Where is Zonisamide used?

Zonisamide is used for the treatment of epilepsy. This drug stabilizes electrical activity in the brain. The brain and nerves are made up of many nerve cells that communicate with each other through electrical signals. These signals should be sensibly regulated for the brain and nerves to work well. Once unusually rapid and repetitive electrical signals accumulate and spread through the brain, the brain becomes over-stimulated. The normal function is disturbed also. 

How does Zonisamide work?

This medication prevents epileptic fits by preventing excessive electrical activity in the brain. It is supposed to act on calcium and sodium channels found on the nerve cells in the brain. Sodium needs to move into the nerve cells for an electrical signal to build up and then be passed on to other nerve cells. This medication may stop sodium from entering the nerve cells when they begin to fire abnormally rapid and repetitive electrical signals. This helps stabilize the electrical activity in the brain. This also prevents the excessive seizure that causes signals from spreading through the brain.

Zonisamide may also affect the activity of a neurotransmitter called GABA. Neurotransmitters are natural body chemicals that are stored in nerve cells. They are also involved in transmitting messages between the nerve cells. It helps keep the nerve activity in the brain in balance. Zonisamide may enhance the activity of GABA and so help calm the nerve activity in the brain.

How to use Zonisamide?

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. This is usually taken 1 to 2 times a day with or without food. Swallow the capsule as a whole. To avoid kidney stones from developing, drink adequate fluids while taking this medicine unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. 

The dosage will depend on your medical condition and response to the treatment. Your doctor will give a start you on a lower dose and gradually increase it. It could take some weeks or months to reach the right dose for you. Certain conditions might get worse when the medication is suddenly stopped. For this reason, don’t stop this treatment without consent from your doctor. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

What are the possible side effects of Zonisamide?

  • Dizziness 
  • Drowsiness
  • Tired feeling
  • Headache
  • Double vision
  • Loss of appetite
  • Blurred vision
  • Diarrhea

What are the precautions in using Zonisamide?

  • This may cause difficulty concentrating or drowsiness. If affected, you must be careful when doing possibly dangerous tasks. 
  • The medicine might make you sweat less which can make your body temperature increase. Therefore, it is vital to make sure you drink enough water while you are taking Zonisamide. Drinking water prevents you from overheating and helps keep the body cool. 
  • This medicine can cause loss of appetite and people taking the drug should be weighed regularly. If you are losing too much weight your doctor will ask you to increase the amount you are eating.