Zonegran is an oral capsule containing a sulfa drug (with anti-convulsant effects) called zonisamide. We carry the generic alternative of Zonegran in 25, 50, and 100mg.
Zonegran is prescribed together with other medication to help prevent and control epilepsy. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that occurs when brain activity becomes abnormal, which results in seizures or periods of weird behavior, sensations, and sometimes a loss of awareness.
Zonegran (zonisamide) is effective at treating seizures; the exact mechanism of action is unknown. However, it is thought that zonisamide blocks sodium and T-type calcium channels which leads to the reduction of seizure-form activity (neuronal hypersynchronization) in the brain.
Your doctor will tell you before prescribing you Zonegran (zonisamide) exactly how to take this medication. Follow his or her directions very carefully, they can usually be found on the prescription label if you forget. Do not take this medication for longer than prescribed, or in smaller or larger amounts. Do not suddenly stop taking this medication. Keep up with frequent blood tests are needed when being treated with this medication.
This medication should be taken with a full glass of water. During treatment, you should drink around 6-8 glasses of water each day; this will help protect against kidney stones. You may take Zonegran with or without food. Swallow this capsule whole and avoid chewing, crushing, breaking it open.
You should wear a medical ID tag when being treated with Zonegran. Medical care providers, should they need to help you in case of emergency, should know you take this medication.
This medication should be protected from heat, moisture, and light to avoid nullifying the medication.
Do not use Zonegran (zonisamide)
You should not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to zonisamide. You may not be able to use this medication if you have ever had a serious allergic reaction to a sulfa drug such as sulfamethoxazole, sulfisoxazole, or sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (Bactrim, Septra, Sulfatrim, SMX-TMP or SMZ-TMP, and others).
This medication is not approved for those who are under the age of 18.
Dose adjustment or special precautions may be required
To ensure this medication is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease, stomach flu or illness causing diarrhea, a growth disorder, a bone disorder that causes soft or weak bones or low bone mineral density, a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or actions, if you have ever had a metabolic acidosis, or if you have been on a ketogenic diet.
You may find yourself with suicidal thought when first starting this medication. Your doctor should schedule regular checkups to check on your progress. Caregivers should be aware of this risk and also monitor you for changes in mood or behavior.
Animals studies have shown that this medication can cause birth defects and infant death. It hasn’t been established if these same effects would occur in a human fetus, however, it safest to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on becoming before starting treatment. Use effective birth control while using this medication. If you become pregnant during treatment, do stop taking this medication without first consulting your doctor. The benefit of this drug may outweigh the risk towards the baby.
This medication is known to pass into breast milk and can harm a nursing infant. Do not breast feed while using this medication.
Common side effects of Zonegran (zonisamide) may include:
drowsiness, dizziness; problems with memory or concentration; feeling agitated or irritable; loss of coordination, trouble walking; or loss of appetite.
The above side effects should not alarm you.
Serious side effects of Zonegran (zonisamide) may include:
decreased sweating, feeling very hot; increased or worsening seizures; the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild;
symptoms of metabolic acidosis - loss of appetite, feeling tired, problems with thinking or talking, irregular heartbeats;
symptoms of a blood cell disorder - fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
symptoms of a kidney stone - severe pain in your stomach or lower back, blood in your urine; or
severe skin reaction - fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
If you have any of the above side effects or signs of complications, contact your doctor right away.
Please note this is not a complete list of side effects. Not everyone experiences side effects; they are not guaranteed. If you do have side effects and they become unmanageable, consult your doctor about alternate medications.
What should I avoid while using this medication?
While being treated with Zonegran, you should avoid driving or doing other hazardous activities until you understand how this medication affects you. It may cause your think and reactions to become impaired.
Is Zonegran safe for children to use?
No. This medication is not safe for children under the age of 18 years old. Do not give this medication to those under 18 years old.
Can I drink alcohol while on Zonegran?
No. You should avoid consuming alcohol while being treated with Zonegran as it can increase some of the side effects of this medication.
What else should I know about this medication?
If you miss several doses, contact your doctor before starting the medication again. You may need to restart at a lower dose.
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