Ethosuximide (By mouth)

Introduction

Ethosuximide (eth-oh-SUX-i-mide)

Treats seizures in patients who have epilepsy.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Zarontin

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to ethosuximide or to similar medicine (such as methsuximide, Celontin®).

How to Use This Medicine

Liquid Filled Capsule, Liquid

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Take with food or after meals to avoid stomach upset.
  • This medicine can be used with other seizure medicines. Keep using all of your seizure medicines unless your doctor tells you to stop.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze the oral liquid.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure that your doctor knows if you are also using phenytoin (Dilantin®) or valproic acid (Depakene®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, blood disease, a history of depression, other types of seizures, or an immune system disease called systemic lupus erythematosus or "lupus". Tell your doctor if you also have an infection.
  • It is important to tell your doctor if you become pregnant while using this medicine. Your doctor may want you to join a pregnancy registry for patients taking a seizure medicine.
  • For some children, teenagers, and young adults, this medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor or your child's doctor right away if you or your child start to feel more depressed and have thoughts about hurting yourselves. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you or your child, especially if they are new or get worse quickly. Make sure the doctor knows if you or your child have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. Also tell the doctor if you or your child have sudden or strong feelings, such as feeling nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared. Let the doctor know if you, your child, or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic-depressive) or has tried to commit suicide.
  • This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
  • This medicine may cause drowsiness or dizziness. Be careful if you are driving or using dangerous machinery, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash.
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, or troubled breathing.
  • Feeling agitated, depressed, or irritable.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Muscle or joint pain.
  • Problems with balance or walking.
  • Unusual behavior or thoughts of hurting yourself.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or stomach pain.
  • Dizziness or drowsiness.
  • Headache.
  • Mild rash.
  • Problems with sex.
  • Swelling of the gums or tongue.
  • Trouble with sleeping.
  • Weight loss.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
Adam Data Copyright The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only--they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

For information 410.787.4000

© 2013 UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center.  All rights reserved.

301 Hospital Drive, Glen Burnie, MD 21061 | 410-787-4000 | TTY 410-787-4498