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Ethosuximide reduces the type of brain activity associated with absence seizures.
Ethosuximide is one of the drugs of choice for children who have absence seizures.
Ethosuximide does not prevent any types of seizures other than absence seizures. Ethosuximide is sometimes used with other drugs to treat adults who have several types of generalized seizures.
Ethosuximide is effective in preventing absence seizures in children and adults.1
Ethosuximide may cause stomach problems, including:
It may also cause headache, mild drowsiness, dizziness, and hiccups.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning on antiepileptic medicines and the risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts. The FDA does not recommend that people stop using these medicines. Instead, people who take antiepileptic medicine should be watched closely for warning signs of suicide. People who take antiepileptic medicine and who are worried about this side effect should talk to a doctor.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
It may take time and careful, controlled adjustments by you and your doctor to find the combination, schedule, and dosing of medicine to best manage your epilepsy. The goal is to prevent seizures while causing as few side effects as possible. After you and your doctor figure out the medicine program that works best for you, make sure to follow your program exactly as prescribed.
Last Revised: August 26, 2011
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