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EPILIM 400MG POWDER AND SOLVENT FOR SOLUTION FOR INJECTION/INFUSION

Active substance(s): SODIUM VALPROATE

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PACKAGE LEAFLET: INFORMATION FOR THE USER

®

Epilim 400mg Powder
and Solvent for solution
for injection/infusion
Sodium Valproate
Is this leaflet hard to see or read?
Phone 0845 372 7101 for help

▼ This medicine is subject to additional monitoring. This will allow quick identification

of new safety information.
You can help by reporting any side effects you may get. See the end of section 4 for how to
report side effects

WARNING
Valproate can cause birth defects and problems with early development of the child if
it is taken during pregnancy. If you are a female of childbearing age you should use an
effective method of contraception throughout your treatment.
Your doctor will discuss this with you but you should also follow the advice in section 2 of this
leaflet. Tell your doctor at once if you become pregnant or think you might be pregnant.
Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start taking this medicine because it
contains important information for you.
• Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again
• If you have further questions, please ask your doctor or pharmacist
• This medicine has been prescribed for you. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm
them even if their symptoms are the same as yours
• If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible
side effects not listed in this leaflet. See section 4.
What is in this leaflet
1. What Epilim Injection is and what it is used for
2. What you need to know before you take Epilim Injection
3. How Epilim Injection is given
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store Epilim Injection
6. Contents of the pack and other information

1. What Epilim Injection is and what it is used for

i

What Epilim Injection is
The name of your medicine is Epilim 400mg Powder and Solvent for solution for
injection/infusion (called Epilim Injection in this leaflet).
What Epilim Injection contains
Epilim Injection contains a medicine called sodium valproate. This belongs to a group of
medicines called anti-convulsants or anti-epileptic agents. It works by helping to calm the
brain down.
What Epilim Injection is used for
Epilim Injection is used to treat epilepsy (fits) in adults and children. The injection is given
when it is not possible to have your medicine by mouth.

2. What you need to know before you take Epilim Injection
Do not have Epilim Injection and tell your doctor or nurse if:
X You are allergic (hypersensitive) to sodium valproate or any of the other ingredients of
Epilim Injection (see Section 6: Contents of the pack and other information)
Signs of an allergic reaction include: a rash, swallowing or breathing problems, swelling
of your lips, face, throat or tongue
X You have liver problems or you or your family have a history of liver problems
X If you have a genetic problem caused by a mitochondrial disorder (e.g. Alpers-Huttenlocher
syndrome)
Do not have this medicine if any of the above apply to you. If you are not sure, talk to your
doctor or pharmacist before having Epilim Injection.
Warnings and precautions
A small number of people being treated with anti-epileptics such as sodium valproate
have had thoughts of harming or killing themselves. If at any time you have these
thoughts, immediately contact your doctor.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Epilim Injection:
▲ You have diabetes. This medicine may affect the results of urine tests
▲ You have kidney problems. Your doctor may give you a lower dose
▲ You have fits (epilepsy), brain disease or a metabolic condition affecting your brain
▲ You have a ‘urea cycle disorder’ where too much ammonia builds up in the body
▲ You have an illness called “systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)” - a disease of the
immune system which affects skin, bones, joints and internal organs
▲ You know that there is a genetic problem caused by a mitochondrial disorder in your
family.

If you are not sure if any of the above apply to you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist
before having Epilim Injection.
Weight gain
Having Epilim Injection may make you put on weight. Talk to your doctor about how this
will affect you.
Blood tests
Your doctor may wish to do blood tests before you start having Epilim Injection and during
your treatment.
Other medicines and Epilim Injection
Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other
medicines. This includes medicines you buy without a prescription, including herbal
medicines. This is because Epilim Injection can affect the way some other medicines work.
Also some medicines can affect the way Epilim Injection works.
The following medicines can increase the chance of you getting side effects, when
taken with Epilim Injection:
• Some medicines used for pain and inflammation (salicylates) such as aspirin.
• Some other medicines used to treat fits (epilepsy) – see section 3, “Patients taking
other medicines for ‘fits”. This includes medicines such as phenobarbital, primidone,
phenytoin, carbamazepine topiramate, lamotrigine and felbamate.
Epilim Injection may increase the effect of the following medicines:
• Medicines used for thinning the blood (such as warfarin)
• Zidovudine used to treat HIV infection
• Temozolomide used to treat cancer
• Medicines for depression
• Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) such as moclobemide, selegiline, linezolid
• Medicines used to calm emotional and mental conditions such as diazepam and
olanzapine
The following medicines can affect the way Epilim Injection works:
• Some medicines used for the prevention and treatment of malaria such as
mefloquine and chloroquine
• Cimetidine used for stomach ulcers
• Carbapenem agents (antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections) such as imipenem,
meropenem, rifampicin and erythromycin. The combination of Epilim Injection and
carbapenems should be avoided because it may decrease the effect of your
medicine.
• Colestyramine used to lower blood fat (cholesterol) levels
Taking Epilim Injection with food and drink
Alcohol intake is not recommended during treatment.

CROMin FOTO s.n.c.
GRAFICA - FOTOCOMPOSIZIONE

TYPE OF MATERIAL:

LEAFLET

AZIENDA CERTIFICATA UNI EN ISO 9001:2008

89027757
(int. version 5)

DESCRIPTION:

COUNTRY:

EPILIM 400 MG

MIN. FONT SIZE: CODE:

10 pt.

Via G. Tartini, 2- 2 0 15 8 - M I L A N O
Tel. 02.375787 • e-mail: crominfoto@tiscali.it

89027757

VERSION:

4 a

UK
OLD CODE:

DIMENSION mm:

89027192 520 x 170

COLOURS N°:

1

COLOUR 1:

12 FEB 2015
LOGO VERSION:

//

COLOUR 2:

REFLEX BLUE BLACK

Pregnancy, breast feeding and fertility
Important advice for women
• Valproate can be harmful to unborn children when taken by a woman during
pregnancy.
• Valproate carries a risk if taken during pregnancy. The higher the dose, the higher the
risks but all doses carry a risk.
• It can cause serious birth defects and can affect the way in which the child develops as
it grows. Birth defects which have been reported include spina bifida (where the bones
of the spine are not properly developed); facial and skull malformations; heart, kidney,
urinary tract and sexual organ malformations; limb defects.
• If you take valproate during pregnancy you have a higher risk than other women of
having a child with birth defects that require medical treatment. Because valproate has
been used for many years we know that in women who take valproate around 10 babies
in every 100 will have birth defects. This compares to 2-3 babies in every 100 born to
women who don’t have epilepsy.
• It is estimated that up to 30-40% of preschool children whose mothers took valproate
during pregnancy may have problems with early childhood development. Children
affected can be slow to walk and talk , intellectually less able than other children, and
have difficulty with language and memory.
• Autistic spectrum disorders are more often diagnosed in children exposed to valproate
and there is some evidence children may be more likely to develop symptoms of
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
• If you are a woman capable of becoming pregnant your doctor should only prescribe
valproate for you if nothing else works for you.
• Before prescribing this medicine to you, your doctor will have explained what might
happen to your baby if you become pregnant whilst taking valproate. If you decide later
you want to have a child you should not stop taking your medicine until you have
discussed this with your doctor and agreed a plan for switching you onto another
product if this is possible.
• Ask your doctor about taking folic acid when trying for a baby. Folic acid can lower the
general risk of spina bifida and early miscarriage that exists with all pregnancies.
However, it is unlikely that it will reduce the risk of birth defects associated with
valproate use.
FIRST PRESCRIPTION
If this is the first time you have been prescribed valproate your doctor will have explained
the risks to an unborn child if you become pregnant. Once you are of childbearing age,
you will need to make sure you use an effective method of contraception throughout your
treatment. Talk to your doctor or family planning clinic if you need advice on
contraception.
Key messages:
• Make sure you are using an effective method of contraception.
• Tell your doctor at once if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant.

CONTINUING TREATMENT AND NOT TRYING FOR A BABY
If you are continuing treatment with valproate but you don’t plan to have a baby make
sure you are using an effective method of contraception. Talk to your doctor or family
planning clinic if you need advice on contraception.
Key messages:
• Make sure you are using an effective method of contraception
• Tell your doctor at once if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant.
CONTINUING TREATMENT AND CONSIDERING TRYING FOR A BABY
If you are continuing treatment with valproate and you are now thinking of trying for a
baby you must not stop taking either your valproate or your contraceptive medicine until
you have discussed this with your prescriber. You should talk to your doctor well before
you become pregnant so that you can put several actions in place so that your pregnancy
goes as smoothly as possible and any risks to you and your unborn child are reduced as
much as possible.
Your doctor may decide to change the dose of valproate or switch you to another
medicine before you start trying for a baby.
If you do become pregnant you will be monitored very closely both for the management
of your underlying condition and to check how your unborn child is developing.
Ask your doctor about taking folic acid when trying for a baby. Folic acid can lower the
general risk of spina bifida and early miscarriage that exists with all pregnancies. However,
it is unlikely that it will reduce the risk of birth defects associated with valproate use.
Key messages:
• Do not stop using your contraception before you have talked to your doctor and
worked together on a plan to ensure your epilepsy is controlled and the risks to your
baby are reduced.
• Tell your doctor at once when you know or think you might be pregnant.
UNPLANNED PREGNANCY WHILST CONTINUING TREATMENT
Babies born to mothers who have been on valproate are at serious risk of birth defects
and problems with development which can be seriously debilitating. If you are taking
valproate and you think you are pregnant or might be pregnant contact your doctor at
once. Do not stop taking your medicine until your doctor tells you to.
Ask your doctor about taking folic acid. Folic acid can lower the general risk of spina bifida
and early miscarriage that exists with all pregnancies. However, it is unlikely that it will
reduce the risk of birth defects associated with valproate use.
Key messages:
• Tell your doctor at once if you know you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant.
• Do not stop taking valproate unless your doctor tells you to.
Make sure you read the patient booklet and sign the Acknowledgement of Risk form
which should be given to you and discussed with you by your doctor or pharmacist.
Breast-feeding
Very little Epilim Injection gets into the breast milk. However, talk to your
doctor about whether you should breast-feed your baby. Ask your doctor or
pharmacist for advice before taking or having any medicine.

Driving and using machines:
You may feel sleepy when taking Epilim Injection. If this happens to you, do not drive or
use any tools or machines. Taking other medicines used to treat fits or calm emotional and
mental health problems may increase sleepiness.

3. How Epilim Injection is given
Epilim Injection is always given to you by a doctor or nurse. This is because it needs to be
given as a slow injection or infusion into the vein.
If you are not sure why you are being given Epilim Injection or have any questions about
how much Epilim Injection is being given to you, speak to your doctor or nurse.
Your doctor will stop giving you Epilim Injection and change you to Epilim tablets,
granules, syrup or liquid as soon as possible.
Epilim Injection treatment must be started and supervised by a doctor specialised in the
treatment of epilepsy.
How much will be given to you
• Your doctor will decide how much to give you depending on your illness. The amount
of Epilim Injection given to you or your child will depend on you or your child’s age or
body weight
• If you have been taking Epilim by mouth your doctor may decide to give you
the same amount of Epilim Injection by continuous or repeated infusion.
If you have not had Epilim Injection before, the doctor will use the following doses:
Adults (including the elderly)
• The starting dose is usually between 400mg and 800mg (up to 10mg per kilogram of
body weight)
• This is given as a slow intravenous injection over 3-5 minutes
• This is followed by a continuous or repeated infusion, up to a maximum of 2500mg
each day
Children
• The usual dose is between 20mg and 30mg for each kilogram of body weight each day
• This may be increased to 40mg for each kilogram of body weight each day
depending on your child’s illness
Patients with kidney problems
• Your doctor may decide to adjust your or your child’s dose
Patients taking other medicines for ‘fits’ (epilepsy)
• You or your child may be taking other medicines for epilepsy at the same time as
Epilim Injection. If so, your doctor should gradually initiate treatment depending on
you or your child’s condition
• Your doctor may increase the dose of Epilim Injection by 5 to 10mg for each kilogram
of body weight each day depending on which other medicines you are taking

If you have more Epilim Injection than you should
It is unlikely that your doctor or nurse will give you too much medicine. Your doctor will
be checking your progress and checking the medicine that you are given. Always ask if you
are not sure why you are getting a dose of medicine.
Using too much Epilim Injection can lead to the following symptoms: feeling sick or being
sick, pupils of the eye become smaller, dizziness, loss of consciousness, weak muscles and
poor reflexes, breathing problems, headaches, fits (seizures), confusion, memory loss and
unusual or inappropriate behaviour.
If you forget to have Epilim Injection
Your doctor or nurse will have instructions on when to give you this medicine. It is unlikely
that you will not be given the medicine as it has
been prescribed. However, if you think you may have missed a dose, then talk to your
doctor or nurse.
If you stop using Epilim Injection
It is important for you to keep having Epilim injection until your doctor decides to stop
them. If you stop, your fits may come back.
Tests
Make sure you or your child keep your regular appointments for a check up. They are very
important as your or your child’s dose may need to be changed. Epilim Injection can
change the levels of liver enzymes shown up in blood tests. This can mean that your or
your child’s liver is not working properly.
If you or your child go into hospital or visit another doctor or a dentist, tell them you are
taking Epilim Injection.
If you have any further questions on the use of this product, ask your doctor or
pharmacist.

4. Possible side effects
Like all medicines, Epilim Injection can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Tell your doctor straight away if you notice any of the following serious side effects
- you may need urgent medical treatment:
• You have an allergic reaction. The signs may include: a rash, joint pain, fever (systemic
lupus erythematosus), swallowing or breathing problems, swelling of your lips, face,
throat or tongue. Hands, feet or genitals may also be affected. More severe allergic
reactions can lead to lymph node enlargement and possible impairment of other organs.
• Liver problems and problems of the pancreas may show as a sudden illness which may
happen in the first six months of treatment. This happens in a very small number of
people taking Epilim Injection. It includes feeling and being sick many times, being very
tired, sleepy and weak, stomach pain including very bad upper stomach pain, jaundice
(yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes), loss of appetite, swelling (especially of the

legs and feet but may include other parts of the body), worsening of your fits or a
general feeling of being unwell.
Your doctor may tell you to stop taking Epilim Injection immediately if you have these
symptoms
• You have a skin rash or skin lesions with a pink/red ring and a pale centre which may
be itchy, scaly or filled with fluid. The rash may appear especially on the palms or soles
of your feet. These could be signs of a serious allergy to the medicine called ‘erythema
multiforme’
• Blistering or bleeding of the skin around the lips, eyes, mouth, nose and genitals.
Also flu-like symptoms and fever. This may be something called ‘Stevens-Johnson
syndrome’
• Severe blistering rash where layers of the skin may peel off to leave large areas of raw
exposed skin over the body. Also a feeling of being generally unwell, fever, chills and
aching muscles. This may be something called ‘Toxic epidermal necrolysis’
• Bruising more easily and getting more infections than usual. This could be a blood
problem called ‘thrombocytopenia’. It can also be due to a fall in the number of white
blood cells, bone marrow depression or another condition that affects red blood cells,
white blood cells and platelets (pancytopenia) or how the blood clots
• Blood clotting problems (bleeding for longer than normal), bruising or bleeding for no
reason
• Changes in mood, loss of memory, lack of concentration and deep loss of consciousness
(coma)
• Underactive thyroid gland, which may cause tiredness or weight gain (hypothyroidism)
• Breathing difficulty and pain due to inflammation of the lungs (pleural effusion)
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you have any of the following side effects:
• Changes in behaviour including being very alert, and sometimes also aggressive,
hyper-active and unusual or inappropriate behaviour. This is more likely if other
medicine to treat fits such as phenobarbital and topiramate are taken at the same time
or if the Epilim Injection starting dose is high or has been suddenly increased
• Changes in the amount of ammonia in the blood. Symptoms of this condition are being
sick, problems with balance and co-ordination, feeling lethargic or less alert
• Feeling shaky (tremor), sleepy or unsteady when walking or jerky muscle movements
• Feeling tired or confused with loss of consciousness sometimes accompanied by
hallucinations or fits
• Blisters with the skin flaking away
• Rapid, uncontrollable movement of the eyes
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side effects get serious or lasts
longer than a few days, or if you notice any side effects not listed in this leaflet:
• Feeling sick, stomach ache or diarrhoea, especially when starting treatment.
• Fainting
• Hearing loss

CROMin FOTO s.n.c.
GRAFICA - FOTOCOMPOSIZIONE

TYPE OF MATERIAL:

LEAFLET

AZIENDA CERTIFICATA UNI EN ISO 9001:2008

89027757
(int. version 5)

DESCRIPTION:

COUNTRY:

EPILIM 400 MG

MIN. FONT SIZE: CODE:

10 pt.

Via G. Tartini, 2- 2 0 15 8 - M I L A N O
Tel. 02.375787 • e-mail: crominfoto@tiscali.it

89027757

VERSION:

4 a

UK
OLD CODE:

DIMENSION mm:

89027192 520 x 170

COLOURS N°:

1

COLOUR 1:

12 FEB 2015
LOGO VERSION:

//

COLOUR 2:

REFLEX BLUE BLACK

• Skin problems such as rashes. These happen rarely, but more often in people also taking
lamotrigine
• Acne
• Hair loss which is usually temporary. When it grows back it may be more curly than
before
• Hair, including body or facial hair grows more than normal in women
• Skin rash caused by narrow or blocked blood vessels (vasculitis)
• Changes in women's periods and increased hair growth in women
• Breast enlargement in men
• Swelling of the feet and legs (oedema)
• Weight gain - as your appetite may be increased
• Kidney problems, bedwetting or increased need to pass urine
• Headache
• Aggression, agitation, disturbance in attention, abnormal behaviour,
restlessness/hyperactivity and learning disorder
• Tingling or numbness of the hands or feet
Bone Disorders
There have been reports of bone disorders including osteopenia and osteoporosis
(thinning of the bone) and fractures. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are on
long-term antiepileptic medication, have a history of osteoporosis, or take steroids.
Blood tests
Epilim Injection can change levels of liver enzymes, salts or sugars shown up on blood and
urine tests.
Male Fertility
Epilim Injection can be a contributing factor in male infertility.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if any of the side effects get serious or lasts longer than
a few days, or if you notice any side effects not listed in this leaflet.
Reporting of side effects
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any
possible side effects not listed in this leaflet.
United Kingdom
You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at:
www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard
Malta
ADR Reporting, The Medicines Authority, Post-Licensing Directorate, 203 Level 3, Rue
D'Argens, GŻR-1368 Gżira
Website: www.medicinesauthority.gov.mt
e-mail: postlicensing.medicinesauthority@gov.mt
By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this
medicine.

5. How to store Epilim Injection
This medicine will be kept by your doctor or pharmacist in a safe place where children
cannot see or reach it
Do not use this medicine after the expiry date shown on the vial and the carton after EXP.
The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
Only clear solutions free of particles should be used.
Store below 25°C.
Once diluted, Epilim Injection should be stored in a refrigerator between 2 - 8°C and used
within 24 hours. Any solution remaining after 24 hours should be discarded.
Medicines should not be disposed of via household wastewater or household waste.
Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medicines no longer required. These measures
will help protect the environment.

6. Contents of the pack and other information
What Epilim Injection contains
Each vial contains 400mg of the active substance, sodium valproate
What Epilim Injection looks like and contents of the pack
Epilim is a freeze-dried powder in a colourless glass vial with an aluminium cap. The vial is
supplied packed in a carton along with one ampoule containing 4ml of water for injection.
Marketing Authorisation Holder and Manufacturer
Marketing Authorisation Holder
Sanofi, One Onslow Street, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 4YS, UK
Tel: 0845 372 7101
email: uk-medicalinformation@sanofi.com
Manufacturer :
SANOFI S.P.A., Loc. Valcanello, 03012 Anagni (FR), ITALY
This leaflet does not contain all the information about your medicine. If you have any
questions or are not sure about anything, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
This leaflet was last revised in Febuary 2015.
© Sanofi, 1993 - 2015
There are two organisations that will also be happy to try and answer any general
questions on epilepsy. They can be contacted at:
Epilepsy Action, New Anstey House, Gate Way Drive, Yeadon, Leeds,
LS19 7XY
Telephone: 0808 800 5050. Website: www.epilepsy.org.uk
National Society for Epilepsy (NSE), Chesham Lane, Chalfont St Peter, Bucks, SL9 0RJ
Telephone: 01494 601400. Website: www.epilepsynse.org.uk
89027757

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Source: Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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