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(roo-fin-a-mide) ,


(trade name)


Therapeutic: anticonvulsants
Pharmacologic: triazoles
Pregnancy Category: C


Adjunctive treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in patients >4 yr.


Although antiepileptic mechanism is unknown, rufinamide modulates the activity of sodium channels, prolonging the inactive state of the channel.

Therapeutic effects

Decreased incidence and severity of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.


Absorption: 85% absorbed following oral administration; food enhances absorption.
Distribution: Evenly distributed between erythrocytes and plasma.
Metabolism and Excretion: Extensively metabolized; metabolites are primarily renally excreted.
Half-life: 6–10 hr.

Time/action profile

POunknown4–6 hr12 hr


Contraindicated in: Hypersensitivity; Familial short QT syndrome; Severe hepatic impairment.
Use Cautiously in: All patients (may ↑ risk of suicidal thoughts/behaviors); Mild to moderate hepatic impairment.

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects

Central nervous system

  • suicidal thoughts (life-threatening)
  • dizziness (most frequent)
  • fatigue (most frequent)
  • headache (most frequent)
  • somnolence (most frequent)

Ear, Eye, Nose, Throat

  • diplopia


  • QT prolongation


  • nausea (most frequent)
  • changes in appetite


  • urinary frequency


  • rash


  • anemia


  • ataxia
  • coordination abnormalities
  • gait disturbances


  • Multi-organ hypersensitivity reactions (life-threatening)
  • hypersensitivity reactions (↑ in children)


Drug-Drug interaction

Potent inducers of the CYP450 enzyme including carbamazepine, phenytoin, primidone, and phenobarbital ↑ clearance and may ↓ blood levels.Valproate ↓ clearance and may ↑ blood levels; valproate should be started at a low dose in patients stabilized on rufinamide. In patients stabilized on valproate, rufinamide should be started at a low dose.May ↓ blood levels and effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives.May ↑ blood levels of phenytoin.


Oral (Adults) 400–800 mg/day in two divided doses, ↑ by 400–800 mg every 2 days until a maximum daily dose of 3200 mg/day (1600 mg twice daily) is reached.
Oral (Children ≥ 4 yr) 10 mg/kg/day in two divided doses, ↑ by 10 mg/kg every 2 days until a maximum daily dose of 45 mg/kg/day or 3200 mg/day given in 2 divided doses, whichever is less, is reached.


Tablets: 100 mg, 200 mg, 400 mg
Oral suspensionorange-flavor: 40 mg/mL

Nursing implications

Nursing assessment

  • Assess location, duration, and characteristics of seizure activity. Institute seizure precautions.
  • Monitor closely for notable changes in behavior that could indicate the emergence or worsening of suicidal thoughts or behavior or depression.
  • Lab Test Considerations: May cause leukopenia, anemia, neutropenia, and thrombocytopenia.

Potential Nursing Diagnoses

Risk for injury (Indications)


  • Oral: Administer with food. Tablets can be cut in half for dosing flexibility. Tablets may be administered as whole or half tablets, or crushed.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patient to take rufinamide around the clock, as directed. Medication should be gradually discontinued over by 25% every 2 days to prevent seizures. Advise patient to read the Medication Guide before starting therapy and with each Rx refill.
  • May cause drowsiness, dizziness, ataxia, and incoordination. Caution patient to avoid driving or other activities requiring alertness until response to medication is known. Tell patient not to resume driving until physician gives clearance based on control of seizure disorder.
  • Inform patients and families of risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and advise that behavioral changes, emergency or worsening signs and symptoms of depression, unusual changes in mood, or emergence of suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts of self-harm should be reported to health care professional immediately.
  • Instruct patient to notify health care professional if signs of multiorgan hypersensitivity reactions (fever, rash, fatigue, jaundice, dark urine) occur.
  • Instruct patient to notify health care professional of all Rx or OTC medications, vitamins, or herbal products being taken and consult health care professional before taking any new medications and to avoid taking alcohol or other CNS depressants concurrently with rufinamide.
  • Advise female patients to notify health care professional if pregnancy is planned or suspected or if breastfeeding. Use of rufinamide decreases effectiveness of oral contraceptives. Advise patient to use a nonhormonal method of contraception during therapy.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

  • Decreased frequency and intensity of seizure activity.
Drug Guide, © 2015 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
Eisai's medicines in Europe include Aricept[R] (donepezil hydrochloride) used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, Pariet[R] (rabeprazole sodium) a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) used in the treatment of gastro-intestinal disorders, Zonegran[R] (zonisamide) for the treatment of epilepsy, Inovelon[R] (rufinamide) for Lennox Gastaut Syndrome, NeuroBloc[R] (botulinum toxin type B) for cervical dystonia and Prialt[R] (ziconotide) for severe, chronic pain.
Within the class, the medications with the highest risk were zonisamide, rufinamide, and clorazepate, which had about 70-, 60-, and 56-fold higher odds for SJS and TEN, compared with all other medications.
announced today that the latest data on its antiepileptic drugs (AED) perampanel (product name: Fycompa) and rufinamide (product name: Inovelon, U.S.
This EAG1 mutation with gain-of-function compared to that in other [K.sup.+] channels with loss-of-function indicates that the mechanisms mediating the epilepsy may be different from that in classical types of epilepsy [109], although some sodium channel blockers and GABA receptor agonists such as rufinamide, topiramate, and nitrazepam have been used to control seizures on the KCNH1 mutation-affected cases [22].
Onfi (Clobazam) and Banzel (Rufinamide) are also two additional new AED's that have been approved for seizures associated with those with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), a devastating form of epilepsy often manifested by an uncommon number of seizures a day.
Several new anticonvulsants like vigabatrin, lamotrigine, gabapentin, topiramate, felbamate, rufinamide, and levetiracetam have been recently introduced in clinical practices.
This edition has 200 new monographs, new and updated interactions advice, and the addition of drugs like febuxostat, ivabradine, lacosamide, pitavastatin, retigabine (ezogabine), rufinamide, and ulipristal.
23 September 2011 - Canadian Eisai Limited, part of Japan's Eisai Co Ltd (TYO:4523), said yesterday that Health Canada had cleared Banzel (rufinamide) for the adjunctive treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) in children 4 years of age and older as well as adults.
The oral suspension formulation of the product, which is known by its chemical name of rufinamide, is bioequivalent to the currently marketed Banzel tablet formulation on a milligram-per-milligram basis, according to the company.