Zonisamide May Help Patients with Medication-Resistant Epilepsy

Zonisamide May Help Patients with Medication-Resistant Epilepsy

Verna L. Rose

(American Academy of Neurology) Zonisamide (Zonegran), a drug under investigation in the United States, appears to be effective in the treatment of patients with epilepsy who have not responded to an antiepileptic drug, according to a U.S. study of eight patients with medication-resistant epilepsy who participated in a series of long-term trials of zonisamide. All of the patients had partial seizures that were inadequately controlled by a number of antiepileptic drugs before starting the trial of zonisamide. The patients in the study received zonisamide from 9.7 to 12.2 years (mean treatment duration: 11.0 years). The dosage ranged from 100 to 1,000 mg daily (mean: 500 to 700 mg daily). The most common side effects were ataxia, viral illness, dizziness, and forgetfulness or slowness of thought. Adverse events occurred most often during the initiation of therapy and became less frequent or less severe over time. The investigators believe that most patients with medication-resistant epilepsy will benefit from a total dosage of about 400 mg daily.-mark l. scheuer, m.d., et al., Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa.

COPYRIGHT 1999 American Academy of Family Physicians

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