Zonegran is a drug that is approved for use with other seizure medications to control partial seizures. It works by stopping seizure activity from starting and preventing it from spreading to other parts of the brain. The drug comes in capsule form and is generally taken once or twice a day. Common side effects of Zonegran include drowsiness, nausea, and headaches.
What Is Zonegran?
Zonegran® (zonisamide) is a prescription medication used to treat partial seizures, a specific type of epileptic seizure. Seizures are divided into two major categories: partial seizures (sometimes called focal seizures) and generalized seizures. Partial seizures occur in just one part of the brain, while generalized seizures affect both sides of the brain. Zonegran is approved to be used together with other seizure medications to control partial seizures.
Epilepsy is a brain disorder caused by recurring, brief changes in the brain's electrical system. These changes in brain activity can lead to a seizure (see Epilepsy Symptoms).
It is not known exactly how Zonegran works to prevent partial seizures in people with epilepsy. It may work by blocking sodium channels in the brain, which could decrease activity of nerve cells, preventing them from firing abnormally. The medication may also affect calcium in the brain. Evidence suggests that the medication works to stop seizure activity from starting and preventing it from spreading to other parts of the brain.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Zonegran [package insert]. Woodcliff Lake, NJ: Eisai, Inc.;2010 March.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed June 18, 2007.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed June 18, 2007.
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