Ethosuximide (By mouth)

Introduction

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

Treats seizures in patients who have epilepsy.

Brand Name(s)

Zarontin

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

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.
  • Missed dose: 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.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze the oral liquid.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

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

  • Some foods and medicines can affect how ethosuximide works. Tell your doctor knows if you using phenytoin or valproic acid.
  • Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Tell your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, lupus, or a history of depression.
  • This medicine can increase depression or thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor right away if you start to feel more depressed and have thoughts about hurting yourself.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Low blood cell counts, which may cause bleeding problems or increase your risk for infection
    • Lupus
    • Serious skin reactions
    • Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), which may damage organs such as the liver, kidney, or heart
  • 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 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.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

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
  • Feeling depressed, irritable, or restless
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
  • Fever, skin rash, or swollen glands in your armpits, neck, or groin
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself, other unusual thoughts or behaviors
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness
  • Yellow skin or eyes

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
  • 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

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 10/12/2016

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