Ethosuximide review

Ethosuximide is classified as a succinimide anticonvulsant drug that is mainly used in the treatment of absence epilepsy. Succinimides are compounds containing succinimide group, which main action is to form covalent bonds between peptides or proteins and plastics.

Ethosuximide is marketed as Zarontin and Emeside. It is used in the treatment of patients suffering from absence epilepsy or petit mal epilepsy.

Ethosuximide is administered orally. Patients who are three to six years old may be given initial doses of one capsule per day, containing 250mg. For six years and older, 500 mg may be given per day. For pediatric patients, the optimal dose is 20 mg per kilogram of body weight per day.

The drug may be given in combination with other anticonvulsant drug if other forms of epilepsy are present.

Common side effects of ethosuximide therapy may include allergic reactions in different areas of the body. Such reactions may include rashes, itchiness, swelling of lips, face and mouth and sores.

Gastrointestinal pain such as stomach upset, nausea, cramps, diarrhea, weight loss and even anorexia may be reported as side effects of the drug. More serious side effects such as leucopenia, pancytopenia, bone marrow suppression and even agranulocytosis may develop as side effects of taking the drug.

Feelings of euphoria, dizziness, hyperactivity, mood and mental changes, fatigue and drowsiness have also been reported as some side effects of the drug. The drug ethosuximide also have been reported to cause psychological side effects such as aggressive behavior, sleep problems, paranoid psychosis, depression, increase in libido and even suicidal intentions.

Hematuria and vaginal bleeding, along with myopia are some more of the serious, yet unlikely side effects that the drug may bring to the patients under therapy.

Ethosuximide is contraindicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to succinimides and its known components. Ethosuximide, if used alone in mixed types of epilepsy, has been reported to increase the frequency of grand mal seizures in some of the patients.

As with most anticonvulsants, it is necessary to gradually increase or decrease the drug’s dosage, also when adding or removing concomitant drugs in the therapy. An abrupt withdrawal of the drug may precipitate seizures.

Ethosuximide use has been associated to the development of blood dyscrasias, which sometimes lead to fatalities. Ethosuximide is also shown to produce changes both morphological and functional in the liver. Hence, patients with known blood and liver problems should exercise extreme caution when taking ethosuximide.

Anticonvulsant drugs, along with ethosuximide have been known to increase the risk of patients invoking suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Along with suicidal intentions, patients may also experience psychotic episodes, and thus should be carefully monitored. The use of the drug may also trigger bouts of depressions.

Clinical studies have shown that the use of ethosuximide while pregnant increases the chances of birth defects. The doctor must be informed if the patient is pregnant or wishes to become pregnant prior to the start of the ethosuximide therapy. The possible benefits of the drug must be weighed against the potential risks it may bring to both the mother and the unborn child.

It has been found out that ethosuximide is excreted in breast milk. The use of ethosuximide by nursing mothers should be given caution and only be used if clearly needed.

Ethosuximide has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of ethosuximide

• Molecular formula of ethosuximide is C7H11NO2
• Chemical IUPAC Name is 3-ethyl-3-methyl-pyrrolidine-2,5-dione
• Molecular weight is 141.168 g/mol
Ethosuximide available : 250mg capsules

Brand name(s): Aethosuximide, Asamid, Atysmal, Capitus, Emeside, Ethosuccimide, Ethosuccinimide, Ethosuxide, Ethymal, Etomal, Etosuximid, Etosuximida, Mesentol, Pemal, Pemalin, Pentinimid, Peptinimid, Petinimid, Petnidan, Piknolepsin, Pyknolepsinum, Ronton, Simatin, Succimal, Succimitin, Suxilep, Suximal, Suxin, Suxinutin, Thetamid, Thilopemal, Uritone, Urodeine, Zaraondan, Zarodan, Zarondan, Zarontin, Zartalin

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