Clobazam still available but shortage is a concern

February 18, 2014

Click here for an update (May 28th, 2014)

Epilepsy Ontario has learned of a potential clobazam shortage. While there is a supply of clobazam in the market across Ontario and Canada, some pharmacies are reporting shortages of the medicOpen medicine bottleation.

Epilepsy information specialist Suzanne Nurse advises people taking clobazam to contact their pharmacies to ensure they can fill their prescriptions ahead of time.

“It’s important to stress that there appears to be a supply in the system at the moment, (but) it’s good to be aware that you shouldn’t wait (until your prescription runs out) to get your prescription filled,” Nurse says.

Epilepsy Ontario reviewed the situation on Feb. 13, discovering that the shortage was more widespread than originally thought. The agency contacted epilepsy agencies and epilepsy specialists to alert them about the situation. The shortage is expected to last until March or April.

Nurse says people taking clobazam shouldn’t panic about the situation. If a pharmacy doesn’t have clobazam, pharmacists are willing to track down supplies from their distribution lines or from other pharmacies for people.

“And there are other supports,” Nurse says. “If people find that they can’t get their prescription refilled they can contact Epilepsy Ontario and we can provide information and if they run into a shortage they should contact their physician immediately.”

The Canadian Epilepsy Alliance has also sent a letter to Canada’s Health Minister Rona Ambrose requesting urgent action to prevent the shortage from escalating.

Six companies market clobazam in Canada. Four of the generic manufacturers are experiencing back-orders. As of Feb. 14, only one of the four manufacturers had posted a notice on the Canadian Drug Shortage Database.

This isn’t the first time there has been concern over clobazam shortages. In January 2013, Epilepsy Ontario sent out an alert about a clobazam shortage. The clobazam supply began to recover the following month.

If your pharmacist is unable to fill your prescription, Epilepsy Ontario recommends you contact your health-care provider immediately. Do not make any changes to your treatment — for example, skipping doses, reducing the dose, or discontinuing the drug — without consulting your doctor.

For more information, please contact Epilepsy Ontario at 905-474-9696, or toll-free 1-800-463-1119, send an email to info(at) or see our drug shortages information sheet.

Writer: Deron Hamel
If you have feedback on this story, or have a story of your own that you would like to share, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at) You can also leave a comment below.

Update on the clobazam supply 

Clobazam is currently available in Canada, but shortages of some clobazam products continue.

During March and most of April there were significant shortages of clobazam, and manufacturers were out-of-stock.  The Canadian Epilepsy Alliance (CEA) was first alerted to shortages of clobazam in January 2014 by people who couldn’t get their prescriptions refilled.  In early February the CEA and Epilepsy Ontario became aware that multiple generic manufacturers were unable to supply clobazam, although the reason for these shortages has not been disclosed.  The supply of brand name clobazam (Frisium) became depleted, due to increased demand, as the generic clobazam stocks dwindled.  Two of the generic clobazam manufacturers have medication available again, beginning with APO-clobazam (Apotex) in late April and PMS-clobazam (Pharmascience) during the week of May 28th.

Status of clobazam drugs – May 28, 2014
Status: Available
(Pro-Doc Limitée)
Status: On Backorder 
(no resupply date available)
(Dominion Pharmacal)
Status: Discontinued
Status: On Backorder 
(estimated resupply date is June 30, 2014)
Status: Available
Status: On Backorder 
(estimated resupply date is June 4, 2014)
If you experience any difficulties due to the clobazam shortage, or a shortage of another epilepsy medication, please contact Epilepsy Ontario for assistance.  We would also be interested in hearing your story if you have encountered a shortage of your medication.
Epilepsy Ontario and the Canadian Epilepsy Alliance Drug Shortages Committee have been actively involved in bringing attention to this particular shortage, and epilepsy drug shortages in general, by communicating with the Federal Minister of Health, Health Canada, provincial Ministries of Health, physicians, pharmacists, drug manufacturers, and other stakeholders.  People with epilepsy rely on consistent access to their anti-seizure medication. Drug shortages put people with epilepsy at risk, and the consequences can be serious.
Public Consultation on Drug Shortages: If you are concerned about drug shortages you can share your opinion and your comments. A public consultation on drug shortages is being held by Health Canada from May 22 to July 5, 2014. Click here for more information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *