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What Is Onfi & How Does It Treat Epilepsy?

Learn about the epilepsy medication Onfi from Steve Wolf, MD and Patty McGoldrick, NP in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Onfi is one of the more recently approved medications for the treatment of epilepsy in the United States. It's been widely used in Europe and Canada for many years, and it's also known as Clobazam. It's a 1,5 Benzodiazepine, so it's similar to Klonopin and to Ativan and Valium, but less sedating and it has sort of a longer half life so it's more efficacious. We're very excited because this just recently got approved in the United States, so that way it's covered by insurance, and really using for these kids with very difficult to control epilepsy as well as adults with difficult to control epilepsy. So it's not your first line drug but it is one of the ones for the more difficult to control because of the side effects of sedation as well as if you stop the medication abruptly you can get withdrawal seizures. That's the only minor take back, but then again, discuss with the people taking care of you if it's a possible drug that can be used for you. It seems to be working very very well in the intractable epilepsy population. With, again, less sedation than the other benzodiazepines, less drooling, which is a big issue in the population with cerebral palsy, so you have less respiratory issues, and less pneumonias with the use of Onfi. You start out slow. It comes in five milligram, ten milligram and twenty milligram tablets and you gradually increase the dose.

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