Zonisamide is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat epilepsy (also known as fits or seizures).
Zonisamide may also be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Zonisamide exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take Zonisamide with or without food. Swallow it whole with plenty of water. Do not chew or crush the capsule. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Zonisamide must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking Zonisamide even when you feel better. Zonisamide is not a cure and you may need to take it long-term to keep your seizures under control. Do not stop taking Zonisamide unless instructed otherwise as stopping it suddenly may worsen your condition.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you ever had an allergic reaction to sulphonamides (e.g. sulfa-containing antibiotics) as Zonisamide may not be suitable to you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- liver disease
- kidney disease
- history of kidney stones
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Use adequate birth control during treatment and for 1 month after you stop taking Zonisamide. You may wish to discuss birth control options with your doctor.
Drink plenty of water while being treated with Zonisamide to reduce the chances of developing kidney stones.
Zonisamide may cause dizziness, tiredness, drowsiness and double vision. Zonisamide may also cause you to suddenly fall asleep during your daily activities such as eating and watching television. You may not feel drowsy before you fall asleep. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, difficulty in controlling movement such as unsteadiness in walking or involuntary eye movements, loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhoea, irritability and problems concentrating.
Let your doctor know if you experience:
- rashes with or without peeling of the skin or blistering of the lips, mouth or eyes accompanied by fever
- swelling of the eyes, face or lips or breathing difficulties
- extensive or unusual bleeding or bruising
- mouth ulcers or persistent fever or sore throat
- signs of kidney stones (stomach or back pain, pain while urinating or blood in the urine)
- severe muscle pain or weakness
- worsening of your fits
- reduced sweating and fever
- confusion and hallucinations (seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not existent)
- changes in mood or behaviour (being too depressed, agitated, or having thoughts of self-harm)
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- other medicines for epilepsy e.g. topiramate, phenytoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbitone
- medicines to treat TB (lung infection known as tuberculosis) e.g. rifampicin
- medicines for glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye) e.g. acetazolamide, dichlorphenamide
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Zonisamide.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.