Zarontin

Generic Name: Ethosuximide

  • What is Zarontin?

    Zarontin is a medicine used to treat absence (petit mal) seizures. Zarontin is available in capsules or oral solution.

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

    Do not stop taking Zarontin without first talking to your doctor. Stopping Zarontin suddenly can cause serious problems, including seizures that will not stop (status epilepticus).

    Zarontin can cause rare but serious blood problems that may be life-threatening. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience a fever, swollen lymph nodes (glands found throughout the body that remove bacteria and play an important role in your immune system), sore throat that comes and goes or does not go away, frequent infections or an infection that does not go away, easy bruising, red or purple spots on your body, bleeding gums or nose bleeds, or severe tiredness or weakness.

    Zarontin can also cause lupus (disease that affects the immune system). Contact your doctor immediately if you experience joint pain and swelling, muscle pain, fatigue, low-grade fever, pain in the chest that is worse with breathing, or unexplained skin rash.

    Zarontin can cause suicidal thoughts or actions. Tell your doctor immediately if you have thoughts about suicide or dying; attempt to commit suicide; have new or worse depression, anxiety, or irritability; have panic attacks; have trouble sleeping (insomnia); have an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania); are feeling agitated or restless; acting aggressive; being angry or violent; acting on dangerous impulses; or have other unusual changes in behavior or mood.

    Tell your doctor immediately if you develop signs and symptoms of an infection, including sore throat or fever, while you are taking Zarontin.

  • Who should not take Zarontin?

    Do not take Zarontin if you are allergic to it, any of its ingredients, or similar medications (such as methsuximide).

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Zarontin?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Zarontin. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have or had liver or kidney problems; depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behavior; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • 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.

    Children 3-6 years: The recommended starting dose is 250 milligrams (mg) (one capsule or one teaspoonful) once a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

    Adults and children ≥6 years: The recommended starting dose is 250 mg (one capsule or one teaspoonful) twice a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

    Attempts to taper or discontinue the medication should be made at specific intervals, through the guidance of your doctor.

  • How should I take Zarontin?

    Take Zarontin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not change your dose or stop taking this medication abruptly without first talking to your doctor.

  • What should I avoid while taking Zarontin?

    Do not drink alcohol or take other medicines that make you sleepy or dizzy while you are taking Zarontin. Doing so can make your sleepiness or dizziness worse.

    Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or engage in dangerous activities until you know how Zarontin affects you. Zarontin can slow your thinking and motor skills.

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

    If Zarontin 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 Zarontin with other seizure medications (such as phenytoin or valproic acid).

  • What are the possible side effects of Zarontin?

    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: abdominal pain; allergic reactions; changes in thinking, mood, or behavior; diarrhea; dizziness or lightheadedness; drowsiness; headache; hiccups; indigestion; loss of appetite; loss of concentration; nausea; overgrowth of your gums; seizures; skin rash; stomach upset; swelling of your tongue; tiredness; unsteadiness when you are walking; vomiting; weight loss

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

    The effects of Zarontin during pregnancy or breastfeeding are unknown. Zarontin can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

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

    If you miss a dose of Zarontin, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Zarontin?

    Store at room temperature.

    Preserve Zarontin oral solution in tight containers. Protect from freezing and light.