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Banzel (also called Inovelon) is an antiepileptic drug (AED) that may be prescribed for children or adults living with a severe and rare type of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). The on-set of LGS usually starts in early childhood at around 5 or 6 years of age and appears to affect boys more than girls. There is no cure for epilepsy, but Banzel, along with other anti-seizure medications, will help prevent seizures.
When taken as directed, the active ingredient Rufinamide will attach to the sodium channels on the surface of your brain cells that are responsible for controlling the electrical activity. This action will stop the sodium channels from switching from an inactive state to an active one which results in the reduction of brain cell activity while stopping the abnormal electrical actions from spreading through your brain and causing a seizure.
Developmental setbacks will start to occur once LGS begins around the age of 5. The types of seizures can vary throughout the years with tonic seizures being the most common. Most episodes involves a sudden stiffness of the body, arms, or legs and are brief. They mostly occur during the night, usually without waking the child.
Atonic seizures last only seconds and is referred to as a ‘drop seizure’ where muscle tone is lost briefly but enough that the person drops to the ground. The typical jerking and shaking movements depicted in movies are clonic and myoclonic seizures. As the child with LGS matures, the types of seizures and their frequency can change.
Discuss other medical conditions or allergies with your doctor and list any OTC or Rx medications you or your child currently takes, including herbal remedies and dietary or vitamin supplements, to determine if Banzel and other seizure meds are safe to take.
It’s important for your doctor to monitor your progress while taking Banzel and other AEDs. Report any feelings of depression or thoughts of harming yourself. Banzel can cause hormonal birth control products to be less effective so you should also use condoms, spermicide, or a diaphragm for added protection.
There is always a risk of injuries during a seizure so for younger children, you can have them outfitted with head gear to protect them should they fall. Making your home safe can include removing or padding sharp-edged furniture, gates at the top of stairways, and non-slip mats in the bathtub.