Zonisamide (zoh-NIH-sah-mide) is the generic name (non-brand name) used in the United States for a widely used seizure medicine. The common brand name for Zonisamide is Zonegran (ZAHN-uh-gran).
Zonisamide is marketed in the United States by several manufacturers. The name or appearance may differ in other places.
How to take and store Zonisamide
Follow your doctor's directions. Call if you have any questions. Usually, your doctor will tell you to start by taking no more than 100 mg each day. After a while the doctor may tell you to take a larger dose to get better control of your seizures. Usually the doctor will tell you to take all the capsules at one time, or perhaps to take capsules twice a day.
Swallow each capsule whole. Don't bite it or break it open. It's OK to take Zonisamide either with food or without food, but it's important to take it the same way day after day.
Drink plenty of liquids every day. Doing this may help to prevent kidney stones, a serious problem that affects a small number of people who take Zonisamide.
Don't take more than the doctor prescribes. Be sure to use only the amount of Zonisamide that your doctor prescribes. Be especially careful if you get a new prescription for a different size of capsule. Don't just continue to take the same number of pills as before.
If you think you've taken one or two extra capsules, call your doctor for advice. For a larger overdose, call your local poison control center or emergency room right away, unless you have special directions from the doctor.
Don't stop taking Zonisamide or change the number of capsules you take without talking to your doctor first. Stopping any seizure medicine all at once can cause a serious problem called status epilepticus.
Store Zonisamide capsules at room temperature, protected from dampness and light. Keep them where children can't get them.
What if I forget?
If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, delay that dose for a few hours instead of taking two doses very close together. If you take Zonisamide only once a day, allow an interval of about 12 hours before taking the second dose, and then start a 24-hour schedule again the next day. If you're not sure about what to do, call the doctor's office for advice.
Do your best to follow the doctor's directions. If you forget doses often, it may be a good idea to get a special pillbox or watch with an alarm to remind you.
Taking the right amount of seizure medicine on time every single day is the most important step in preventing seizures!
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