ethosuximide (generic name)

Zarontin (brand name)

It is used to control seizures in certain types of epilepsy.
(eth oh SUX i mide)
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What is this medicine?

ETHOSUXIMIDE (eth oh SUX i mide) is used to control seizures in certain types of epilepsy.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • blood disorders or disease
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt; a previous suicide attempt by you or a family member
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to ethosuximide, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Use a specially marked spoon or container to measure your medicine. Ask your doctor or health care professional if you do not have one. Household spoons are not accurate. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this medicine may be prescribed for children as young as 3 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • other seizure or epilepsy medicines

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for a regular check on your progress.

Wear a medical ID bracelet or chain, and carry a card that describes your disease and details of your medicine and dosage times.

You may get drowsy, dizzy, or have blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. To reduce dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol can increase drowsiness and dizziness. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

The use of this medicine may increase the chance of suicidal thoughts or actions. Pay special attention to how you are responding while on this medicine. Any worsening of mood, or thoughts of suicide or dying should be reported to your health care professional right away.

Women who become pregnant while using this medicine may enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry by calling 1-888-233-2334. This registry collects information about the safety of antiepileptic drug use during pregnancy.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • fever, sore throat, swollen glands
  • muscle aches and pain
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusually weak or tired
  • worsening of mood, thoughts or actions of suicide or dying

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • headache
  • loss of appetite or weight loss
  • nausea, vomiting
  • stomach cramps

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Last Updated: November 12, 2010
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