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What is the mechanism of action of Banzel (rufinamide)?

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Nov 23, 2022.

How does Banzel work?

Official answer


Exactly how Banzel (rufinamide) works to prevent epilepsy- its mechanism of action - is not known. However, it’s thought that it may affect sodium channels in the brain which play a role in causing seizures.

Neurons (nerve cells) in the brain generate electrical pulses, which causes the release of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that signal other neurons, muscles and glands. They form part of a communication system that helps control the way your body works, including how you think and feel.

During a seizure, the normal pattern of electrical pulses in the brain changes. Sudden bursts of impulses all at the same time can disrupt how the brain works causing a seizure. Voltage-gated sodium channels are involved in the generation and propagation of electrical pulses in the brain.

Banzel is thought to help prevent seizures by prolonging how long sodium channels remain in an inactive state for. When the sodium channels are in an inactive state they don’t generate and pass on electrical pulses, which helps to prevent the sustained repetitive firing of neurons that causes seizures.

Banzel is used as an add-on treatment for seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.


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