITHOUT PREMONITORY CLINICAL OR LABORATORY SIGNS, THE FULL BLOWN SYNDROME PRESENTING WITH SIGNS OF INFECTION, BLEEDING, OR ANEMIA. ACCORDINGLY, ROUTINE BLOOD TESTING CANNOT BE RELIABLY USED TO REDUCE THE INCIDENCE OF APLASTIC ANEMIA, BUT, IT WILL, IN SOME CASES, ALLOW THE DETECTION OF THE HEMATOLOGIC CHANGES BEFORE THE SYNDROME DECLARES ITSELF CLINICALLY. FELBATOL® SHOULD BE DISCONTINUED IF ANY EVIDENCE OF BONE MARROW DEPRESSION OCCURS.
2. HEPATIC FAILURE
EVALUATION OF POSTMARKETING EXPERIENCE SUGGESTS THAT ACUTE LIVER FAILURE IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE USE OF FELBATOL®. THE REPORTED RATE IN THE U.S. HAS BEEN ABOUT 6 CASES OF LIVER FAILURE LEADING TO DEATH OR TRANSPLANT PER 75,000 PATIENT YEARS OF USE. THIS RATE IS AN UNDERESTIMATE BECAUSE OF UNDER REPORTING, AND THE TRUE RATE COULD BE CONSIDERABLY GREATER THAN THIS. FOR EXAMPLE, IF THE REPORTING RATE IS 10%, THE TRUE RATE WOULD BE ONE CASE PER 1,250 PATIENT YEARS OF USE. OF THE CASES REPORTED, ABOUT 67% RESULTED IN DEATH OR LIVER TRANSPLANTATION, USUALLY WITHIN 5 WEEKS OF THE ONSET OF SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF LIVER FAILURE. THE EARLIEST ONSET OF SEVERE HEPATIC DYSFUNCTION FOLLOWED SUBSEQUENTLY BY LIVER FAILURE WAS 3 WEEKS AFTER INITIATION OF FELBATOL®. ALTHOUGH SOME REPORTS DESCRIBED DARK URINE AND NONSPECIFIC PRODROMAL SYMPTOMS (E.G., ANOREXIA, MALAISE, AND GASTROINTESTINAL SYMPTOMS), IN OTHER REPORTS IT WAS NOT CLEAR IF ANY PRODROMAL SYMPTOMS PRECEDED THE ONSET OF JAUNDICE. IT IS NOT KNOWN WHETHER OR NOT THE RISK OF DEVELOPING HEPATIC FAILURE CHANGES WITH DURATION OF EXPOSURE.
IT IS NOT KNOWN WHETHER OR NOT THE DOSAGE OF FELBATOL® AFFECTS THE INCIDENCE OF HEPATIC FAILURE. IT IS NOT KNOWN WHETHER CONCOMITANT USE OF OTHER ANTIEPILEPTIC DRUGS AND/OR OTHER DRUGS AFFECT THE INCIDENCE OF HEPATIC FAILURE.
FELBATOL® SHOULD NOT BE PRESCRIBED FOR ANYONE WITH A HISTORY OF HEPATIC DYSFUNCTION. TREATMENT WITH FELBATOL® SHOULD BE INITIATED ONLY IN INDIVIDUALS WITHOUT ACTIVE LIVER DISEASE AND WITH NORMAL BASELINE SERUM TRANSAMINASES. IT HAS NOT BEEN PROVED THAT PERIODIC SERUM TRANSAMINASE TESTING WILL PREVENT SERIOUS INJURY BUT IT IS GENERALLY BELIEVED THAT EARLY DETECTION OF DRUG-INDUCED HEPATIC INJURY ALONG WITH IMMEDIATE WITHDRAWAL OF THE SUSPECT DRUG ENHANCES THE LIKELIHOOD FOR RECOVERY. THERE IS NO INFORMATION AVAILABLE THAT DOCUMENTS HOW RAPIDLY PATIENTS CAN PROGRESS FROM NORMAL LIVER FUNCTION TO LIVER FAILURE, BUT OTHER DRUGS KNOWN TO BE HEPATOTOXINS CAN CAUSE LIVER FAILURE RAPIDLY (E.G., FROM NORMAL ENZYMES TO LIVER FAILURE IN 2-4 WEEKS). ACCORDINGLY, MONITORING OF SERUM TRANSAMINASE LEVELS (AST AND ALT) IS RECOMMENDED AT BASELINE AND PERIODICALLY THEREAFTER. WHILE THE MORE FREQUENT THE MONITORING THE GREATER THE CHANCES OF EARLY DETECTION, THE PRECISE SCHEDULE FOR MONITORING IS A MATTER OF CLINICAL JUDGEMENT. FELBATOL® SHOULD BE DISCONTINUED IF EITHER SERUM AST OR SERUM ALT LEVELS BECOME INCREASED = 2 TIMES THE UPPER LIMIT OF NORMAL, OR IF CLINICAL SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS SUGGEST LIVER FAILURE (SEE PRECAUTIONS). PATIENTS WHO DEVELOP EVIDENCE OF HEPATOCELLULAR INJURY WHILE ON FELBATOL® AND ARE WITHDRAWN FROM THE DRUG FOR ANY REASON SHOULD BE PRESUMED TO BE AT INCREASED RISK FOR LIVER INJURY IF FELBATOL® IS REINTRODUCED. ACCORDINGLY, SUCH PATIENTS SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR RETREATMENT.