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Ethosuximide (By mouth)

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

Treats seizures in patients who have epilepsy.

Brand Name(s):

Zarontin

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

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

How to Use This Medicine:

Liquid Filled Capsule, Liquid

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • This medicine can be used with other seizure medicines. Keep using all of your seizure medicines unless your doctor tells you to stop.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take 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  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. 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 also use phenytoin (Dilantin®) or valproic acid (Depakene®).
  • Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol or if you are using any medicine that makes you sleepy, such as allergy medicine or narcotic pain medicine. Also tell your doctor if you drink alcohol.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or a history of depression.
  • This medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor right away if you start to feel more depressed and have thoughts about hurting yourself. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you, especially if they are new or get worse quickly. Let the doctor know if you or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic-depressive) or has tried to commit suicide.
  • This medicine may increase the risk of grand mal seizures in certain patients. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about this risk.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you have a skin rash, muscle or joint pain, fever, unusual tiredness, or pain the chest that gets worse with breathing. These could be signs of a serious condition called Systematic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).
  • This medicine can lower the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Tell your doctor right away if you have a fever, sore throat, unusual bleeding or bruising, or swollen glands.
  • Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have a severe skin rash, blistering, peeling, or loose skin, red skin lesions, sores or ulcers on the skin, or fever or chills while you use this medicine.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. 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, or red skin rash
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Problems with balance or walking
  • Swollen, painful, or tender glands in the neck, armpit, or groin
  • Unusual behavior or mood changes, depression, 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
  • 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


Last Updated: 9/4/2014


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