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Clobazam for preventing seizures

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Clobazam for preventing seizures

This leaflet is about the use of clobazam to prevent epileptic seizures. (Seizures may also be called convulsions or fits.)

This leaflet has been written specifically for parents and carers about the use of this medicine in children. The information may differ from that provided by the manufacturer. Please read this leaflet carefully. Keep it somewhere safe so that you can read it again.

Name of drug

Clobazam
Brand name:
Frisium®

Why is it important for my child to take this medicine?

It is important that your child takes clobazam regularly so that they have fewer seizures.

What is clobazam available as?

  • white tablets (10 mg); these contain lactose
  • 5 mg tablets can be ordered specially; these may also contain lactose
  • a liquid medicine can be ordered specially from your pharmacist but it may take up to 3 weeks to supply

When should I give clobazam?

Clobazam is usually given twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening. Ideally, these times are 10–12 hours
apart, for example sometime between 7 and 8 am and between 7 and 8 pm.
Your doctor may tell you to start by giving clobazam once a day until your child gets used to it. This is usually in the evening.

How much should I give?

Your doctor will work out the amount of clobazam (the dose) that is right for your child. The dose will be shown on the medicine label.
When you first start giving clobazam to your child, you will give them a small amount and then increase the dose bit by bit over a few days or weeks. This helps your child to get used to the medicine. Your doctor will explain what to do.

It is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions about how much to give.

How should I give it?

Tablets: These should be swallowed whole with a glass of water, milk or juice. Your child should not chew the tablets.
You can crush the tablet and mix it with a small amount of soft food (e.g. yogurt, honey or jam) or a drink (water or juice). Your child should swallow the food straight away, without chewing. Make sure they swallow all the food or drink.

Liquid medicine: measure out the right amount using a proper medicine spoon or oral syringe. You can get these from your pharmacist. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not give the right amount.

When should the medicine start working?

It will take a few days, possibly up to a week, for clobazam to work properly, so your child may still have seizures during this time. This is because the amount of medicine has to be increased slowly. Continue to give the medicine as you have been told to by your doctor.

What if my child is sick (vomits)?

  • If your child is sick less than 30 minutes after taking a dose of clobazam, give the same dose again.
  • If your child is sick more than 30 minutes after taking a dose of clobazam, you do not need to give them another dose. Wait until the next normal dose.

What if I forget to give it?

If you remember up to 4 hours after you should have given a dose, give your child the missed dose. For example, if you usually give a dose at 7 am, you can give the missed dose at any time up to 11 am. If you remember after that time, do not give the missed dose. Wait until it is time to give the next normal dose.

Never give a ‘double’ dose of clobazam.

What if I give too much?

If you think you may have given your child too much clobazam, contact your doctor or NHS Direct (0845 4647 in England and Wales; 08454 24 24 24 in Scotland) or take your child to hospital.
Take the medicine container or pack with you, even if it is empty. This will be useful to the doctor. Have the packet with you if you telephone for advice.

Are there any possible side-effects?

We use medicines to make our children better, but sometimes they cause effects that we don’t want (side-effects).
Clobazam usually causes only mild side-effects, which should get better as your child’s body gets used to the medicine.

  • Your child may be drowsy (sleepy), have little energy, or have difficult with coordination or balance. They may also be aggressive or easily irritated. These effects should get better after about a week. If they don’t, contact your doctor.
  • A few children get a mild tremor (shakiness) of their fingers. This should get better after 2–3 weeks. If it doesn’t, contact your doctor.

Can other common medicines be given at the same time as clobazam?

  • You can give your child medicines that contain paracetamol or ibuprofen, unless your doctor has told you not to.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving any other medicines to your child. This includes herbal or complementary medicines.

Epilepsy and pregnancy

  • Pregnancy presents a risk to both the mother with epilepsy and her unborn baby. If your daughter has sex, it is essential that she uses adequate contraception to prevent an unplanned pregnancy.
  • If your daughter is worried that she may be pregnant, it is important that she sees your family doctor as early as possible. Your daughter should keep taking her medication until she sees her doctor.

Clobazam and pregnancy

  • Clobazam may harm an unborn baby.
  • The oral contraceptive pill can be used safely by women or girls who are taking clobazam.

Is there anything else I need to know about this medicine?

  • You may find that clobazam starts to work less well when your child has been taking it for several months, or even after a year, and they may start to have more seizures. If this happens, contact your doctor.
  • Some girls have seizures only around the time of their period. In this case, the hospital doctor may suggest that your daughter starts taking clobazam when her period is due, and continues for 5–7 days, depending on how long it lasts. She should take it twice a day (morning and evening as described overleaf).

General advice about medicines for seizures

Do not suddenly stop giving any of these medicines to your child, as they may have a seizure. If you are worried, talk to your doctor but carry on giving the medicine to your child as usual.

If your child seems to have more seizures than usual, contact your doctor or epilepsy nurse.

  • If your doctor decides to stop a particular medicine, they will discuss this with you. You will usually reduce the dose bit by bit.

Do not change the dose of any drug without talking to your doctor first.

  • It is best that your child always has the same brand of each medicine, as there may be differences between brands. Keep a record of which medicines your child has.
  • Try to give medicines at about the same times every day, to help you remember.
  • Only give the medicine(s) to your child. Never give them to anyone else, even if their condition appears to be the same, as this could do harm.

If you think someone else may have taken the medicine by accident, contact your doctor straight away.

  • Make sure that you always have enough medicine. Order a new prescription at least 2 weeks before you will run out.
  • Make sure that the medicines you have at home have not reached the ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date on the packaging. Give old medicines to your pharmacist to dispose of.

Where I should keep this medicine?

  • Keep the medicine in a cupboard, away from heat and direct sunlight. It does not need to be kept in the fridge.
  • Make sure that children cannot see or reach the medicine.
    Keep the medicine in the container it came in.

Who to contact for more information

Your child’s hospital doctor, epilepsy nurse or pharmacist will be able to give you more information about clobazam and other medicines used to treat epilepsy.
You can also get useful information from these organisations.

You can also get useful information from: 
Publication date: 
09/12/2011

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