Primidone is a prescription used alone or with other medications to control seizures. A seizure is an uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain. It may cause changes in your behavior, feelings, or movements, and in levels of consciousness. You have epilepsy if you have had two or more seizures or a tendency to have recurrent seizures. This type of condition is more common than you might think. It can happen after a stroke, an infection such as meningitis, or a closed head injury. Many types of seizures can range in severity. The types may vary by where and how they begin in the brain. Most seizures may last from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. A seizure that takes longer than 5 minutes is already an emergency. The signs and symptoms of this condition may range from mild to severe. It includes:

  • A staring spell
  • Temporary confusion
  • Loss of consciousness or awareness
  • Uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs
  • Cognitive or emotional symptoms such as anxiety, fear, or déjà vu

Primidone is in the family of medications called barbiturate anticonvulsants. This controls the abnormal electrical activity in the brain that happens during a seizure. Controlling and reducing seizure lets you do more of your normal daily activities and lessens your risk of harm when you lose awareness. This also lessens your risk for a possibly life-threatening condition of frequent and repeated seizures. Primidone is a prescription approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This product is supplied as a tablet that contains Primidone as an active ingredient. Each tablet is available in the dosage forms of 50 mg and 250 mg for oral use.

How does Primidone work?

Primidone stabilizes electrical activity in the brain. The brain and nerves are made up of many nerve cells. These cells communicate with each other through electrical signals. For them to function well, these signals should be sensibly controlled for the brain and nerves. It becomes over-stimulated when unusually rapid and repetitive electrical signals are released in the brain. There is also a normal function disturbed.

This medication prevents excessive electrical activity in the brain. This is thought to prevent sodium from entering nerve cells when they begin to fire rapid and repetitive electrical signals. A build-up of sodium in the nerve cells is needed for the electrical signal to build up. It also passes on to the other nerve cells.

How to use Primidone?

The recommended dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to the treatment. Your doctor may direct you to start at a low dose at bedtime and eventually increase it to prevent side effects. It may take several weeks to reach the best dose for you. You should take the right dose, not more or less. This medication works best when the amount of drugs in your body is at a constant level. Therefore, remember to take it at the same time and in the same way each day. Do not suddenly stop taking this medication without the consent of your doctor. It may cause another complication or may worsen your current condition. You may also have withdrawal symptoms such as hallucinations, anxiety, or trouble sleeping. Withdrawal from this product can be severe and include seizures and rarely death. Let your doctor know right away if you have withdrawal. For the best benefit from this product, take it regularly.

Primidone is to be taken by mouth usually three to four times a day or as directed by your doctor. You may take each dose with or without a meal. Swallow the tablet as a whole with a full glass of water. Do not break, chew, or crush it. Drink plenty of fluids while having this medication. Doing so may lessen the risk of certain side effects. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose. Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse.

What are the side effects of Primidone?

Common side effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Spinning sensation
  • Skin rash
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Impotence

Let your doctor know right away if you serious side effects such as:

  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Unusual weakness
  • Easy bruising or bleeding

Call for medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction like:

  • Hives or itching
  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat

Warnings and Precautions

  • You should avoid drinking alcohol while having Primidone. It may make you drowsier.
  • This drug may make you feel dizzy. Avoid using any machinery or do any activity that requires your full alertness.
  • This may rarely cause problems with your blood cells. You should consult your doctor right away if you experience symptoms such as purple spots, unexplained bruising or bleeding, and mouth ulcers.
  • There may be a small increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in people taking Primidone. For this reason, it is important to seek medical advice if you experience any changes in mood or distressing thoughts.
  • This medication should be used with caution in elderly people, children, those with decreased liver or kidney function, and any breathing problems. Also, use this with caution in people who do not consume much calcium in their diet or those who do not get enough vitamin D from exposure to sunlight.
  • Primidone should not be used in people who allergic to it and those with an inherited blood disease called acute intermittent porphyria.
  • Let your doctor know if you have any allergies before using this drug. This may contain an inactive ingredient that causes an allergic reaction.
  • Tell as well your doctor if you have any medical history especially of hormone problems, lung disease, or certain vitamin deficiencies.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding women, consult your doctor first before using Primidone.