Onfi (clobazam): Drug Safety Communication - Risk of Serious Skin Reactions

December 3, 2013

Audience: Neurology, Pharmacy, Dermatology

ISSUE: FDA is warning the public that the anti-seizure drug Onfi (clobazam) can cause rare but serious skin reactions that can result in permanent harm and death. FDA approved changes to the Onfi drug label and the patient Medication Guide to describe the risk of these serious skin reactions.   

These skin reactions, called Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), can occur at any time during Onfi treatment. However, the likelihood of skin reactions is greater during the first 8 weeks of treatment or when Onfi is stopped and then re-started. All cases of SJS and TEN in the FDA case series have resulted in hospitalization, one case resulted in blindness, and one case resulted in death. See the FDA Drug Safety Communication for a Data Summary and additional information.

The Onfi drug label has been revised to add information about the risk for serious skin reactions to the Warnings and Precautions section and to the Medication Guide.

BACKGROUND: Onfi is a benzodiazepine medication used in combination with other medicines to treat seizures associated with a severe form of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.

RECOMMENDATION: Patients should be closely monitored for signs or symptoms of SJS/TEN, especially during the first 8 weeks of treatment or when re-introducing therapy. Health care professionals should discontinue use of Onfi and consider an alternate therapy at the first sign of rash, unless it is clearly not drug-related.

Patients taking Onfi should seek immediate medical treatment if they develop a rash, blistering or peeling of the skin, sores in the mouth, or hives. Patients should not stop taking Onfi without first talking to their health care professionals. Stopping Onfi suddenly can cause serious withdrawal problems, such as seizures that will not stop, hallucinations, shaking, nervousness, and stomach or muscle cramps.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

 

[12/03/2013 - Drug Safety Communication - FDA] 
[12/03/2013 - Onfi (clobazam) Prescribing Information]
 

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