Zarontin Side Effects

Generic Name: ethosuximide

Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug ethosuximide. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below may not apply to the brand name Zarontin.

It is possible that some side effects of Zarontin may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

For the Consumer

Applies to ethosuximide: oral capsule liquid filled, oral syrup

As well as its needed effects, ethosuximide (the active ingredient contained in Zarontin) may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking ethosuximide, check with your doctor immediately:

Rare
  • Changes in behavior
  • discouragement
  • feeling sad or empty
  • irritability
  • lack of appetite
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • mood or mental changes
  • thoughts of killing oneself
  • tiredness
  • trouble with concentrating
  • trouble with sleeping
Incidence not known
  • Attack, assault, or force
  • blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • blood in the urine
  • bloody, black, or tarry stools
  • chest pain
  • cough or hoarseness
  • diarrhea
  • enlarged gums
  • false or unusual sense of well-being
  • fever and chills
  • fever with or without chills
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • hair loss
  • headaches
  • high fever
  • hives
  • itching
  • joint or muscle pain
  • lower back or side pain
  • nervousness
  • not able to concentrate
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pale skin
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • red, irritated eyes
  • restlessness
  • shakiness and unsteady walk
  • shortness of breath
  • skin rash
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • swelling around the eyes
  • swelling of the tongue
  • swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin
  • trouble sitting still
  • trouble with breathing
  • unexplained bleeding or bruising
  • unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vaginal bleeding
  • vision changes
  • yellow eyes or skin

If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking ethosuximide, get emergency help immediately:

Symptoms of overdose
  • Change in consciousness
  • irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
  • loss of consciousness
  • pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin

Some ethosuximide side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

Rare
  • Increased in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • increased interest in sexual intercourse
Incidence not known
  • Cramps
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • heartburn
  • hiccups
  • increased hair growth, especially on the face
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea or vomiting
  • nearsightedness
  • pain or discomfort in the chest, upper stomach, or throat
  • redness of the skin
  • sleeplessness
  • unable to sleep
  • unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness
  • weight loss

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to ethosuximide: oral capsule, oral syrup

Gastrointestinal

Gastrointestinal side effects have frequently included anorexia, vague gastric upset, nausea, vomiting, cramps, epigastric and abdominal pain, weight loss, and diarrhea. Gum hypertrophy and swelling of the tongue have also been reported.[Ref]

Hematologic

Hematologic side effects have included leukopenia, agranulocytosis, pancytopenia (with or without bone marrow suppression), and eosinophilia.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included drowsiness, headache, dizziness, euphoria, hiccups, irritability, hyperactivity, lethargy, fatigue, and ataxia.[Ref]

Psychiatric

The manufacturer reports psychiatric side effects associated with ethosuximide (the active ingredient contained in Zarontin) therapy may be more frequent in patients who have previously exhibited psychosocial abnormalities.[Ref]

Psychiatric side effects have included sleep disturbances, night terrors, inability to concentrate, and aggressiveness. Paranoid psychosis, increased libido, and increased state of depression with overt suicidal intentions have been reported rarely.[Ref]

Dermatologic

Dermatologic side effects have included urticaria, Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), systemic lupus erythematosus, pruritic erythematous rashes, and hirsutism. SJS symptoms usually manifest within 28 days, but may occur later and can be fatal.[Ref]

Ocular

Ocular side effects have included myopia.[Ref]

Genitourinary

Genitourinary side effects have included vaginal bleeding and microscopic hematuria.[Ref]

Other

Other side effects reported postmarketing have included Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS).

References

1. "Product Information. Zarontin (ethosuximide)." Parke-Davis, Morris Plains, NJ.

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