Epilepsy Home > Zarontin Warnings and Precautions

You should be aware of any Zarontin warnings and precautions that may apply to your situation before taking the medication. Some of these precautions include the risk of the drug making liver or kidney problems worse, the danger of the drug causing lupus in some people, and the safety of taking the drug when pregnant or breastfeeding.

Zarontin: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Zarontin® (ethosuximide) if you have:
  • Any blood disorder
  • Liver disease, including liver failure, hepatitis, or cirrhosis
  • Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, or simply lupus for short)
  • Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Zarontin Warnings and Precautions

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Zarontin include the following:
  • Seizure medications, including Zarontin may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior. Let your healthcare provider know immediately if you feel depressed or have any suicidal thoughts.


  • Zarontin can affect the bone marrow's ability to make blood cells. Let your healthcare provider know if you have any signs of low blood cells, such as if you bruise or bleed easily or have frequent infections. It is also recommended that you have blood tests periodically to check for these problems.
  • If used alone to treat mixed types of epilepsy (involving more than one type of seizure), Zarontin can increase the risk of seizures, including grand mal seizures. In general, Zarontin should not be used alone to treat seizures other than absence seizures.
  • Your healthcare provider may need to monitor you very closely if you have liver or kidney disease and take Zarontin, as the drug has been reported to cause liver and kidney problems (or make these problems worse).
  • There have been reports of Zarontin causing lupus. If you develop lupus while taking Zarontin, your healthcare provider should consider Zarontin to be one of the possible causes of your condition.
  • As with all seizure medications, Zarontin should not be stopped suddenly (see Zarontin Withdrawal).
  • Zarontin can cause concentration problems, speech problems, drowsiness, and problems with coordination. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you develop any of these Zarontin side effects. Also, make sure to see how Zarontin affects you before driving or operating any machinery.
  • Zarontin can interact with other medications (see Zarontin Drug Interactions).
  • Zarontin is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for pregnant women. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of taking the drug during pregnancy (see Zarontin and Pregnancy).
  • Zarontin passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Zarontin and Breastfeeding).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
Other Articles in This eMedTV Presentation




Related Channels

eMedTV Links
Copyright © 2006-2019 Clinaero, Inc.

eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.

This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.