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HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
This medication is used alone or with other medications to prevent and control a certain type of seizure (absence or petit mal seizure). It works by controlling the abnormal electrical activity in the brain that occurs during a seizure.
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking this medication and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually once or twice daily or as directed by your doctor. If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon.
Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. Dosage is based on your age, medical condition, blood levels of ethosuximide, and response to treatment. For children, the dosage may also be based on their weight.It is very important to follow your doctor’s dosing instructions exactly. Your doctor will start you on a low dose and slowly increase your dose. It may take several weeks or months to reach the best dose for you and to get the full benefit from this medication.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness, headache, stomach upset, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, diarrhea, or loss of coordination may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
A small number of people who take anticonvulsants for any condition (such as seizure, bipolar disorder, pain) may experience depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, or other mental/mood problems. Tell your doctor right away if you or your family/caregiver notice any unusual/sudden changes in your mood, thoughts, or behavior including signs of depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, thoughts about harming yourself.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: fainting, aching swollen joints, severe tiredness, easy bruising/bleeding, rapid breathing, signs of liver problems (such as nausea/vomiting that doesn’t stop, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine), signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine, pink/bloody urine). A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare.
However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: fever, swollen lymph nodes, rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects.
If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking ethosuximide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to methsuximide; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease, mental/mood disorder (such as depression, psychosis). This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy.
Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis). Liquid products may contain sugar and/or alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, alcohol dependence, liver disease, or any other condition that requires you to limit/avoid these substances in your diet. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness, loss of coordination, or fainting. These side effects can increase the risk of falling. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This medication passes into breast milk, but is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring. To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product.
While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor’s approval. A product that may interact with this drug is: orlistat. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness, including alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, and narcotic pain relievers (such as codeine).
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely. This document does not contain all possible interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use. Share this list with your doctor and pharmacist to lessen your risk for serious medication problems.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: slow/shallow breathing, severe drowsiness, loss of consciousness.
Do not share this medication with others. Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as ethosuximide blood levels, complete blood count, kidney/liver function) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
It is important to take each dose at the scheduled time. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not freeze the liquid form of this medication. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
ETHOSUXIMIDE – ORAL