Generic Name: Zonisamide (zoe NIS a mide)
Brand Name: Zonegran
Medically reviewed on July 4, 2018
Uses of Zonisamide:
- It is used to treat seizures.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Zonisamide?
- If you have an allergy to zonisamide or any other part of zonisamide.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have a sulfa (sulfonamide) allergy, talk with your doctor.
- If you have kidney disease.
- If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with zonisamide.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take zonisamide with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Zonisamide?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take zonisamide. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- If you are allergic to tartrazine, talk with your doctor. Some products have tartrazine.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how zonisamide affects you.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Sweating less has happened with zonisamide mainly in children. Sometimes, this has led to heat stroke and hospital stays. Talk with the doctor.
- Be careful in hot weather or while being active. Drink lots of fluids to stop fluid loss.
- This medicine may cause an acid blood problem (metabolic acidosis). The chance may be higher in children and in people with kidney problems, breathing problems, or loose stools (diarrhea). The chance may also be higher if you take certain other drugs, if you have surgery, or if you are on a ketogenic diet. Over time, metabolic acidosis can cause kidney stones, bone problems, or growth problems in children. Talk with your doctor.
- Rarely, very bad effects have happened with sulfa drugs. Sometimes, these have been deadly. These effects have included liver problems, blood problems, and very bad skin reactions (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis). Call your doctor right away if you have a rash; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; red or irritated eyes; sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes; fever, chills, or sore throat; cough that is new or worse; feeling very tired or weak; any bruising or bleeding; or signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- A very bad and sometimes deadly reaction has happened with zonisamide. Most of the time, this reaction has signs like fever, rash, or swollen glands with problems in body organs like the liver, kidney, blood, heart, muscles and joints, or lungs. Talk with the doctor.
- Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol or use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
- This medicine is not approved for use in children younger than 16 years of age. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
- Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking zonisamide.
- If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking zonisamide, call your doctor right away.
- If you used zonisamide when you were pregnant, tell your baby's doctor.
How is this medicine (Zonisamide) best taken?
Use zonisamide as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take with or without food.
- Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
- Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
- Do not stop taking zonisamide all of a sudden without calling your doctor. You may have a greater risk of seizures. If you need to stop this drug, you will want to slowly stop it as ordered by your doctor.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Keep taking zonisamide as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of too much acid in the blood (acidosis) like confusion; fast breathing; fast heartbeat; a heartbeat the does not feel normal; very bad stomach pain, upset stomach, or throwing up; feeling very sleepy; shortness of breath; or feeling very tired or weak.
- Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Change in balance.
- Feeling confused.
- Not sweating during activities or in warm temperatures.
- High fever, fever that goes away and comes back, or long-lasting fever.
- Back pain, belly pain, or blood in the urine. May be signs of a kidney stone.
- If seizures are worse or not the same after starting zonisamide.
- Not able to focus.
- Trouble speaking.
- A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- Not able to control eye movements.
- Change in eyesight.
- Memory problems or loss.
- Bone pain.
- Very bad muscle pain or weakness.
- Swelling in the arms or legs.
- Shakiness, trouble moving around, or stiffness.
- Patients who take zonisamide may be at a greater risk of having thoughts or actions of suicide. The risk may be greater in people who have had these thoughts or actions in the past. Call the doctor right away if signs like low mood (depression), nervousness, restlessness, grouchiness, panic attacks, or changes in mood or actions are new or worse. Call the doctor right away if any thoughts or actions of suicide occur.
What are some other side effects of Zonisamide?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Feeling sleepy.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Upset stomach.
- Not hungry.
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
- Not able to sleep.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Zonisamide?
- Store at room temperature.
- Protect from light.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time zonisamide is refilled. If you have any questions about zonisamide, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about zonisamide
- Zonisamide Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 86 Reviews
- Drug class: carbonic anhydrase inhibitor anticonvulsants
Other brands: Zonegran