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Ethosuximide Information

written by: Victoria Trix•edited by: DaniellaNicole•updated: 8/20/2009

According to Aol Health ethosuximide is also known as Zarontin. This medication is used to treat seizures and should not be abruptly stopped for any reason without a physician’s order.

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    Indications

    Ethosuximide is used to control seizures and works by slowing down the brain area that causes the seizures. It is also used to treat the absence of ‘petit mal’ seizures and can be used for other treatments as seen by a physician that are not included in this medication guide. Ethosuximide can also be used to treat such problems as migraines and tension headaches

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    Dosing Information

    As an oral medication, this drug should be taken with a full glass of water or with a small amount of food to lessen the upset stomach that commonly accompanies the drug. Dosage will be determined by a physician according to a patient’s health and should be taken on a regular basis and schedule for best results. The liquid dosing should be done with a dose-measuring spoon and never a regular spoon.

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    Contraindications

    Kidney disease and liver disease patients are unable to take this medication or may have to have smaller doses, or even require monitoring during treatment due to the side effects of zarontin. Blood problems and potential blood problems have been seen in patients, including rash and sores in the mouth as well as easy red or purple bruising and fever and sore throat. Any of these conditions should be reported to a physician.

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    Drug Interactions

    Certain drugs that cause drowsiness including antihistamines or anxiety medications such as aplrazolam and diazepam should be avoided. Also muscle relaxers or narcotic pain relievers like codeine and psychiatric meds like chlorpromazine and amitriptyline and trazodone should also be avoided, as the compounded drowsiness could cause a problem. Any over the counter medication that is taken should be scanned for sleep inducing information, as this could cause an overdose situation.

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    Side Effects of Ethosuximide

    Anorexia and nausea and vomiting as well as cramps and abdominal pain with weight loss and diarrhea are all normal side effects of Ethosuximide. Vaginal bleeding and swelling of the tongue or gum hypertrophy are seen, according to MentalHealth.com. Upset stomach can occur, but when taken with food this side effect is generally not seen as a problem.

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    Risks

    When used in children, they may be more sensitive to side effects including the drowsiness. When elderly patients use this drug, the drowsiness and dizziness is felt more than other side effects as well. This should only be used as needed during pregnancy due to the risks and side effects, as it does pass into breast milk. Driving is not normally allowed if new or recent seizures are a problem and this drug can cause dizziness and sleepiness, so use caution while driving.

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    Resources

    MentalHealth.com from the article: Ethosuximide Brand name: Zarontin Publication date unknown.

    Aol Health from the article: What is the most important information I should know about ethosuximide? Published on Oct. 14, 2004