Aptiom

1 What is Aptiom?

Brand: Aptiom

Generic: Eslicarbazepine

Aptiom belongs to a class of medicines called anti-epileptic drugs. It is often used alone or together with other medicines to control partial-onset seizures (convulsions) in the treatment of epilepsy.

Eslicarbazepine acetate is a prodrug that is activated to eslicarbazepine (S-licarbazepine), the major active metabolite of oxcarbazepine. It stabilizes neuronal membranes by blocking sodium channels; this may inhibit repetitive firing and may decrease the propagation of synaptic impulses.

It may also increase potassium conductances and modulate the activity of high-voltage activated calcium channels. However, this medicine cannot cure epilepsy and will only work to control seizures as long as you continue to take it.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription. This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Tablet

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Aptiom, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. The suitable drug therapy is usually chosen by a doctor with the active participation of the patient.

There are some important factors such as drug interactions, the presence of any metabolic impairment, history of hypersensitivity reaction, pregnancy, lactation etc. which may alter the desired therapeutic effects of a medicine.

Sometimes the presence of other health disorders affects the beneficial effects of this medicine and even may cause serious toxic effects. If you have had any allergic reactions to any medicine then you must tell your doctor about that. The use of eslicarbazepine is contraindicated in those who are hypersensitive to this drug or any of the ingredients of the formulation.

Make sure you inform your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Second or third degree atrioventricular (AV) block
  • Depression
  • Hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood)
  • Mental illness—Use with caution because this drug may make these conditions worse.
  • Kidney disease—Use with caution as the effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Although there are no known drug interactions and none well documented, it is advised to consult with your doctor if you are in need of some other medications or even any over-the-counter medicine for another health problem in order to avoid unwanted toxic effects.

Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect, and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Thus, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.

Besides, caution should be exercised when used in lactating women because there are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding.

3 Proper Usage

To use Aptiom properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. The dosage schedule and the duration of drug therapy should be individualized and determined based on the physician’s advice.

The therapeutic dose may also vary with the patient’s condition or requirement and the strength of the medicine as well. This medicine comes with patient information. You should read and follow the instructions carefully before using this medicine.

However, the recommended starting dose is 400 mg once daily which should be increased to 800 mg once daily after one or two weeks. Based on individual response, the dose may be increased to 1,200 mg once daily. The safety and efficacy of eslicarbazepine acetate in children and adolescents below 18 years has not yet been established.

You should use this medicine following the directions were given by your doctor. If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. But, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Do not use this drug in larger amounts, more often, or for a longer time than your doctor ordered. Further, it is advised to store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

All kinds of medicines should be kept out of the reach of children. However, outdated medicines should be disposed of by an appropriate way.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Aptiom, there are some precautions you must take. Firstly, regular visits to your doctor are recommended to check that this medicine is working properly or not.

Additionally, the following guidelines should be followed to prevent unwanted complications as well as for the better prognosis of the patients:

Eslicarbazepine may cause some people to be agitated, irritable, or display other abnormal behaviors, such as feeling sad or hopeless, getting upset easily, or feeling nervous, restless, or hostile. It may also cause some people to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies or to become more depressed. If you notice any of these side effects, tell your doctor right away.

Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have to blister, peeling, or loose skin, red skin lesions, severe acne or skin rash, sores or ulcers on the skin, or fever or chills while you are using this medicine.

This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions affecting multiple body organs (e.g., liver, kidneys). Check with your doctor right away if you have the following symptoms: a fever, dark urine, headache, rash, stomach pain, swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin, unusual tiredness, or yellow eyes or skin.

This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis and angioedema. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you are using this medicine.

This medicine may cause hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood). Check with your doctor right away if you have confusion, decreased urine output, dizziness, fast or irregular heartbeat, headache, muscle pain or cramps, nausea or vomiting, swelling of the face, ankles, or hands, or unusual tiredness or weakness while you are using this medicine.

Eslicarbazepine may cause some people to be dizzy, drowsy, clumsy, tired, or have vision changes. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert or able to see well. If these reactions are especially bothersome, check with your doctor.

Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.

Do not suddenly stop taking this medicine without checking first with your doctor. If you have been instructed to stop taking eslicarbazepine, ask your doctor how to slowly decrease the dose. This will decrease your chance of having more seizures.

Some birth control pills may not work as well while you are using this medicine. You might need additional forms of birth control with your pills to avoid getting pregnant. Discuss this with your doctor.

Before you have any medical tests, tell the medical doctor in charge that you are taking this medicine. The results of some tests may be affected by this medicine.

Do not use any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement without checking with your doctor.

5 Potential Side Effects

Make sure you meet with your doctor in using Aptiom to avoid unwanted potential side effects. Along with the beneficial effects, this medicine may cause some unwanted effects that may not need any medical attention.

These side effects usually go away during the treatment episode as your body adjusts to the medicine. Your healthcare professional may advise you about the ways how to prevent or reduce those unwanted side effects.

Sometimes you may need to consult with the doctor if you notice any of the following toxic effects:

  • Sedation
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Diplopia (seeing double)
  • Ataxia (difficulty in coordinating movements)
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rashes
  • Unsteadiness
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Shaking
  • Decreased appetite
  • Difficulty in sleeping

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

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