What is Ethosuximide?

Ethosuximide is a prescription medication. It comes as an oral capsule or as an oral solution. Ethosuximide oral capsule is available as a brand name drug called Zarontin. Ethosuximide is an anti-epileptic drug, also referred to as an anticonvulsant. The medication has been used alone or in combination with other drugs to treat seizures (also called "petit mal" seizures) in adults and children.


Ethosuximide Uses

Ethosuximide oral capsule is being used to reduce or stop seizures (small mal seizures) in people with epilepsy. It works by regulating unusual electrical activity in the brain that occurs during seizures. Ethosuximide belongs to the class of medication called Anticonvulsants.


Ethosuximide Side effects

Some of the common side effects of Ethosuximide are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramp
  • Indigestion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Hiccups

Some of the serious side effects of Ethosuximide are:

Serious allergic reactions. Symptoms include

  • Skin rash
  • Hives
  • Nausea
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Blistering or peeling of the skin

Changes in thinking

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions

  • Fever, swollen glands
  • Frequent infections
  • Bruising more easily
  • Red or purple spots in the body
  • Nosebleeds

If you have any of these serious symptoms immediately contact your doctor for further assistance. In any case, due to Ethosuximide if you get any kind of reactions in your body try avoiding it.

A doctor advised you to take the medicines by seeing your problems and the benefits of this medicine are greater than the side effects. Majority of the people who use this medicine don’t show any side effects. Get medical help immediately if you get any serious Ethosuximide side effects.


Precautions

Before taking Ethosuximide talk with your doctor if you are allergic to it or any other medications. The product may contain some inactive ingredients which can cause some serious allergic problems.

Before using Ethosuximide talk with your doctor if you are having any medical history such as:

  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver diseases
  • Mood disorder

How to take Ethosuximide?

Ethosuximide comes as a capsule and as a syrup (liquid) to be taken by mouth. It's generally taken one or more times a day. Take ethosuximide at around the same time each day. It works by regulating the abnormal electrical activity in the brain that occurs during seizures. The recommended dosage for patients 3 to 6 years of age is one capsule (250 mg) per day; for patients 6 years of age and older, two capsules (500 mg) per day. The dose should then be individualized according to the patient's response. The dose should be increased by small increments. One useful method is to increase the daily dose by 250 mg every four to seven days until a minimum control is achieved with minimum side effects. Dosages exceeding 1.5 g daily in divided doses should only be administered under the strictest supervision of the physician. The optimum dose for most pediatric patients is 20 mg/kg/day.

Dosage Forms and Strengths

Dosage for epileptic absence seizures

Generic: Ethosuximide

  • Form: oral capsule
  • Strengths: 250 mg
  • Adult dosage: Per day 500 mg should be taken orally. The doctor may increase your dosage in every 4-7 days up to 250 mg.

Missed Dose

Missing one or two-dose of Ethosuximide won’t show any effect on your body. The skipped dose causes no problem. But with some medication, it won’t work if you don’t take the dosage on time. If you miss a dose some sudden chemical change may affect your body. In some cases, your doctor would advise you to take the prescribed medicine as soon as possible if you have missed the dose.

Overdose

Overdose of a drug can be accidental. If you have taken more than the prescribed Ethosuximide tablets there is a chance of getting a harmful effect on your body’s functions. Overdose of a medicine can lead to some medical emergency.

Warnings for People with Serious Health Conditions

For people with Liver Disease

Ethosuximide can harm the liver. Use major caution if you are having liver disease.

For people with Kidney Disease

Excessive consumption of Ethosuximide can harm the kidney very badly. If you are having a kidney-related problem talk with your doctor.

For Pregnant Women

Ethosuximide can cause infertility if you take it during pregnancy. This drug can only be used if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk of pregnancy.

For Breastfeeding

Ethosuximide is passing through breast milk. It can cause serious effects in a breastfed child. Talk to your doctor if you are currently taking ethosuximide and are considering breastfeeding.

Storage

Direct contact with heat, air and light may damage your medicines. The exposure of medicine may cause some harmful effects. The medicine must be kept in a safe place and out of children’s reach.

Mainly the drug should be kept at room temperature between 68ºF and 77ºF (20ºC and 25ºC).

Before taking Ethosuximide to consult your Doctor. In case if you face any problems or get any side effects after taking Ethosuximide rush immediately to your nearby hospital or consult your doctor for better treatment. Carry your medications always in your bag while travelling to avoid any immediate emergencies. Follow your prescription and follow your Doctor advice whenever you take Ethosuximide.

Ethosuximide vs Keppra

Ethosuximide

Keppra

Ethosuximide is a prescription medication. It comes as an oral capsule or as an oral solution. Ethosuximide oral capsule is available as a brand name drug called Zarontin Keppra is a prescription medication used to treat symptoms of partial-onset seizures, tonic-clonic seizures and myoclonic seizures. Keppra may be used on its own or with other medicines
Ethosuximide oral capsule is being used to reduce or stop seizures (small mal seizures) in people with epilepsy. It works by regulating unusual electrical activity in the brain that occurs during seizures. Keppra is used to control seizures; (epilepsy). It is a class of drugs known as anticonvulsants. Keppra may reduce the number of seizures you have.
Some of the common side effects of Ethosuximide are:
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramp
  • Indigestion
Most common side effects of Keppra are:
  • Fatigue
  • Angioedema
  • Hematologic abnormalities
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Nausea

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is ethosuximide used for?

Ethosuximide oral capsule is being used to reduce or stop seizures (small mal seizures) in people with epilepsy. It works by regulating unusual electrical activity in the brain that occurs during seizures.

What are the side effects of ethosuximide?

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramp
  • Indigestion

What is the mechanism of action of ethosuximide?

The exact mechanism of action is not fully understood, but the most likely effect of ethosuximide is the partial antagonism of the T-type calcium channels of the thalamic neurons. This leads to a decrease in thalamocortical neurons bursting, which stabilizes nerve activity in the brain and prevents seizures.

Is Ethosuximide a barbiturate?

Ethosuximide generates barbiturate-like toxicity, characterized by the nervous system and pulmonary edema, nausea and vomiting when the blood level is more than 120 mcg/mL.

How quickly does Ethosuximide work?

It may take a couple of weeks for ethosuximide to work properly, so that your child may still have seizures during this time. That's because the amount of medicine needs to be increased slowly.

What happens if absence seizures go untreated?

Most children with lack of epilepsy eventually overcame the condition without complications. A child can have a normal life at school and at home with proper treatment.

How long does Ethosuximide stay in your system?

It is dispersed through total body water and metabolized in the liver. The half-life of ethosuximide is between 30 and 40 hours in children and between 50 and 60 hours in adults. Because ethosuximide is metabolized in the liver, people with liver disease should be treated with caution.

Why is Ethosuximide used for absence seizures?

Ethosuximide lowers the threshold of calcium currents (T currents) in thalamic neurons. These currents, in turn, affect the oscillatory activity of the thalamocortical neurons, which are the generators of the 3-Hz spike-and-wave rhythms of patients with no epilepsy.

Can Ethosuximide cause seizures?

This medicine may increase the chance of major mal seizures in some patients. Ethosuximide may cause some people to be agitated, irritable, or have other abnormal behaviours.


Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.