Clobazam for epilepsy (Frisium, Tapclob)

Clobazam may cause you to feel sleepy, particularly when you first start taking it.

Continue to take it regularly. You must not stop taking it without speaking with your doctor first, as this may cause problems.

Do not drink alcohol whilst you are on clobazam.

About clobazam for epilepsy

Type of medicine A benzodiazepine anti-epileptic
Used for Epilepsy
Also called Frisium®, Tapclob®
Available as Tablets and oral liquid medicine

Clobazam is used alongside other medicines to treat epileptic disease and seizures. It can be taken by both adults and older children.

A seizure is a short episode of symptoms which is caused by a burst of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Clobazam controls the symptoms of seizures by reducing these abnormal electrical activities. It also relaxes muscles that contract, or stiffen, during a seizure. This means that the numbers of seizures are reduced and they are less severe.

Before taking clobazam

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 clobazam it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you have breathing problems or lung disease.
  • If you have problems with your liver or kidneys.
  • If you have a condition causing muscle weakness, such as myasthenia gravis.
  • If you have a condition called sleep apnoea syndrome, where you have short periods in your sleep where you stop breathing.
  • If you have ever had drug or alcohol problems.
  • If you have ever had depression, or thoughts about harming yourself.
  • If you have spinal or cerebellar ataxia. This is where you may become shaky and unsteady, have slurred speech or rapid eye movements.
  • 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 clobazam

  • Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. The leaflet will give you more information about clobazam and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
  • Take clobazam exactly as your doctor has told you to. You may be advised to take a smaller 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.
  • Clobazam is usually taken as a once-daily dose, usually at bedtime. Try to take it at the same time each day, and try to avoid missing any doses.
  • Swallow the tablets whole with a drink of water. If you have been given liquid medicine, shake the bottle gently before measuring out a dose. You can take clobazam before or after meals.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember, but 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.
  • Clobazam may make you feel sleepy, especially when you first start treatment. Do not drink alcohol, as it will increase the likelihood that you experience this side-effect.
  • 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 clobazam, 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.
  • Taking benzodiazepines like clobazam may lead to the development of dependence. This is where your body becomes dependent on the medicine. If you are concerned about this, you should discuss it with your doctor.
  • Taking clobazam over a period of time may make you become tolerant to it. If this happens, it will not be as effective for you as it once was. If you think this is happening to you, please discuss it with your doctor.
  • 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 clobazam 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 clobazam 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 clobazam cause problems?

Along with the general comments made above, clobazam 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.

Possible clobazam side-effects What can I do if I experience this?
Feeling sleepy or dizzy, slowed reactions If this happens do not use tools or machines
Feeling unsteady or weak, poor co-ordination, unusual eye movements, poor concentration, feeling forgetful or confused If any of these become troublesome, discuss them with your doctor
Double vision, headaches, dry mouth, constipation, loss of appetite, feeling sick, shaking fingers Discuss these 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 clobazam

  • 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 Tapclob® Oral Suspension has been opened it will keep for 28 days - after this time, make sure you have a fresh supply of medicine.