Ethosuximide is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat epilepsy (fits or seizures).
This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Ethosuximide 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 this medicine with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Ethosuximide is available as a capsule, oral solution or syrup.
If you are taking an oral solution or syrup, shake the bottle well before you take it to ensure that the liquid is evenly mixed. Use the measuring spoon or cup provided to measure out your prescribed dose.
Ethosuximide must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it suddenly as this may worsen your condition. Your doctor may want to reduce the dose of Ethosuximide gradually before stopping it completely.
It may be necessary for you to take Ethosuximide for a long time, such as for a few years. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe.
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.
Inform your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease.
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly. He may also need to do routine blood tests (e.g. complete blood count, liver function tests) while you are being treated with Ethosuximide.
Ethosuximide may make you drowsy or dizzy. This medicine may also cause you to suddenly fall asleep during your daily activities such as eating and watching television. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Ethosuximide may also cause any of the following side effects: headache, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and discomfort, loss of appetite, skin rash, and difficulty in controlling movements such as unsteadiness in walking.
Some side effects may be serious, although they are not common. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience:
- unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being too depressed, agitated, or having compulsive and impulsive behaviour)
- having thoughts of self-harm
- skin peeling or blisters/rashes with peeling of the skin or blistering of the lips, mouth or eyes accompanied by fever
- fever with persistent sore throat or mouth ulcers, unusual bleeding or bruising
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. phenytoin, valproic acid
- medicines to treat TB (lung infection known as tuberculosis) e.g. isoniazid
- medicines to treat depression e.g. escitalopram, duloxetine, bupropion
- medicines for mood disorders e.g. haloperidol, clozapine, chlorpromazine
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Ethosuximide.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
It may be helpful to discuss your diet with your doctor or dietitian about your intake of vitamin B9 (folic acid) while you are being treated with Ethosuximide. He may tell you to eat more of foods that are high in folic acid, such as beans, lettuce, avocado or wheat bread.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
The oral solution should be used within 1 month after opening. Do not allow to freeze. If frozen, this medicine will become ineffective and should not be used. Protect from light.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.