What Is Zonisamide Used For?
Zonisamide is used for the treatment of partial seizures in people age 16 or older who have epilepsy. The drug is not approved for use by children younger than this. It is believed to work, in part, by blocking sodium channels in the brain. "Off-label" zonisamide uses include the treatment of other types of seizures.
Zonisamide (Zonegran®) is a prescription medication used in the treatment of epilepsy. In particular, zonisamide is approved for treating epilepsy in people who experience a certain type of seizure called partial seizures or focal seizures. It is approved only for use along with other seizure medications and is not to be used alone.
Epilepsy is a brain condition that occurs when there are sudden, brief changes in the electrical system of the brain. These changes in brain activity can lead to seizures (see Epilepsy Symptoms). Depending on which part of the brain is affected, seizures may affect a person's consciousness, body movements, emotions, or senses.
In over half of all cases, the cause of epilepsy is not known. When the cause is known, it may be one of the following:
- Other medical conditions, such as a stroke or Alzheimer's disease
- Head trauma
- Brain tumor or brain infection, such as meningitis
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Genetics (see Genes and Epilepsy).
There are over 30 different types of seizures a person with epilepsy may experience. These seizures are generally classified into two main categories -- partial seizures (also known as focal seizures) and generalized seizures.