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What is Onfi used to treat?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Jan 11, 2021.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

Key Points

  • Onfi (clobazam) is used in combination with other medicines for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) in patients 2 years of age or older.
  • Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) is a severe form of epilepsy that begins in early childhood and is characterized by different types of seizures and intellectual disability.
  • Onfi works by binding to GABA receptors in the central nervous system (the brain and nerves) and belongs to the benzodiazepine class of drugs. Researchers think it affects neurotransmitters in the brain that affect the way brain cells communicate.
  • Onfi is taken by mouth and comes as a 10 mg or 20 mg oral tablet or as a 2.5 mg/mL suspension. Onfi is manufactured by Lundbeck.

Do NOT stop taking Onfi unless your doctor directs you to stop. If you stop Onfi suddenly, your seizures may worsen or not stop (status epilepticus), you may hear or see things that are not there (hallucinations), or have shaking, nervousness and muscle and stomach cramps.

Why is Onfi a controlled substance?

Onfi is a Schedule IV controlled substance because it has the potential to be abused or lead to dependence. Benzodiazepines can also lead to withdrawal symptoms.

Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever abused or been dependent on alcohol, prescription medicines or street drugs.

Onfi may also lead to extreme drowsiness, dizziness, and impaired motor skills.

Benzodiazepines like Onfi can cause severe drowsiness, breathing problems (respiratory depression), coma, and death when taken with opioid (narcotic) medicines. This drug should be discontinued slowly to avoid triggering a seizure or withdrawal symptoms. Do NOT stop taking Onfi unless you have spoken with your doctor first.

Do not drink alcohol or take other drugs that may make you sleepy or dizzy while taking Onfi until you talk to your doctor. Onfi can worsen your sleepiness or dizziness when taken with alcohol or drugs that cause sleepiness or dizziness.

Check Onfi drug interactions here.

Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how Onfi affects you.

Keep Onfi in a secure place to prevent misuse and abuse. Selling or giving away Onfi may harm others, and is against the law.

What are common side effects with Onfi?

The most common side effects associated with Onfi treatment include:

  • sleepiness
  • drooling
  • constipation
  • cough
  • pain with urination
  • fever
  • acting aggressive, being angry, or violent
  • tiredness
  • difficulty sleeping
  • problems with breathing
  • slurred speech

Serious skin reactions can occur when Onfi is taken with other medicines. Call your healthcare provider immediately or get emergency medical help if you have skin blisters, rash, sores in the mouth, hives or any other allergic reaction. Do NOT stop taking Onfi or change your dose without your doctor’s approval.

These are not all the possible side effects with Onfi. More common and serious side effects and warnings are also outlined in the package labeling. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects or warnings with Onfi.

Review: Onfi side effects and warnings (in detail)

How quickly does Onfi work?

  • Onfi is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream after you take it. It reaches a peak within 30 minutes to 4 hours, but it takes about 7 to 9 days of dosing for the Onfi parent drug (clobazam) to reach a steady state level in the body.
  • Steady state is the time during which the drug levels in the body stays consistent. In other words, steady state is when the rate of the drug going into your body is equal to the rate of drug leaving your body (elimination).
  • The active metabolite N-desmethylclobazam has one-fifth of the activity of the parent drug clobazam, and takes about 2 to 3 weeks to reach steady state.

It may take some time for your doctor to find the dose of Onfi that works best for you.

Although steady state levels are typically reached within 1 to 3 weeks, clinical effectiveness with Onfi can vary from person to person and may take longer due to unique factors such as age, weight, amount of body fluid, additional medications you take, kidney or liver function, or other medical conditions. Ask your doctor how quickly Onfi might work for you, or your child's, condition.

Taking Onfi tablets with food or crushed in applesauce does not affect how well it is absorbed into your body.

Bottom Line

  • Onfi (clobazam) is used in combination with other medicines for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) in patients 2 years of age or older.
  • Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) is a severe form of epilepsy that begins in early childhood and is characterized by different types of seizures and intellectual disability.
  • Onfi works by binding to GABA receptors in the central nervous system (the brain and nerves) and belongs to the benzodiazepine class of drugs. It is a CIV controlled substance.

This is not all the information you need to know about Onfi (clobazam) for safe and effective use. Review the full Onfi information here, and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.

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