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Lacosamide

Your child needs to take the medicine called lacosamide (say la-koe-sa-mide). This information sheet explains what lacosamide does, how to give it, and what side effects or problems your child may have when he takes this medicine.

What is lacosamide?

Lacosamide is used to treat and prevent certain types of seizures.

It works by reducing the number of seizures that your child may have.

You may hear lacosamide called by its brand name, Vimpat®. Lacosamide comes in a tablet and injection forms.

Before giving this medicine to your child, tell your child’s doctor if your child has:

  • A heart condition where the heart beats too fast or too slow

  • Had an allergic reaction to lacosamide in the past

  • An allergy to peanuts or soy

  • Absence seizures

  • Lennox-Gastaut syndrome

Talk with your child’s doctor or pharmacist if your child has any of the following conditions. Precautions may need to be taken with this medicine if your child has:

  • Diabetes with neuropathy. Neuropathy involves changes in how the nerves work in the hands and feet. It may lead to tingling, numbness and pain in the hands and feet.

  • Heart disease

  • Kidney disease

  • Liver disease  

How should you give your child lacosamide?

Give your child lacosamide:

  • For as long as your child’s doctor or pharmacist tells you, even if your child’s seizures appear under control.

  • Do not stop giving lacosamide to your child. If the medication is stopped suddenly, your child may have seizures more often.

  • If your doctor decides to stop lacosamide for your child, the dose of lacosamide will be reduced gradually.

For a tablet:

  • Give by mouth with or without food. Lacosamide may cause an upset stomach and you may find that giving it with food may prevent this.

If your child is having trouble swallowing the whole tablet, you may choose to crush the tablet and mix it with food that your child may be able to eat. This can include soft foods like applesauce and yogurt. This should be given to your child once the crushed tablet has been mixed with food.

For an injection:

  • Lacosamide injections will be given by a nurse.

What should you do if your child misses a dose?

  • Give the missed dose as soon as you remember.

  • If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose. Give the next dose at the regular time. 

  • Do not give your child two doses to make up for one missed dose.

How long does lacosamide take to work?

It may take 2 to 3 weeks for lacosamide to have its full effect.

What are the possible side effects of lacosamide?

Your child may have some of these side effects while he takes lacosamide. Check with your child's doctor if your child continues to have any of these side effects, if they do not go away, or if they bother your child:

  • Dizziness

  • Unsteady walking

  • Feeling sick to the stomach

  • Sleep problems

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Feeling more tired than usual

  • Forgetfulness

  • Double vision

  • Blurred vision

Call your child’s doctor during office hours if your child has any of these side effects:

  • Unusual eye movements

  • Feeling numb

  • Skin rash

  • More seizures than before taking lacosamide

Most of the following side effects are not common, but they may be a sign of a serious problem. Call your child's doctor right away or take your child to the emergency room if your child has any of these side effects:

  • Heart beating more quickly than usual, with trouble breathing and chest pain

  • Unusual behaviours

  • Changes in mood

What safety measures should you take when your child is using lacosamide?

There are some medicines that should not be taken together with lacosamide or in some cases, the dose of lacosamide or the other medicine may need to be adjusted. It is important that you tell your doctor and pharmacist if your child takes any other medications (prescription, over the counter or herbal) including:

  • Phenytoin (Dilantin®)

  • Phenobarbital

  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol®)

Your child’s alertness and coordination may be affected by the side effects that lacosamide can cause. It may also affect your child’s safety in performing activities like riding a bicycle, swimming and other sports such as gymnastics, soccer and basketball. He should be careful when taking part in these types of activities.

Alcoholic drinks may interfere with how lacosamide works and may make the side effects worse. These should be avoided.

Your doctor may also choose that do an electrocardiogram, at your child’s next appointment. An electrocardiogram is test to see how your child’s heart is beating too fast or too slow.

What other important information should you know?

Keep a list of all medications your child is on and show the list to the doctor or pharmacist.

Do not share your child’s medicine with others and do not give anyone else’s medicine to your child.

Make sure you always have enough lacosamide to last through weekends, holidays, and vacations. Call your pharmacy at least 2 days before your child runs out of medicine to order refills.

Keep lacosamide at room temperature in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Do NOT store it in the bathroom or kitchen.

Do not keep any medicines that are out of date. Check with your pharmacist about the best way to throw away outdated or leftover medicines.

Keep lacosamide out of your child’s sight and reach and locked up in a safe place. If your child takes too much lacosamide, call the Ontario Poison Centre at one of these numbers. These calls are free.

  • Call 416-813-5900 if you live in Toronto.

  • Call 1-800-268-9017 if you live somewhere else in Ontario.

  • If you live outside of Ontario, call your local Poison Information Centre.

Disclaimer: The information in this Family Med-aid is accurate at the time of printing. It provides a summary of information about lacosamide and does not contain all possible information about this medicine. Not all side effects are listed. If you have any questions or want more information about lacosamide, speak to your healthcare provider.

​Elaine Lau, BScPhm, PharmD, MSc, RPh
10/1/2012




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