Zonisamide (By mouth)

Introduction

Zonisamide (zoe-NIS-a-mide)

Treats partial seizures in adults with epilepsy. May be used together with other anti-seizure medicines. Belongs to a class of drugs called sulfonamides ("sulfa" drugs).

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Zonegran

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to zonisamide or other sulfa drugs (such as Bactrim® or Septra®).

How to Use This Medicine

Capsule, Tablet

  • 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.
  • Swallow the capsule whole. Do not break, chew, or open it.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • Drink extra fluids so you will pass more urine while you are using this medicine. This will keep your kidneys working well and help prevent kidney problems.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one. Your doctor might ask you to sign some forms to show that you understand this information.

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.
  • 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.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or become pregnant. Your doctor may want you to join a pregnancy registry for patients taking medicines to treat seizures.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease or liver disease.
  • This medicine may cause rare side effects that can be very serious. Call your doctor right away if you develop a skin rash, fever, sore throat, sores in your mouth, easy bruising, severe muscle pain or weakness, or worsening of your seizures.
  • Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms while taking this medicine: blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin; chills; cough; diarrhea; itching; joint or muscle pain; red skin lesions, often with a purple center; sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips; or unusual tiredness or weakness.
  • This medicine may make you sweat less, which causes your body temperature to increase. Use extra care not to become overheated during exercise or hot weather while you are taking this medicine.
  • This medicine may cause some people to be agitated, irritable, or display other abnormal behaviors. It may also cause some people to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies or to become more depressed. If you or your caregiver notice any of these side effects, tell your doctor right away.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely. Stopping this medicine all at once could cause you to have seizures.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have sudden back pain, abdominal or stomach pain, pain while urinating, or bloody or dark urine. These may be symptoms of kidney stones.
  • 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.
  • Black, tarry stools.
  • Blistering or peeling of the skin.
  • Changes in behavior, or thoughts of hurting yourself or others.
  • Decreased sweating.
  • Fainting.
  • Fast or uneven heartbeat.
  • Feeling agitated, depressed, nervous, or irritable.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Painful or difficult urination, blood in your urine, or decrease in the amount of urine.
  • Problems with speech, balance, or walking.
  • Skin rash, hives, or itching.
  • Sores or ulcers in the mouth or on the lips, or red, irritated eyes.
  • Sudden and severe back or stomach pain.
  • Swelling in your face, throat, or lips.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Unusual, severe tiredness or weakness.
  • Wheezing or trouble with breathing.
  • Worsening of seizures.

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

  • Dizziness, drowsiness, or lack of coordination.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite.
  • Sleepiness or tiredness.
  • Trouble concentrating or remembering things.
  • Trouble with sleeping.

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: ,
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