Peganone

Generic Name: Ethotoin

  • What is Peganone?

    Peganone is a drug used to control tonic-clonic (grand mal) and complex partial (psychomotor) seizures.

    Tonic-clonic seizures are a type of seizure in which the individual experiences a sudden loss of consciousness immediately followed by generalized convulsions. Complex partial seizures are characterized by blank staring and repetitive movements. Peganone works by slowing down impulses in the brain that cause seizures.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Peganone?

    Do not change the brand, generic formulation, or dosage of this medication without first talking to your doctor. If you have been taking Peganone regularly to prevent major seizures, do not stop abruptly. This may precipitate prolonged or repeated epileptic seizures without any recovery of consciousness between attacks—a condition called status epilepticus—that can be fatal if not treated promptly.

    Blood abnormalities have occurred in some patients taking Peganone, although it is unknown whether the drug was the cause. Your doctor will do monthly blood tests when you first start therapy to guard against any such problems. Call your doctor immediately if you have symptoms such as sore throat, fever, malaise (marked by bodily discomfort, fatigue, or a general feeling of illness), easy bruising, small purple skin spots, nosebleeds, or any sign of infection or bleeding tendency.

    Because Peganone may cause gum hypertrophy (excessive formation of the gums over the teeth), it's important to practice good dental hygiene while taking Peganone.

    There is some evidence suggesting that medicines like Peganone may interfere with folic acid and can cause megaloblastic anemia. Folic acid supplementation may be necessary if this happens while you are pregnant.

  • Who should not take Peganone?

    Do not take Peganone if you have liver problems or blood disorders. Also, do not take Peganone if you are allergic to the medication or any or its ingredients.
  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Peganone?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medication you are taking before beginning treatment with Peganone. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver problems, blood disorders, or a chronic autoimmune disease involving the internal organs known as systemic lupus erythematosus.
  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Dosage is tailored to each individual's needs. Your doctor will monitor blood levels of the drug closely. If you're switching from another antiepileptic drug, the doctor will have you slowly taper off the dosage while increasing the dose of Peganone.

    Adults: The recommended starting dose is 1,000 milligrams (mg) or less each day, taken in 4 to 6 divided doses spaced as evenly as possible. Depending on your response, the doctor may raise your dose. The usual effective maintenance dose is 2,000 to 3,000 mg a day.

    Children: Dosage depends on the child's age and weight. The initial starting dose should not exceed 750 mg a day, taken in 4 to 6 divided doses spaced as evenly as possible. The usual maintenance dose is 500 to 1,000 mg a day, although occasionally doses as high as 3,000 mg a day may be necessary.

  • How should I take Peganone?

    Take Peganone with food to avoid stomach upset. Depending on the type of seizure disorder, your doctor may give you another drug to take with Peganone.

    It is important that you follow the prescribed dosage regimen strictly and tell your doctor about any condition that makes it impossible for you to take Peganone as prescribed.

  • What should I avoid while taking Peganone?

    Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities, as Peganone may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.

    Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication. Alcohol can cause deep sedation or sleepiness when taken with Peganone.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Peganone?

    If Peganone is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Peganone with: blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin; drugs used to treat blood disorders; and phenacemide.
  • What are the possible side effects of Peganone?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: chest pain, diarrhea, dizziness, double vision, fatigue, fever, gum overgrowth or thickening, headache, insomnia, involuntary or rapid eye movement, loss of or impaired muscle coordination, lymph node disease, nausea, numbness, skin rash, vomiting, sore throat

  • Can I receive Peganone if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Because of the possibility of birth defects with Peganone, you may need to discontinue the drug. Do not, however, stop taking it without first consulting your doctor.

    Because Peganone appears in breast milk, you should not breastfeed during treatment with the drug.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Peganone?

    Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

    If you forget to take your medication 2 or more days in a row, check with your doctor.

  • How should I store Peganone?

    Store at room temperature, but not above 77° F. Protect from light.