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Felbamate (Felbatol®)

By: Dr. Nicholas Dodman

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  • Seizure disorders or convulsions are the physical manifestations of uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain. Recurrent seizures are often classified as epilepsy. While there are numerous causes of convulsions, treatments that control epileptic seizures are relatively limited. Commonly used anticonvulsant drugs include phenobarbital, diazepam (Valium®) and primidone.
  • Felbamate is an anticonvulsant that is not commonly used. Felbamate works by depressing the brain, but exactly how it works is not fully understood. It is believed to reduce acetylcholine levels.
  • Felbamate is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
  • This drug is not approved for use in animals by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but it is prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label drug.

    Brand Names and Other Names

  • This drug is registered for use in humans only.
  • Human formulations: Felbatol® (Wallace)
  • Veterinary formulations: None

    Uses of Felbamate

  • Felbamate is used to treat seizures.
  • It is generally used after other anticonvulsants have not been effective.

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, felbamate can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Felbamate should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • Felbamate should not be used in patients with blood disorders, impaired liver function or impaired kidney function.
  • Felbamate may interact with other medications. Consult your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with felbamate. Such drugs include other anticonvulsants.

    How Felbamate Is Supplied

  • Felbamate is available as 400 mg and 600 mg tablets. There is also a liquid form with a concentration of 600 mg per 5 ml (120 mg/ml).

    Dosing Information

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • The recommended starting dosage in dogs is 7.5 to 10 mg per pound (15 to 20 mg/kg) every 8 hours.
  • Your veterinarian will adjust the dosage depending on its effect on your pet.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian.

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