Prescription Drug Information: Zonisamide (Page 4 of 6)

Labor and Delivery :

The effect of zonisamide on labor and delivery in humans is not known.

Use in Nursing Mothers:

Zonisamide is excreted in human milk. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from zonisamide, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use:

The safety and effectiveness of zonisamide in children under age 16 have not been established. Acute myopia and secondary angle closure glaucoma have been reported in pediatric patients (see WARNINGS, Acute Myopia and Secondary Angle Closure Glaucoma subsection). Cases of oligohidrosis and hyperpyrexia have been reported (see WARNINGS, Oligohidrosis and Hyperthermia in Pediatric Patients subsection). Zonisamide commonly causes metabolic acidosis in pediatric patients (see WARNINGS, Metabolic Acidosis subsection). Hyperammonemia with encephalopathy has been reported in pediatric patients (see WARNINGS, Hyperammonemia and Encephalopathy subsection). Chronic untreated metabolic acidosis in pediatric patients may cause nephrolithiasis and/or nephrocalcinosis, osteoporosis and/or osteomalacia (potentially resulting in rickets), and may reduce growth rates. A reduction in growth rate may eventually decrease the maximal height achieved. The effect of zonisamide on growth and bone-related sequelae has not been systematically investigated.

Geriatric Use:

Single dose pharmacokinetic parameters are similar in elderly and young healthy volunteers (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Specific Populations subsection). Clinical studies of zonisamide did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.


The most common adverse reactions with zonisamide (an incidence at least 4% greater than placebo) in controlled clinical trials and shown in descending order of frequency were somnolence, anorexia, dizziness, ataxia, agitation/irritability, and difficulty with memory and/or concentration.

In controlled clinical trials, 12% of patients receiving zonisamide as adjunctive therapy discontinued due to an adverse reaction compared to 6% receiving placebo. Approximately 21% of the 1,336 patients with epilepsy who received zonisamide in clinical studies discontinued treatment because of an adverse reaction. The most common adverse reactions leading to discontinuation were somnolence, fatigue and/or ataxia (6%), anorexia (3%), difficulty concentrating (2%), difficulty with memory, mental slowing, nausea/vomiting (2%), and weight loss (1%). Many of these adverse reactions were dose-related (see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS).

Adverse Reaction Incidence in Controlled Clinical Trials:

Table 4 lists adverse reactions that occurred in at least 2% of patients treated with zonisamide in controlled clinical trials that were numerically more common in the zonisamide group. In these studies, either zonisamide or placebo was added to the patient’s current AED therapy.

Table 4. Adverse Reactions in Placebo-Controlled, Add-On Trials (Events that occurred in at least 2% of Zonisamide-treated patients and occurred more frequently in Zonisamide -treated than placebo-treated patients)
Headache 10 8
Abdominal Pain 6 3
Flu Syndrome 4 3
Anorexia 13 6
Nausea 9 6
Diarrhea 5 2
Dyspepsia 3 1
Constipation 2 1
Dry Mouth 2 1
Ecchymosis 2 1
Weight Loss 3 2
Dizziness 13 7
Ataxia 6 1
Nystagmus 4 2
Paresthesia 4 1
Confusion 6 3
Difficulty Concentrating 6 2
Difficulty with Memory 6 2
Mental Slowing 4 2
Agitation/Irritability 9 4
Depression 6 3
Insomnia 6 3
Anxiety 3 2
Nervousness 2 1
Schizophrenic/Schizophreniform Behavior 2 0
Somnolence 17 7
Fatigue 8 6
Tiredness 7 5
Speech Abnormalities 5 2
Difficulties in Verbal Expression 2 <1
Rhinitis 2 1
Rash 3 2
Diplopia 6 3
Taste Perversion 2 0

Other Adverse Reactions in Clinical Trials: Zonisamide has been administered to 1,598 individuals during all clinical trials, only some of which were placebo-controlled. The frequencies represent the proportion of the 1,598 individuals exposed to zonisamide who experienced an event on at least one occasion. All events are included except those already listed in the previous table or discussed in WARNINGS or PRECAUTIONS , trivial events, those too general to be informative, and those not reasonably associated with zonisamide.

Events are further classified within each category and listed in order of decreasing frequency as follows: frequent occurring in at least 1:100 patients; infrequent occurring in 1:100 to 1:1,000 patients; rare occurring in fewer than 1:1,000 patients.

Body as a Whole: Frequent: Accidental injury, asthenia. Infrequent: Chest pain, flank pain, malaise, allergic reaction, face edema, neck rigidity. Rare: Lupus erythematosus.

Cardiovascular: Infrequent: Palpitation, tachycardia, vascular insufficiency, hypotension, hypertension, thrombophlebitis, syncope, bradycardia. Rare: Atrial fibrillation, heart failure, pulmonary embolus, ventricular extrasystoles.

Digestive: Frequent: Vomiting. Infrequent: Flatulence, gingivitis, gum hyperplasia, gastritis, gastroenteritis, stomatitis, cholelithiasis, glossitis, melena, rectal hemorrhage, ulcerative stomatitis, gastro-duodenal ulcer, dysphagia, gum hemorrhage. Rare: Cholangitis, hematemesis, cholecystitis, cholestatic jaundice, colitis, duodenitis, esophagitis, fecal incontinence, mouth ulceration.

Hematologic and Lymphatic: Infrequent: Leukopenia, anemia, immunodeficiency, lymphadenopathy. Rare: Thrombocytopenia, microcytic anemia, petechia.

Metabolic and Nutritional: Infrequent: Peripheral edema, weight gain, edema, thirst, dehydration. Rare: Hypoglycemia, hyponatremia, lactic dehydrogenase increased, SGOT increased, SGPT increased.

Musculoskeletal: Infrequent: Leg cramps, myalgia, myasthenia, arthralgia, arthritis.

Nervous System: Frequent: Tremor, convulsion, abnormal gait, hyperesthesia, incoordination. Infrequent: Hypertonia, twitching, abnormal dreams, vertigo, libido decreased, neuropathy, hyperkinesia, movement disorder, dysarthria, cerebrovascular accident, hypotonia, peripheral neuritis, reflexes increased. Rare: Dyskinesia, dystonia, encephalopathy, facial paralysis, hypokinesia, hyperesthesia, myoclonus, oculogyric crisis.

Behavioral Abnormalities-Non-Psychosis-Related: Infrequent: Euphoria.

Respiratory: Frequent: Pharyngitis, cough increased. Infrequent: Dyspnea. Rare: Apnea, hemoptysis.

Skin and Appendages: Frequent: Pruritus. Infrequent: Maculopapular rash, acne, alopecia, dry skin, sweating, eczema, urticaria, hirsutism, pustular rash, vesiculobullous rash.

Special Senses: Frequent: Amblyopia, tinnitus. Infrequent: Conjunctivitis, parosmia, deafness, visual field defect, glaucoma. Rare: Photophobia, iritis.

Urogenital: Infrequent: Urinary frequency, dysuria, urinary incontinence, hematuria, impotence, urinary retention, urinary urgency, amenorrhea, polyuria, nocturia. Rare: Albuminuria, enuresis, bladder pain, bladder calculus, gynecomastia, mastitis, menorrhagia.


The following serious adverse reactions have been reported since approval and use of zonisamide worldwide. These reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size; therefore, it is not possible to estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Acute pancreatitis, rhabdomyolysis, increased creatine phosphokinase, drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), acute myopia and secondary angle closure glaucoma, and hyperammonemia and encephalopathy (see WARNINGS).

To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Inc. at 1-800-818-4555 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or provides trustworthy package insert and label information about marketed prescription drugs as submitted by manufacturers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Package information is not reviewed or updated separately by Every individual prescription drug label and package insert entry contains a unique identifier which can be used to secure further details directly from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and/or the FDA.

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