Zonegran  (zonisamide) 100mg capsules

Manufacturer: Elan Pharmaceuticals  

Indication(s):  as adjunctive treatment of partial seizures in adults (over 16 years old) with epilepsy.

Administration:  Therapy is initiated at 100mg daily.  Usual dosage is 100mg once or twice daily without regard to food.

Pharmacology:  The precise mechanism of action is unknown although it is believed that the drug prevents seizures by blocking both sodium and calcium channels and reduces voltage-dependent transient inward currents, consequently stabilizing neuronal membranes and suppressing neuronal hypersynchronization.

WebRx Editorial Notes:  Zonisamide is a sulfonamide and should not be taken by people allergic to sulfonamides.  It is recommended that patients drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water daily to prevent kidney stones.  Common adverse effects include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, anorexia, headache, and agitation.  This drug may have some deleterious psychiatric effects including depression.  Psychological effects are much less common however.  The drug should be used with caution in patients with reduced kidney function.  Zonisamide appears to be teratogenic (causes birth defects).  Despite all of the potentially negative aspects of the drug, it is an important option for epilepsy patients.

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