Caregivers for Those With Seizures

Living with seizures can be hard. But it can also be hard for people who care for those with seizures.

If you care about someone who has seizures, it is important for you to learn what you can do to help. Some people need more help. Others need less. Be sure to talk openly about what kind of help is needed.

How you can help those you care for:

  • Take note when seizures happen to see if there are certain triggers
  • Help them take medication for seizures as the doctor told them
  • Go with them to doctor appointments
  • Go with them to social and leisure activities
  • Drive them to places they need to go
  • Help make their homes safe
  • Talk through ways to help them stay healthy and lower stress

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What you can do when a seizure happens:

  • Stay close by
  • Remain calm
  • Watch the clock to see how long the seizure lasts. If it’s more than 5 minutes, dial 911
  • Clear items from around the person to keep them safe
  • Try to make the person comfortable
  • Don't try to hold the person down or still
  • Never put anything in the person’s mouth
  • Check for normal breathing
  • Don't give anything to eat or drink until the seizure is over
  • Note what happened before the seizure to see if it’s a trigger

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When you should call for emergency help:

  • The seizure is longer than 5 minutes
  • Seizures happen one after another
  • Breathing is not normal
  • The person is in water when the seizure starts
  • If the seizure causes the person to get hurt
  • If the person asks you to call for help

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What to discuss with the doctor:

Some people take medication, but still have seizures. If that is happening for your family member or friend, talk with the doctor. Better seizure control may be possible.

Many medications treat seizures. The doctor may decide that taking FYCOMPA® could be a good option. You can start by having the person you care for complete these questions.

Ask the doctor about side effects. Medications for seizures, including FYCOMPA, may cause suicidal thoughts or actions. Pay attention to any changes, such as sudden changes in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. Call the doctor between visits if you see any of these signs. Learn more about possible side effects of FYCOMPA.
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How you can care for yourself:

You care for someone else. But you need to take care of yourself, too. Having a healthy mind and body makes you the best caregiver you can be.

  • Don't take on too much at once
  • Reach out to others for support
  • Stay healthy with exercise, food, and sleep

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Next: Tools and Support 

Indication and Important Safety Information

Important Safety Information

FYCOMPA may cause mental (psychiatric) problems, including: new or worse aggressive behavior (including homicidal behavior), hostility, anger, anxiety, or irritability; being suspicious or distrustful (believing things that are not true); seeing objects or hearing things that are not there; confusion; difficulty with memory; other unusual or extreme changes in behavior or mood. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new or worsening mental problems while taking FYCOMPA.

FYCOMPA is a prescription medicine used in people with epilepsy aged 12 and older alone or with other medicines to treat partial-onset seizures with or without secondarily generalized seizures and with other medicines to treat primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures

Pay attention to any changes especially sudden changes in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings and keep all follow-up visits with your healthcare provider as scheduled. Call your healthcare provider between visits as needed, especially if you are worried about symptoms.

Do not stop FYCOMPA without first talking with your healthcare provider. Stopping suddenly can cause serious problems and can cause you to have seizures more often.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Taking FYCOMPA with certain other medicines can cause side effects or reduce either drug’s benefit. These medicines include: birth control, carbamazepine, phenytoin, oxcarbazepine, rifampin, and St. John’s Wort.

What should I avoid while taking FYCOMPA?
Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how FYCOMPA affects you. FYCOMPA may make you dizzy, sleepy, or tired. Do not drink alcohol or take other medicines that make you sleepy or dizzy until you talk to your healthcare provider. FYCOMPA taken with alcohol or medicines that cause sleepiness or dizziness may make your sleepiness or dizziness worse. FYCOMPA when taken with alcohol may also make your mood worse, increase anger, confusion, and depression.

FYCOMPA may cause other serious side effects, including: Dizziness, vertigo (sense of spinning), and problems walking normally. You may have problems walking normally if you are unsteady because you feel dizzy. These symptoms can increase when your dose of FYCOMPA is increased. Your risk of feeling dizzy and having problems walking normally may be higher if you are elderly; Sleepiness and tiredness; Increased risk of falls. Taking FYCOMPA can increase your chance of falling. These falls can cause serious injuries. Your risk of falling may be higher if you are elderly; A serious allergic reaction that may affect your skin or other parts of your body such as your liver, kidneys, heart, or blood cells. This allergic reaction can be life-threatening and can cause death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have: a skin rash, hives; fever or swollen glands that do not go away; swelling of your face; shortness of breath; swelling of the legs; yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes; or dark urine

The most common side effects of FYCOMPA include: dizziness; sleepiness; tiredness; irritability; falls; nausea and vomiting; weight gain; vertigo (sense of spinning); problems walking normally; problems with muscle coordination; headache; bruising; abdominal pain; anxiety

FYCOMPA is a controlled substance (CIII) because it can be abused or lead to drug dependence. Keep FYCOMPA in a safe place to protect it from theft and never give it to anyone else because it may harm them. Selling or giving away FYCOMPA is against the law.

Prescribing Information and Medication Guide for FYCOMPA.