Generic Name: methsuximide (meth SUX i mide)
Brand Name: Celontin
What is methsuximide?
Methsuximide is an anti-epileptic medication, also called an anticonvulsant.
Methsuximide is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat absence seizures (also called "petit mal" seizures) in adults and children.
Methsuximide may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about methsuximide?
Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with methsuximide. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as: fever, swollen glands, sore throat, easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth), feeling very weak or tired.
Do not stop using methsuximide suddenly. Stopping suddenly may cause increased seizures.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking methsuximide?
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to methsuximide or to other seizure medications.
To make sure methsuximide is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
kidney disease; or
a history of depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or actions.
Some people have thoughts about suicide when taking an anticonvulsant. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
Follow your doctor's instructions about taking seizure medication if you are pregnant. Do not start or stop taking this medicine without your doctor's advice, and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Methsuximide may cause harm to an unborn baby, but having a seizure during pregnancy could harm both mother and baby. The benefit of preventing seizures may outweigh any risks to the baby.
If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of methsuximide on the baby.
It is not known whether methsuximide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take methsuximide?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Methsuximide can weaken your immune system. Your blood may need to be tested often.
Do not stop using methsuximide suddenly, even if you feel fine. Stopping suddenly may cause increased seizures. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.
Call your doctor if your seizures get worse or you have them more often while taking methsuximide.
Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you take methsuximide. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you take seizure medication.
Use methsuximide regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not allow liquid medicine to freeze.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, extreme drowsiness, and weak or shallow breathing.
What should I avoid while taking methsuximide?
Drinking alcohol with this medicine can cause side effects.
This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
Methsuximide side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with methsuximide. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as:
swollen glands, sore throat;
easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth); or
feeling very weak or tired.
Also call your doctor at once if you have:
confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior, extreme fear;
lupus-like syndrome--joint pain or swelling with fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, chest pain, vomiting, unusual thoughts or behavior, and patchy skin color; or
severe skin reaction--fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Common side effects may include:
nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
headache, dizziness, drowsiness;
blurred vision; or
loss of balance or coordination.
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)
Methsuximide dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Seizures:
Initial dose: 300 mg orally once a day for the first week.
Maintenance dose: If required, the daily dosage may be increased at weekly intervals by 300 mg/day to a maximum of 1200 mg orally daily in 1 to 2 divided doses daily.
Because therapeutic effect and tolerance vary among patients, therapy with methsuximide must be individualized according to the response of each patient. Optimal dosage is that amount of methsuximide which is barely sufficient to control seizures so that side effects may be kept to a minimum.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Seizures:
Initial dose: 150 mg orally once a day for the first week.
Target dose: If required, the daily dosage may be increased at weekly intervals by 150 mg to 300 mg/day to a maximum of 1200 mg orally daily in 1 to 2 divided doses daily.
The optimal dose is that which is just sufficient to control seizures without causing disturbing side effects.
What other drugs will affect methsuximide?
Taking this medicine with other drugs that make you dizzy or sleepy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before taking methsuximide with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.
Tell your doctor about all your current seizure medications, and any you start or stop using.
Other drugs may interact with methsuximide, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
More about methsuximide
- Other brands: Celontin
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about methsuximide.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 11.01.
Last reviewed: August 01, 2016
Date modified: January 10, 2017