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Generic name: rufinamide
Brand name: Banzel
Dosage form: oral tablet, oral suspension
Drug class: Dibenzazepine anticonvulsants

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Apr 4, 2023.

What is rufinamide?

Rufinamide is an anticonvulsant medication which is used as an add-on treatment alongside other antiepileptic medications to treat seizures in people with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome is a rare and severe form of epilepsy that begins early in life.

Rufinamide is a type of drug called a triazole derivative. It is different to other antiepileptic drugs. It is not known exactly how rifinamide works to prevent seizures, but it is thought that it affects sodium channels in the brain that play a role in causing seizures.

Rufinamide was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2008.

What is rufinamide used for?

Rufinamide is a prescription medicine used with other medicines to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) in adults and pediatric patients 1 year of age and older.

It is not known if rufinamide is safe and effective in the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome in pediatric patients under 1 year of age.

Important information

Do not stop taking rufinamide without first talking to your healthcare provider.

Stopping rufinamide suddenly can cause serious problems.

Rufinamide can cause serious side effects, including:

1. Like other antiepileptic drugs, rufinamide may cause suicidal thoughts or actions in a very small number of people, about 1 in 500.

Call a healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you:

How can I watch for early symptoms of suicidal thoughts and actions?

Call your healthcare provider between visits as needed, especially if you are worried about symptoms.

Do not stop rufinamide without first talking to a healthcare provider.

2. Rufinamide may cause you to feel sleepy, tired, weak, dizzy, or have problems with coordination and walking.

Who should not take rufinamide?

Do not take rufinamide if you have a genetic condition called familial short QT syndrome, a problem that affects the electrical system of the heart.

What should I tell my doctor before taking rufinamide?

Before you take rufinamide, tell your healthcare provider if you:

How should I take rufinamide?

What happens if I overdose?

If you take too much rufinamide, call your local Poison Control Center or get emergency medical help right away.

What should I avoid while taking rufinamide?

Dosing information

Pediatric patients year and older:


What are the side effects of rufinamide?

See “Important information”

Rufinamide may cause serious side effects including:

The most common side effects of rufinamide include:

Tell your healthcare provider about any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all of the possible side effects of rufinamide. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Taking rufinamide with certain other medicines can cause side effects or affect how well they work. Do not start or stop other medicines without talking to your healthcare provider.

Rufinamide may make certain types of birth control less effective. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best birth control methods for you while you take rufinamide.

Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist each time you get a new medicine.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if rufinamide can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant while taking rufinamide. You and your healthcare provider will decide if you should take rufinamide while you are pregnant.

If you become pregnant while taking rufinamide, talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry. You can enroll in this registry by calling 1-888-233-2334. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the safety of antiepileptic medicines during pregnancy.

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if rufinamide will pass into your breast milk. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you take rufinamide.


Keep rufinamide and all medicines out of the reach of children.

What are the ingredients in rufinamide?

Active ingredient: rufinamide

Inactive ingredients:

Tablets (Banzel) inactive ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, corn starch crosscarmellose sodium, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and sodium lauryl sulphate, iron oxide red, polyethylene glycol, talc, and titanium dioxide.

Oral Suspension (Banzel) inactive ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose and carboxymethylcellulose sodium, hydroxyethylcellulose, anhydrous citric acid, simethicone emulsion 30%, poloxamer 188, methylparaben, propylparaben, propylene glycol, potassium sorbate, noncrystallizing sorbitol solution 70%, orange flavor.

The oral suspension of rufinamide sold under the brandname Banzel does not contain lactose or gluten and is dye-free. The oral suspension sold under the brandname Banzel does contain carbohydrates.

Generic versions of rufinamide are also available. The inactive ingredients in the tablets and oral solution may differ from those above. Check the product label for the version of rufinamide that you take to find out the inactive ingredients in that product.

Rufinamide is distributed under the brandname Banzel by Eisai Inc., Nutley, NJ 07110.

Popular FAQ

Banzel is not a controlled substance but a prescription medicine that is used alongside other medications to control seizures. It is available from most pharmacies without any special conditions.

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. Continue reading

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.