Nervous System Home > Side Effects of Ethosuximide

A loss of appetite, nausea, and an upset stomach are among the common side effects of ethosuximide. In most cases, the side effects of the drug are minor and can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. However, there are also some serious ethosuximide side effects that you should report to your healthcare provider immediately, such as hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, or unusual bleeding or bruising.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Ethosuximide

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with ethosuximide (Zarontin®). However, not everyone who takes the medication will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate ethosuximide quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with ethosuximide. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of ethosuximide side effects with you.)

Common Side Effects of Ethosuximide

Ethosuximide is an older seizure medication, approved many years ago. With newer medications, the side effects are carefully documented, and the exact percentage of people that develop each side effect is known. With older medications, like ethosuximide, information on side effects is less specific, and the exact percentages are not reported.
While the exact percentage of people who developed each ethosuximide side effect was not reported, it is known that gastrointestinal system (digestive system) side effects are most common. These side effects of ethosuximide include:
  • Loss of appetite
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal (or stomach) cramps and pain
  • Throat or chest pain (sometimes felt as heartburn or indigestion)
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea.
Other possible ethosuximide side effects include:
  • Problems with the gums
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Hiccups
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Vision problems
  • Vaginal bleeding.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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