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Ethosuximide is a drug used in the treatment of petit mal seizures. This type of seizure is also known as absence seizure, not least because the duration of the seizure lasts less than 30 seconds, on average. Typically, the patient, who usually experiences their first such seizure during childhood, stares into space, or may roll their eyes back. Ethosuximide is used because it specifically blocks the T-type calcium channels in the brain, something that many other anticonvulsant drugs fail to do. Ethosuximide may also be used for purposes not listed in this guide, at the discretion of the prescriber.
- Absence Seizures
Ethosuximide, as with any other medicine, does not follow any fixed dose. There are, of course, recommended dosage regimens, but these regimens have exceptions. Patients may present with complicating factors such as age, co-administration of other medicines, and the presence of disease. Dosage may change at the discretion of the prescriber.
- 500mg (10mL) to be administered daily. For patients between 3 and 6 years of age, the dose is halved to 250mg (5mL) to be administered daily.
Ethosuximide Side Effects
Ethosuximide is associated with numerous clinically significant side effects, many of which are listed below, though this is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Many patients experience mild to moderate side effects with ethosuximide, but many of these may subside with time as the body becomes accustomed to the medicine. If patients experience any severe side effects while taking ethosuximide, they are advised to discontinue the medicine and seek further professional advice. Common side effects include:
- Loss of Appetite
- Weight Loss
- Vaginal Bleeding
Consult your doctor if you experience any of the following side effects:
- Sore Throat
- Muscle Pain
- Joint Pain
Ethosuximide, as with many anticonvulsant drugs, is associated with numerous drug interactions. Many of these drug interactions are listed below, though this is not an exhaustive list. Patients are advised not to consume alcohol while taking ethosuximide as this worsens the effects of both ethosuximide and alcohol. Patients should not commence any new medication while taking ethosuximide unless permitted by your doctor or pharmacist. Drugs that interact with ethosuximide include: