Banzel (Rufinamide) Usage Side Effects and More
What is Banzel?
Banzel is a brand-name prescription medication. It’s FDA-approved to treat seizures related to Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). Banzel is approved for this use in combination with other seizure medications. It can be prescribed for adults and children ages 1 year and older.
LGS is a form of epilepsy (seizure disorder that causes recurring seizures). People with LGS typically develop the condition when they’re young. In addition to having seizures, most people with LGS have problems with learning and other disabilities.
Banzel contains the active drug rufinamide. It belongs to a class of medications called antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). A class of medications describes a group of drugs that work in the same way.
Banzel comes as 200-milligram (mg) and 400-mg tablets. It’s also available in a 40 mg per milliliter (mg/mL) liquid suspension. Both forms of Banzel are taken by mouth with food.
In clinical trials, Banzel was effective in decreasing seizures in people with LGS. For example, in a 28-day trial involving both adults and children ages 4 years and older:
-50% of people taking Banzel had at least 32.7% fewer seizures than they had before treatment
-50% of people taking a placebo (treatment with no active drug) had at least 11.7% fewer seizures than they had before treatment
Banzel side effects
Banzel can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Banzel. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.
For more information on the possible side effects of Banzel, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be bothersome.
Mild side effects
Mild side effects of Banzel can include:*
fatigue (lack of energy)
Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects from Banzel aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.
Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:
Depression or other changes in your mood. Symptoms can include:
feeling sad or hopeless
having no interest in things that you usually enjoy
Status epilepticus (seizures lasting at least 5 minutes). Symptoms can include:
falling to the ground
Leukopenia (decreased white blood cell level). Symptoms can include:
fever or chills
infections that won’t go away
Other serious side effects, explained in more detail below in “Side effect details,” include:
suicidal thoughts or behaviors
Side effects in children
In clinical trials, side effects seen in children were similar to those seen in adults. In children ages 3 to 17 years old, the most common side effects were:
fatigue (lack of energy)