Primidone

Pronunciation

Generic Name: primidone (PRIM-i-done)
Brand Name: Mysoline

Primidone is used for:

Treating and preventing seizures. It may be taken alone or with other medicines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Primidone is an anticonvulsant. It works by decreasing nerve impulses in the nervous system, which helps to reduce seizures.

Do NOT use primidone if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in primidone or to phenobarbital
  • you have the blood disease porphyria
  • you are taking sodium oxybate (GHB)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: View Frightful (But Dead Serious) Drug Side Effects

Before using primidone:

Some medical conditions may interact with primidone. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of drug abuse or dependence, mental or mood problems (eg, depression), or suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • if you have liver problems, lung problems, or breathing problems
  • if you will be receiving anesthesia (eg, methoxyflurane)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with primidone. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Sodium oxybate (GHB), stiripentol, or valproic acid because the risk of severe side effects such as severe drowsiness and incoordination may be increased
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), aromatase inhibitors (eg, exemestane), beta-blockers (eg, propranolol), clozapine, corticosteroids (eg, prednisone), doxycycline, epothilones (eg, ixabepilone), estrogen, griseofulvin, HIV protease inhibitors (eg, darunavir, lopinavir), hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), mammalian target of rapamycin (MTOR) inhibitors (eg, everolimus), maraviroc, metronidazole, nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) (eg, etravirine), oral contraceptives (eg, birth control pills), quinidine, tacrolimus, teniposide, theophylline, tolvaptan, or tyrosine kinase inhibitors (eg, lapatinib) because their effectiveness may be decreased by primidone

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if primidone may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use primidone:

Use primidone as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take primidone by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • Take primidone on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it.
  • Taking primidone at the same time each day will help you remember to take it.
  • Do not suddenly stop taking primidone. You may have an increased risk of side effects (eg, seizures). If you need to stop primidone or add a new medicine, your doctor will gradually lower your dose.
  • Continue to take primidone even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of primidone, take it as soon as possible. If it is within 1 hour of your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use primidone.

Important safety information:

  • Primidone may cause drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, and vision changes. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use primidone with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Primidone may contain tartrazine dye (FD & C Yellow No. 5). This may cause an allergic reaction in some patients. If you have ever had an allergic reaction to tartrazine, ask your pharmacist if your product has tartrazine in it.
  • It may take several weeks for primidone to work well. Do not stop taking primidone without talking with your doctor.
  • Patients who take primidone may be at increased risk for suicidal thoughts or actions. The risk may be greater in patients who have had suicidal thoughts or actions in the past. Watch patients who take primidone closely. Contact the doctor at once if new, worsened, or sudden symptoms such as depressed mood; anxious, restless, or irritable behavior; panic attacks; or any unusual change in mood or behavior occur. Contact the doctor right away if any signs of suicidal thoughts or actions occur.
  • Hormonal birth control (eg, birth control pills) may not work as well while you are using primidone. To prevent pregnancy, use an extra form of birth control (eg, condoms).
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take primidone before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Lab tests, including complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use primidone. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Primidone may cause harm to the fetus. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using primidone while you are pregnant. Primidone is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking primidone.

If you suddenly stop taking primidone, you may experience WITHDRAWAL symptoms, including anxiety, dizziness, hallucinations, lightheadedness, muscle twitching, nausea, seizures, sleeplessness, trembling hands and fingers, vomiting, or weakness.

Possible side effects of primidone:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Dizziness; drowsiness; lightheadedness; loss of appetite; loss of coordination; nausea; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); decreased sexual ability; double vision or unusual eye movements; fever; measles-like rash; new or worsening mental or mood changes (eg, anxiety, depression, restlessness, irritability, panic attacks, behavior changes, suicidal thoughts or attempts); new or worsening seizures; unusual tiredness or weakness.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include confusion; trouble breathing; uncontrolled eye movement.

Proper storage of primidone:

Store primidone at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, light, and moisture. Keep primidone out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about primidone, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Primidone is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take primidone or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about primidone. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to primidone. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using primidone.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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