Who is this information for?
- Patients with epilepsy
Drug brand names
Lacosamide is available as 50mg, 100mg, 150mg and 200mg tablets.
A liquid formulation is available, the strength is 10mg / ml and it comes in a 200ml bottle.
An injectable formulation is also available but only for use in a clinical or hospital setting.
- An antiepileptic drug used to reduce seizure frequency or severity. It is often used in cases where other antiepileptic medications have failed. It is usually prescribed alongside other antiepileptic medication.
- Used to treat focal (partial) seizures that may or may not develop into generalised (tonic-clonic, also known as convulsive) seizures.
- Not usually used for any other indication except treatment of epilepsy.
Side effects (the list of side effects is not exhaustive, please refer to product literature for full list)
Side effects become more likely with higher doses of medication and improve if the dose is reduced again. They sometimes occur temporarily when the medication is started or as the dose is increased. If you are also taking other antiepileptic medication, reducing the dose of the other medication rather than lacosamide dose may alleviate these side effects (please only alter doses on advice of your specialist). In our experience side effects usually settle within eight weeks of starting medication. Please consult your doctor, specialist or epilepsy specialist nurse for advice.
Common side effects are:
- Nausea, vomiting and constipation
- Dry mouth, double vision or blurred vision
- Sleepiness and fatigue
- Dizziness and headache
- Itchy skin and / or rash
- Muscle spasm or tremor
Rare side effects are:
- Rarely lacosamide can alter how your heart functions, including slowing of the heart rate. If you have a heart condition please let your specialist know, this will help them decide if this medication is the best choice for you. If you feel unusually light-headed, faint or have shortness of breath whilst taking lacosamide please contact your GP or specialist as soon as possible.
- Lacosamide may cause confusion, aggression and agitation and other mood-related symptoms.
- All antiepileptic medication can cause feelings of depression, or severe mood changes. If you experience any of these please contact your specialist.
- Some patients experience difficulties with speech.
In the event of any of these or other side effects, contact the epilepsy nurse (contact details are at the end of the leaflet), and / or your GP.
There are no reports to indicate that lacosamide affects the contraceptive pill. Lacosamide does not affect the three-month contraceptive injection or the hormone coil (Mirena).
Pregnancy and breast feeding
When taking any anti-epileptic drug, you should ask to see your specialist and discuss the best preparations and doses before you conceive. Once you are already pregnant it is too late to make these changes. The risks to your baby from lacosamide are unknown but it has caused some problems in animal studies. The relevance to humans is unclear.
We recommend you take folic acid 5mg daily twelve weeks prior to conception until the end of weeks 12 of pregnancy.
It is recommended that women taking lacosamide do not breast-feed; there are currently no studies reporting women safely breast feeding whilst taking lacosamide.
Medications such as paracetamol and aspirin can be taken with lacosamide. For any other drugs recommended, always remind your doctor or pharmacist that you take this medication, although problems are unlikely it is important that any possible interaction is checked.
Other useful information
- You can take lacosamide at the same time as you take other medication and with or without food. Ideally the tablets should be swallowed whole. Do not stop taking your medication suddenly or without consultation with your specialist.
- Store lacosamide below 30 ºC in the packaging that it comes in. The liquid should be store below 25ºC, but not refrigerated.
- Keep a record of your seizures when you start any new medication. This will help to determine future drug dosages.
- If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember but do not take two doses at the same time or within six hours of each other.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the epilepsy nurse specialist on 01223 216073.
This information is not exhaustive. Please refer to the patient information leaflet prepared by the manufacturer of your drug which can be found in the medicine packaging.
We are smoke-free
Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.
Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998. www.cuh.nhs.uk/contact-us/accessible-information/
Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge
Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151