Lacosamide for epilepsy (Vimpat)

Take lacosamide twice a day. Try not to miss any doses.

The most common side-effects are feeling dizzy, feeling sick, and double vision.

About lacosamide

Type of medicine Anti-epileptic
Used for Epilepsy with partial seizures, in adults and children aged over 16 years
Also called Vimpat®
Available as Tablets, oral solution, and injection

Lacosamide is used alongside other medicines in the treatment of partial seizures, which is a type of epilepsy. A seizure is a short episode of symptoms which is caused by a burst of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. With a partial seizure, the burst of electrical activity is in one part of the brain and therefore you tend to have localised or 'focal' symptoms. Because different parts of the brain control different functions, your symptoms will depend on which part of your brain is affected. Partial seizures can sometimes develop into seizures which affect all of your brain. These are called secondary generalised seizures.

Lacosamide is prescribed for partial seizures which could be followed by secondary generalised seizures. It works by reducing the abnormal electrical activities in your brain.

Before taking lacosamide

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 lacosamide it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you have a heart rhythm disorder.
  • If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.

How to take lacosamide

  • Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. The leaflet will give you more information about lacosamide and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
  • Take lacosamide exactly as your doctor has told you to. You will be asked to take two doses daily, one dose in the morning and one in the evening. You may be advised to take a low dose when you first start taking it, and then to increase your dose as your body gets used to it. Your doctor or pharmacist will explain this to you and your dose will also be on the label of your pack to remind you.
  • You can take lacosamide before or after meals.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out 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 there may be a change in the number or type of seizures you experience. Your doctor will advise you about this.
  • Lacosamide may make you feel dizzy, especially when you first start treatment.
  • Drinking alcohol while you are on lacosamide can increase feelings of dizziness and may not be recommended for you. Ask for your doctor's advice about this.
  • People with epilepsy must stop driving at first. Your doctor will advise you about if and when it may be possible for you to resume driving again.
  • While you are taking lacosamide, there is a small risk that you may develop mood changes or distressing thoughts and feelings about suicide. If this happens, you must tell your doctor straightaway.
  • If you are a woman and want to have a family, make sure you discuss this with your doctor. This is so that you can be given advice from a specialist before you become pregnant.
  • Do not stop taking this medicine unless your doctor tells you to stop. Stopping lacosamide suddenly can cause problems and your doctor will want you to reduce your dose gradually if this is necessary.
  • If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with lacosamide and any other medicines you are taking.
  • If you are due to have an operation or any dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.

Can lacosamide cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, all 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 lacosamide side-effects What can I do if I experience this?
Feeling dizzy, double vision If this happens do not use tools or machines
Headache Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller
Feeling sick, gastric upset Stick to simple foods - avoid rich or spicy meals
Changes in mood, feeling unsteady, feeling weak or tired, dry mouth If any of these become troublesome, discuss them with your doctor

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

How to store lacosamide

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
  • Once a bottle of Vimpat® Syrup has been opened, it will keep for four weeks. After this time, make sure you have a fresh supply.