Zonegran (zonisamide) is an anticonvulsant medication used to treat seizures. It works by decreasing the spread of seizure activity in the brain. Zonegran is also used to prevent migraine headaches. This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How to take Zonegran

Zonegran is usually taken once or twice a day with or without food. Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

Your doctor may start you on a low dose of the medication and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Do not take more or less of this medication than prescribed.

Swallow the capsules whole; do not open, chew, or crush them.

If you are taking the powder form of this medication, mix it with 4 ounces (120 mL) of water just before you take it. Stir well and drink all of the mixture right away. To make sure you take the entire dose, add a little more water to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away.

Zonegran side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

-unusual changes in mood or behavior (anxiety, depression, aggression, irritability, paranoia);

-confusion, hallucinations;

-memory problems;

-problems with balance or coordination;

-increased hunger or thirst;

-decreased urination or an increase in urinary frequency;

-swelling in your legs or feet;

-tremors; or

-numbness, tingling, or burning pain.

Less serious Zonegran side effects may include:

-drowsiness, dizziness;

-blurred vision;

-double vision;

-loss of appetite;

-nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea; or

-dry mouth.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Zonegran?

Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should not handle crushed or broken capsules. Zonisamide can cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking zonisamide during pregnancy.

Do not take this medication if you are breast-feeding a baby. Zonisamide passes into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness.

Do not take this medication if you are allergic to zonisamide, or if you have:

-kidney disease;

-liver disease; or

-porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system).

Before taking this medicine

Conditions:

-kidney stones;

-a history of depression or suicidal thoughts;

-a history of drug abuse or addiction; or

-if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether zonisamide will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication. Zonisamide can cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should not handle crushed or broken capsules. If you are a woman of childbearing age, use effective birth control while you are taking zonisamide and for at least 1 month after your last dose. Talk to your doctor about how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when stopping the medication.

Do not take zonisamide if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

Zonisamide can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness, lack of coordination, or problems with balance and falling.

How should I take Zonegran?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Take this medicine with a full glass of water .

You may take Zonegran with or without food.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release capsule. Swallow the pill whole. It is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Zonegran is usually taken once per day. Follow your doctor’s instructions about how many days in a row you should take this medicine and when you should rest from treatment (usually 3 days per week).

Dosage And Administration :

The usual starting dose of Zonegran is 25 mg once daily. The dose may be increased by 25 to 50 mg increments not more frequently than every other day until the desired response is achieved. The effective dose range is 100 to 400 mg/day.

If you miss a dose of zonisamide, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.