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Manufactured by Eisai, Zonegran is indicated for the adjunctive treatment of partial seizures in adults with epilepsy. The manufacturer claims the drug is efficient in both the prevention and the treatment of this medical condition and should be used in combination with other anti-convulsing medication. Eisai was founded in Japan in 1941 and is now a reputable multinational pharmaceutical company.
The drug is an FDA approved prescription medicine. The manufacturer mentions excellent results in clinical trials, which have shown great efficiency in using the drug as an adjunctive therapy. The trials conducted in three multicenter, placebo-controlled, double blind, 3-month clinical trials in 499 patients with refractory partial onset seizures revealed a 27% – 40% median reduction in all partial seizures versus a -1% – 9 % median reduction with placebo.
Bear in mind that Zonegran’s safety and effectiveness in children under 16 years of age has not been proven.
Zonegran contains the following ingredient: Zonisamide (active substance)
Inactive ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, hydrogenated vegetable oil, sodium lauryl sulfate, gelatin and colorants
The drug works through its active substance – Zonisamide, a sulfonamide anticonvulsant used in therapy for adults with partial-onset seizures. Although the exact mechanism of action for Zonisamide is not known, there are multiple potential mechanisms of action that may impact seizure reduction. One theory claims the substance stabilizes the electrical activity in the brain and thus prevents the excessive seizure-causing signals from spreading through the brain. Another one claims it works to balance the levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter responsible for calming the nerve activity in the brain.
Special precautions refer to patients suffering from liver diseases, kidney disease (kidney stones), lung/breathing problems, long-term diarrhea, metabolic imbalance (metabolic acidosis), mental/mood problems (depression, psychosis).
Zonegran may cause serious side effects, such as serious skin rashes (that could lead to death), fever, suicidal thoughts or actions, metabolic acidosis (increased level of acid in the blood), difficulties in attention, memory, thinking and speech.
- Good manufacturer reputation
- Excellent results in clinical trials
- FDA approved
- Reasonable price
- Serious potential side effects
- Long list of precautions and warnings depending on one’s medical conditions
- Not tested in children under 16 years old
Zonegran is a rather recently developed anti-epileptic drug that has proven highly efficient in the treatment of partial seizures in adults with epilepsy. The manufacturing company mentions large scale clinical tests which prove its efficiency. The drug is however associated with a list of serious reactions such as skin rush, suicidal thoughts, somnolence, dizziness and cognitive impairment (speech, memory and concentration may be affected).
According to the manufacturer, the elimination half-life of Zonisamide in plasma is approximately 63 hours, thus consistent therapeutic levels in the blood are ensured. A doctor’s consultation is required before starting taking the drug and before deciding to interrupt treatment.
A doctor’s recommendation is required both before starting treatment and in case of intent to interrupt treatment.The drug is available in 25-mg, 50-mg and 100-mg capsules and a month’s supply greatly varies on other medication included in the treatment.