Zonegran (Zonisamide) for Epilepsy | MyEpilepsyTeam

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Zonegran is a prescription medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000 for the treatment of many different types of seizures. Zonegran is usually prescribed as an adjunctive medicine to be taken with other antiepileptic drugs. Zonegran is also known by its drug name, Zonisamide.

Zonegran should not be used by people who have shown past sensitivity to Zonisamide or other sulfonamide drugs such as sulfa-based antibiotics. Zonegran should be used with caution in people with a history of liver and kidney problems. Zonegran may not be suitable for use by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Zonegran is a sulfonamide anticonvulsant, or drug that is used to control seizures. It is believed that Zonegran works in cases of epilepsy by inhibiting nerve signals.

How do I take it?
Zonegran is taken orally as a capsule once or twice a day. Swallow the capsules whole without chewing or crushing them. Try to take Zonegran at the same times each day. Zonegran may be taken with or without food, but you should take it the same way each day. Your doctor will likely start you on a low dose of Zonegran and gradually increase the dosage.

It is important to drink at least six to eight glasses of water per day while taking Zonegran. Drinking plenty of water can help prevent some serious side effects.

Ask your doctor whether you need to avoid drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit while taking Zonegran.

Avoid driving or operating machinery until you are certain you understand how Zonegran affects you.

Do not stop taking Zonegran suddenly. If you decide to stop taking Zonegran, consult your physician for a plan to taper off gradually.

Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Zonegran.

The safety and effectiveness of Zonisamide (Zonegran) have been studied in multiple clinical trials. Based on the results of these studies, researchers have concluded that Zonisamide is an effective add-on medication for treating epileptic seizures.

Side effects
The most serious side effect of Zonegran is a severe rash that can become life-threatening. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience a rash, especially with fever and symptoms of a viral infection, while taking Zonegran. Zonegran can also increase your risk of developing blood disorders and kidney stones. Inform your doctor right away if you notice unusual bruising, sores in your mouth, less sweating that usual, sudden pain in your back, stomach, or while urinating, or dark or bloody urine while taking Zonegran.

Common side effects of Zonegran include sleepiness, dizziness, irritability, headache, blurry vision, loss of appetite, and weight loss.

Rarely, some people experience neurological symptoms including depression, loss of touch with reality, or suicidal thoughts while taking Zonegran. Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects.

Many drugs can cause allergic reactions that, in the most serious cases, can result in death. Seek immediate medical help if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing or swelling of the face, throat, eyes, lips or tongue

Zonegran (Zonisamide) for Epilepsy Questions

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