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What is Zonisamide?
Zonisamide is a sulfa drug which also has anti convulsant properties. It is prescribed in combination with other anti convulsant medications for the treatment of partial seizures in adults with epilepsy. Zonisamide is sold under various trade names, some of which are Zonegran and Zonisep. This medication may also be given for conditions not described here.
Important Information about Zonisamide
Do not take Zonisamide anti convulsant medication (Zonegran, Zonisep) if you are allergic to it, or to other sulfa drugs like sulfisoxazole, sulfamethoxazole, or sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim. An allergic reaction due to sulfa drug can be dangerous and fatal. This medication must not be taken by children younger than 16 years old without thorough medical screening.
Zonisamide usage may lead to suicidal thoughts. This side effect may require you to undergo regular follow up checks by your doctor. You must notify your doctor about any new or deteriorating symptoms like mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, suicidal or self hurting thoughts, increased agitation, hostility, restlessness, hyperactivity (mentally or physically). Your family member and caregivers if any must be on alert for these conditions.
You must continue taking Zonisamide even after you stop getting seizures and feel absolutely fine. Stopping the medication abruptly and without doctorâ€™s advice may result in increased seizures, deteriorating your condition. Remember to follow your doctorâ€™s instructions. This medication may impact your thinking capability and reflexes. So take extra care while indulging in activities that require a high degree of mental awareness and thinking such as driving
Zonisamide is a FDA pregnancy category C drug. This medication is reported to have caused birth defects and infant death in animal studies. It is however, not known whether the same would be true in humans. This medication can cause metabolic acidosis which can harm an unborn baby if taken during pregnancy. This medication can pass into breast milk and harm a nursing baby. You must consult your doctor prior to taking Zonisamide if you are pregnant, planning to get pregnant, or breast feeding. A proper contraception use is recommended while you are taking Zonisamide medication.
Before taking Zonisamide
Remember to discuss all the points mentioned above with your doctor and take all the necessary precautions that are also mentioned above before taking Zonisamide. To ensure that Zonisamide anti convulsant medication (Zonegran, Zonisep) is safe for you, notify your doctor in advance before he or she prescribes you this medication, about any of your pre-existing conditions like kidney or liver disease, stomach flu or illness resulting in diarrhea, a growth disorder, a bone disorder that causes soft or weak bones or low bone mineral density, asthma or other breathing troubles, episodes of suicidal thoughts or actions, or if you take high protein, low card diet.
How should I take Zonisamide?
Take Zonisamide anti convulsant medication (Zonegran, Zonisep) strictly according to your doctorâ€™s direction or according to the instructions on the medication label. Do not alter the dosage unless your doctor advises you to do so. Also, do not take this medication after the prescribed period is over. All medications come with a patient leaflet. Refer the instructions in them for detailed information on that particular medication. Take Zonisamide with a glass of water. It can be taken with or without food. You must drink enough water (about 6 to 8 glasses every day) while you take this medication to prevent any chance of kidney stones. Avoid crushing, breaking, or chewing a Zonisamide tablet. Instead, swallow it whole. Always store Zonisamide in a cool and dry place, away from heat and moisture. Ensure that children and pets donâ€™t have access to any medications.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Zonisamide, take it as soon as you remember. Donâ€™t take the missed dose if the time to take the next dose is almost up. Taking multiple doses near to each other can lead to excess medication in your body which can be harmful.
What if I overdose?
In case of an overdose of Zonisamide, get emergency medical attention or call the Doctor Immediately. Overdose may lead to symptoms like slow heart rate, light headedness, fainting, or shortness of breath.
Things and Activities to avoid while taking Zonisamide
Zonisamide may impact your thinking capabilities and reflexes. So take extra care while indulging in activities that require a high degree of mental awareness and thinking such as driving. Alcohol consumption is not recommended while taking this medication.
Side Effects due to Zonisamide
A serious side effect of Zonisamide is increased or worsening seizures. In such a scenario, stop using this medication and seek emergency medical attention. Some of the common side effects of Zonisamide are headache, diarrhea, loss of coordination, dizziness, drowsiness, loss of appetite vision problems, or nervousness. If any of these side effects deteriorate or persist for a long time, you must seek immediate medical attention. Zonisamide usage may lead to suicidal thoughts. You must notify your doctor about any new or deteriorating symptoms like mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, suicidal or self hurting thoughts, increased agitation, hostility, restlessness, hyperactivity (mentally or physically).
The side effects mentioned above are not the only ones that you may experience or witness due to Zonisamide. If you get any serious side effects due to this medication, contact your doctor right away.
Zonisamide Dosing Information
Zonisamide dosage may depend on a range of factors like age, sex, drug allergies, or seriousness of the condition among several other factors. Your dosage will be determined by your doctor after examining you properly. Remember to follow your doctorâ€™s advice properly for best outcome.
Interaction with other drugs
Let your doctor know in advance if you already use any of these drugs: Phenobarbital, cold or allergy drugs that contain an antihistamine, other anti seizure or anti convulsant drugs like carbamazepine, phenytoin, or topiramate. These drugs can interact with Zonisamide and affect its effectiveness or cause other undesirable effects. Also tell your doctor about any other medications or related products that you use. Never start a new medicine without proper medical advice.