Frequently asked questions
This content is not designed to replace the advice of your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. You should always speak to a healthcare professional if you have any questions about Fintepla.
Fintepla (fenfluramine) is a medicine which is used with other drugs to treat the seizures that patients with Dravet syndrome can experience. Fintepla is only available for patients with Dravet syndrome who are 2 years of age or older. Dravet syndrome is a rare form of epilepsy which usually starts when a child is less than 1 year old. Patients who suffer from it often have very frequent and severe seizures. You can learn more about Dravet syndrome here.
It is not completely known how Fintepla works. However, it is thought to work, partly, by increasing the activity in the brain of a natural substance called serotonin, and this may reduce seizures.
An ECHO is a non-invasive test that uses sound waves (an ultrasound) to create pictures of the heart. An ECHO is done with an ultrasound device, similar to the ones used for women during pregnancy. During an ECHO, the cardiologist will check that the valves in the heart are working properly and that the pressure in the artery between the heart and the lungs is not too high. The test uses a few different tools:
- Electrodes: A sonographer will place a few of these stick-on patches onto the chest to record the heart’s activity
- Transducer: The person doing the ECHO test will move this wand-like device around the chest. It sends ultrasound waves into the chest
- Ultrasound gel: This is spread onto the transducer. It helps the sound waves from the transducer reach the heart
- Ultrasound computer: This machine turns the sound waves into pictures of the heart
Before you or the person you care for start taking Fintepla your doctor must check the heart with an echocardiogram (ECHO). The doctor will check that the valves in the heart work properly and the pressure in the artery between the heart and lungs is not too high.
Once you or the person you care for has started taking Fintepla, an echocardiogram check should be arranged every 6 months for the first 2 years and then once a year.
If Fintepla treatment is stopped, you or the person you care for will need to have an echocardiogram 6 months after the last dose.
Like all medicines, Fintepla can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
If the patient taking Fintepla experiences any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed here. You can also report side effects directly via the national reporting system for your country, which you can find in section 4 of the Package Leaflet provided in the carton with your medicine. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of Fintepla.
The patient should not stop taking Fintepla without talking to their doctor. If the doctor decides to stop Fintepla, they will ask the patient or carer to slowly lower the amount taken each day. Slowly lowering the dose will reduce the risk of having a seizure and status epilepticus (prolonged seizure).
The patient taking Fintepla should not stop without the patient or caregiver talking to your doctor. If your doctor decides to stop Fintepla, the doctor will ask you or the adult or child in your care to slowly lower the amount taken each day. Slowly lowering the dose will reduce the risk of having a seizure and status epilepticus (prolonged seizure). Status epilepticus is a medical emergency and can be fatal if left untreated.
Six months after the last dose of Fintepla, the patient who was taking it will need to have an echocardiogram.
The patient or caregiver should talk to a doctor or go to a hospital straight away. Take the medicine bottle with you. The following effects may happen: being agitated, sleepy or confused, being flushed or hot, shivering and sweating.
The patient should take it as soon as it is remembered. However, if it is nearly time to take the next dose, skip the missed dose.
Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.
- Do not refrigerate or freeze Fintepla
- Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children when storing it
- Do not use this medicine after the expiry date which is stated on the carton and bottle label, written after the letters “EXP”. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month
- Use within 3 months of first opening the bottle
- Wash the syringe after each use - instructions on how to wash your syringe can be found in Getting started
- If you lose or damage a syringe, or cannot read the dose markings on a syringe, use another oral syringe provided in your pack, or speak to your pharmacist
- Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to throw away medicines you no longer use. These measures will help to protect the environment
This website is intended for patients in Europe who have been prescribed Fintepla and their caregivers
▼ 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 or the person you care for may experience. See the What to look out for section for how to report side effects.
Fintepla is a medicine which is prescribed to treat the seizures that patients with Dravet syndrome can experience. Fintepla is used with other drugs to treat seizures in Dravet syndrome patients aged 2 years of age and older.
Dravet syndrome is a rare form of epilepsy which usually starts when a child is less than 1 year old. Patients who suffer from it often have very frequent and severe seizures. You can learn more about Dravet syndrome here.