Ethotoin is used to prevent and control seizures. It is known as an anticonvulsant/antiepileptic drug. It works by reducing the abnormal electrical activity in the brain that causes seizures. It belongs to a class of drugs known as hydantoins.
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking ethotoin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication with food, usually 4-6 times a day or as directed by your doctor. Taking it with food or milk may help prevent an upset stomach.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Your doctor may direct you to take a low dose at first, gradually increasing the dose to lower the chance of side effects such as upset stomach and drowsiness. Your doctor will adjust your dose to find the best dose for you. Follow your doctor's directions carefully.
Space your doses evenly throughout the day. It is important to take all doses on time to keep a steady level of medication in your blood. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. Do not skip doses.
If you are already taking another anti-seizure drug, follow your doctor's directions carefully for stopping or continuing the old drug and starting ethotoin.
Do not stop taking this medication or any anti-seizure medication without consulting your doctor. Your seizures may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: loss of coordination, fainting, swollen glands (lymph nodes), butterfly-shaped rash on the nose/cheeks, vision changes (e.g., blurred vision, double vision), uncontrolled side-to-side eye movements (nystagmus).
A small number of people who take anticonvulsants for any condition (such as seizure, bipolar disorder, pain) may experience depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, or other mental/mood problems. Tell your doctor immediately if you or your family/caregiver notice any unusual/sudden changes in your mood, thoughts, or behavior including signs of depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, thoughts about harming yourself.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: unusual bleeding/bruising, symptoms of infection (fever, chills, persistent sore throat), symptoms of anemia (tiredness, pale skin/fingernails, fast heartbeat), liver problems (e.g., severe stomach/abdominal pain, unusual weakness/tiredness, pale stools, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Before taking ethotoin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other hydantoins (e.g., phenytoin); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness, loss of coordination, or fainting. These side effects can increase the risk of falling.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. However, since untreated seizures are a serious condition that can harm both a pregnant woman and her unborn baby, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, immediately talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy. Since birth control pills, patches, implants, and injections may not work if taken with this medication (see also Drug Interactions section), discuss reliable forms of birth control with your doctor.
The use of anti-seizure drugs during pregnancy may increase the risk of bleeding in the newborn baby. Your doctor may order vitamin K injections for you/your newborn.
This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
This drug should not be used with the following medication because a very serious interaction may occur: nisoldipine.
If you are currently using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting ethotoin.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: blood thinners (e.g., warfarin), drugs that can cause low blood counts (e.g., cancer chemotherapy), other anti-seizure medications (e.g., phenytoin, valproate).
This medication may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring. This could cause pregnancy. Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist if you should use additional reliable birth control methods while using this medication. Also tell your doctor if you have any new spotting or breakthrough bleeding, because these may be signs that your birth control is not working well.
Ethotoin is very similar to phenytoin. Many medications interact with phenytoin. It is not known whether the same drugs interact with ethotoin. However, it is very important to tell all your doctors and pharmacists of all the medications you use, including ethotoin.
Also report the use of drugs which might increase seizure risk such as isoniazid (INH), phenothiazines (e.g., thioridazine), theophylline, or tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., imipramine), among others. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for details.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: certain antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine), medicine for sleep or anxiety (e.g., alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., chlorpromazine, risperidone, amitriptyline, trazodone).
Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain drowsiness-causing ingredients. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: unusual eye movements, unsteadiness, loss of consciousness.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., complete blood count, kidney/liver tests) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature below 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised December 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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