What is in the pack?
The name of your medicine is Zarontin. It comes as clear, pale yellow, dye free, oblong soft gelatin capsules containing a clear solution. Each capsule has 250 mg of the active ingredient ethosuximide Ph Eur.
The capsules also contain the following inactive ingredients: macrogol 400, gelatin, glycerol, triglycerides medium chain, soy lecithin and water.
Each pack contains 56 capsules.
What is Zarontin?
The active ingredient ethosuximide Ph Eur is one of the group of medicines called anti-epileptic drugs which are used in the treatment of epilepsy.
What is Zarontin used for?
Zarontin can be used for the prevention of absence seizures (petit mal epilepsy) and may be taken with other anti-epileptic drugs.
Before taking Zarontin
Before you start to take Zarontin:
Are you pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breast-feeding?
Have you ever had a reaction to Zarontin or other similar drugs?
Are you taking any other anti-epileptic medicines that your doctor may not be aware of?
Do you suffer from kidney or liver disease? Zarontin may affect your liver and kidneys. Your doctor may take regular blood samples to test for this.
If you answer YES to any of these questions do not take the capsules. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist at once.
Zarontin and driving
Zarontin may cause drowsiness - if you feel drowsy, do not drive or do anything which would be dangerous if you are not alert.
How to take Zarontin
Follow your doctor's instructions exactly and never change the dose yourself. Your doctor will have decided what dose of Zarontin is right for you. Zarontin capsules should be taken orally.
The dosage of Zarontin varies from one person to another. Adults and children over six usually start on two capsules a day and build up slowly to four or six capsules a day. Even higher doses up to eight capsules a day are sometimes needed.
Children under six usually take Zarontin syrup.
Try to take the medicine at the same time every day.
If you forget to take a dose, take another as soon as you remember unless it is time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at the same time.
If you accidentally take too much Zarontin, tell your doctor at once.
If you can't do this go to the nearest hospital casualty department. Take along any capsules that are left, the container and the label so that the hospital staff can easily tell what medicine you have taken.
Do not stop taking Zarontin or change the amount you take unless your doctor tells you to.
Zarontin can sometimes cause side-effects. These are usually mild and should disappear as treatment continues. These might be:
lack of interest
feeling of well being
upset stomach, nausea (feeling sick), vomiting (being sick) and lack of appetite
slow, stiff movements and shaking, especially of the hands
Other side-effects happen sometimes.
increased sex drive
changes in behaviour or personality (irritability, aggressiveness, feelings of persecution or hyperactivity)
sleep disturbances, tiredness, lack of energy, inability to concentrate or nightmares.
Serious side-effects are very unusual. They might be:
Skin rash. This might be minor or it might be a more serious condition called Stevens Johnson syndrome which causes blisters and may involve the mouth or the tongue.
Systemic lupus erythematosus. This can cause inflammation in various parts of the body including the joints, skin and kidneys. You might notice this first as fever, pain in the joints and general ill health. The protein content of your urine may change, you will not be aware of this, but your doctor may test a sample of urine.
Blood dyscrasias. These include various different effects on the blood in which the number of red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets (part of the blood which helps clotting) is reduced. You might notice this first as being unable to fight off infections, fever and sore throat or bruising and bleeding.
In patients with more than one type of epilepsy, treatment with ethosuximide alone may cause an increase in generalised (tonic-clonic) seizures.
If you get any of these, or any other unusual effects, tell your doctor or pharmacist at once.
How to store Zarontin
Do not store above 30°C. Keep the container tightly closed.
Remember, like all medicines, to keep Zarontin well away from children.
Do not use after the last day of the month of the expiry date shown on the pack. Return any out-of-date capsules to your pharmacist.
If your doctor decides to end your treatment, return the leftover capsules to your pharmacist. Only keep them if your doctor tells you to.