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  • Generic Name: (ethosuximide)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 07/2016
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Zarontin oral solution is a medicine used to control absence (petit mal) seizures (brief staring spells).

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Zarontin oral solution is thought to reduce abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: Zarontin oral solution may help control absence seizures.

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's instructions. It is important that you take Zarontin oral solution exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

      How do I know it is working?

      Your healthcare provider may ask you questions from time to time that will help assess how well your symptoms are controlled with treatment. You may also notice a decrease in the number of seizures you normally experience.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      More common side effects may include: nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, weight loss, loss of appetite, drowsiness, unsteadiness when walking, headache, inability to concentrate.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Serious, life-threatening blood problems, with symptoms such as fever, swollen glands, or sore throat that come and go or do 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; and severe tiredness or weakness.

      Drug reactions that may affect different parts of the body such as your liver, kidneys, heart, or blood cells, with symptoms such as joint pain and swelling, muscle pain, tiredness, weakness, low-grade fever, pain in the chest that is worse with breathing, skin rash, swollen lymph glands, swelling of your face, or yellowing of your skin or the white part of your eyes.

      Increased suicidal thoughts or actions, with symptoms such as having thoughts about suicide or dying; attempting to commit suicide; new or worse depression, anxiety, or irritability; panic attacks; trouble sleeping; feeling agitated or restless; acting aggressive or being angry or violent; acting on dangerous impulses; extreme increase in activity or talking; or other unusual changes in behavior or mood.

      Serious allergic reactions, with symptoms such as skin rash, hives, sores in your mouth, or blistering or peeing skin.

      Zarontin oral solution may harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

      Zarontin oral solution may also cause kidney or liver problems.

    • Who should not take this medication?

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

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

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

    • What is the usual dosage?

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

      Adults and children ≥6 years: The usual starting dose is two teaspoonfuls (500 milligrams [mg]) a day.

      Children 3-6 years: The usual starting dose is one teaspoonful (250 mg) a day.

      Your healthcare provider may increase your or your child's dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

      It is important that you do not stop taking this medication abruptly. If you need to change or stop taking this medication, it is important that you only do this with the guidance of your healthcare provider.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Take Zarontin oral solution exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Zarontin oral solution without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not drink alcohol or take other medicines that make you sleepy or dizzy while you are taking Zarontin oral solution.

      Do not drive a car, operate heavy machinery, or engage in other dangerous activities until you know how Zarontin oral solution affects you.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If Zarontin oral solution is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Zarontin oral solution with phenytoin or valproic acid.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      Zarontin oral solution may harm your unborn baby if you take it during pregnancy, and can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

      If you become pregnant while taking Zarontin oral solution, talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the North American Antiepileptic Drug (NAAED) Pregnancy Registry. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the safety of seizure medicines during pregnancy.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      If you miss a dose of Zarontin oral solution, 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 this medication?

      Store at room temperature. Protect from freezing and light.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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