Epilepsy safety precautions

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Safety in the home starts with your kitchen and your bathrooms. These are the places where, during and after any seizure, you can become confused and risk injury. Take these seizure precautions to decrease the chance of accidents.

Safeguard your kitchen

  • Use oven mitts and cook only on rear burners
  • If possible, use an electric stove, so there is no open flame
  • Cooking in a microwave is the safest option
  • Ask your plumber to install a heat-control device in your faucet so the water doesn't become too hot
  • Carpet the kitchen floor. This can provide cushioning if you fall
  • Use plastic containers rather than glass when possible

Safeguard your bathroom

  • Install a device in your tub and showerhead that controls temperature. This keeps you from burning yourself if a seizure occurs
  • Carpet the floor—it's softer and less slippery than tile
  • Do not put a lock on the bathroom door. If you have one, never use it. Someone should always be able to get in if you need help
  • Learn to bathe with only a few inches of water in the tub, or use a handheld showerhead

Planning ahead for safety outside the home

Driving. For many people with epilepsy, the risk of seizures restricts their independence, in particular the ability to drive. The Epilepsy Foundation offers a state-by-state database of driving restrictions and regulations on its website. Find out more about driving and epilepsy.

Participating in activities. You can play sports with epilepsy, but it's a good idea to have someone with you who knows how to manage a seizure. Wearing head protection is also recommended when you participate in a contact sport that might cause you to fall or hit your head.

Here are some tips for picking the right physical activities when you are living with epilepsy:

  • If seizures usually occur at a certain time, plan activities when seizures are less likely to happen
  • Avoid extreme heat when exercising and keep hydrated with plenty of water to reduce seizure risks
  • Check with your neurologist before starting any new exercise program

Some activities may be restricted if you have uncontrolled seizures, including:

  • Swimming alone
  • Climbing to unsafe heights
  • Riding a bike in traffic
Indication

Vimpat® (lacosamide) is a prescription medicine that is used with other medicines to treat partial-onset seizures in people 17 years of age and older with epilepsy.

Important Safety Information

Vimpat may not be for everyone. Ask your healthcare provider if Vimpat is right for you.

Warnings and Precautions

Antiepileptic drugs, including Vimpat, may cause suicidal thoughts or actions in a very small number of people, about 1 in 500. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have new or worsening symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior, or suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts about self harm that you have never had before or may be worse than before.

Do not stop taking VIMPAT without first talking to your healthcare provider. Stopping Vimpat suddenly can cause serious problems. Stopping seizure medicine suddenly in a patient who has epilepsy can cause seizures that will not stop.

Vimpat may also cause you to feel dizzy, have double vision, feel sleepy, or have problems with coordination and walking. You should not drive, operate machinery or do other dangerous activities until you know how Vimpat affects you.

Vimpat may cause you to have an irregular heartbeat or may cause you to feel faint. Call your healthcare provider if you have a fast, slow, or pounding heartbeat, shortness of breath, feel lightheaded, or if you fainted or feel like you are going to faint.

Vimpat is a federally controlled substance (C-V) because it can be abused or lead to drug dependence. Keep your Vimpat in a safe place to protect it from theft. Do not give it to anyone else, because it may harm them.

In rare cases, Vimpat may cause a serious allergic reaction that may affect your skin or other parts of your body such as your liver or blood cells. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have a skin rash or hives, fever or swollen glands that do not go away, shortness of breath, swelling of the legs, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, or dark urine.

Before taking Vimpat, tell your healthcare provider if you have or have had depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behavior; have heart, kidney or liver problems; have abused prescription medicines, street drugs or alcohol in the past, are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Vimpat® oral solution contains aspartame, a source of phenylalanine.

Common Adverse Reactions

In clinical trials, the most common side effects seen with Vimpat were dizziness, headache, nausea, and double vision.

Talk to your healthcare provider about other possible side effects with VIMPAT. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see additional patient information in the Patient Medication Guide. This information does not take the place of talking with your healthcare provider about your condition or your treatment.

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