Ethotoin (oral)

As an anticonvulsant, oral ethotoin helps patients who suffer from certain types of seizure to gain relief by controlling the amount of unusual electric activity experienced by the patient's brain and ultimately reducing the frequency of the seizures.

Overview

Ethotoin is used to treat a number of different types of seizure in patients with epilepsy, including complex partial seizures and tonic-clonic (sometimes known as grand mal).

It belongs to a family of medicines known as anticonvulsants, and it works by altering the brain tissue in order to prevent further seizure episodes. This medication provides what is known as an antiepileptic effect, but it works without causing problems for the rest of the wider central nervous system.

This medication has the brand name Peganone in the USA, which means you may see it described in this way in marketing materials or on shelves in shops and pharmacies. This medication comes in the form of a tablet and it is only available with a prescription from a physician.

Conditions Treated

  • Complex partial seizures

Type Of Medicine

  • Anticonvulsant

Side Effects

As well as their power to eradicate your health condition, many medications can also temporarily cause adverse health conditions while they get to work. These are known as side effects, and are often an unavoidable part of taking medication to treat your condition.

The potential side effects of taking oral ethotoin are diverse, and can be placed into a number of different categories. The first category for potential side effects covers those which require emergency medical treatment, as they may indicate symptoms of an overdose.

Side effects in this category include increased feelings of being drowsy or a change in levels of consciousness and nausea. A number of issues with vision are also in this category, such as blurriness or total loss, problems perceiving colour correctly, double vision, night blindness, the emergence of halo-type images around lights and more.

The next category of side effects includes those which require you to consult your physician as soon as possible.

These include some side effects which have been noted as having a low incidence, and are therefore rare. These include an inability to walk in a steady fashion, issues with controlling your muscles or an enlargement in the size of your gums.

In addition, there are some side effects requiring medical attention whose incidence is not currently known, which means it is not possible to indicate how common they are or how likely you are to experience them.

Side effects in this category include a number of skin problems, including increased peeling or blisters, lesions featuring a centre that is colored purple, lots of itching, rashes and more. Other more general side effects in this category include diarrhea, loss of body hair, lots of headaches, irritation of the eyes, and more. If you experience any of these side effects, visit your physician immediately.

The final category of potential side effects from taking oral ethotoin contains those which do not usually require medical attention. The only circumstances in which you may need to consult a physician or other healthcare professional regarding these side effects is if they do not go away or if they are causing you lots of problems. Potential side effects in this category include vomiting, inability to sleep, and more.

Not all patients will experience the same side effects as one another, and for that reason you should not expect that you will or will not experience a particular one.

Remember, this is not an exhaustive list of possible side effects. You should consult your physician if you are unsure about what to expect, and read the warning list.

If you are concerned about the potential side effects that you may experience while taking oral ethotoin, you should consult your healthcare professional. They will be able to put your mind at ease and may also be able to share some information and tips on how to manage any health problems that do arise.

Dosage

The exact dosage of this medicine can and will vary from patient to patient. Your physician may take into account several factors before making a decision on how much of this medication you should be prescribed, and you should always follow their advice.

Once you have been prescribed the medication, do not alter your dose without the permission of your physician. In addition, you should follow your physician's instructions on other dosage-related rules, such as the frequency of doses.

However, some standard dosages do exist for general information purposes only. Adults are often prescribed 1000 milligrams (mg) per day at first, and this tends to get divided up and delivered in amounts between four and six doses each day. Your dose may be increased by your physician beyond this level as is required, and the normal maximum dose is between 2000 and 3000 mg.

For children who are aged one year or older, the dose given by a physician tends to be determined based on individual factors such as body weight and age. Ordinarily, the dose is somewhere in between 500 and 1000 mg per day, once again divided into doses of between four and six per day. For children aged under one, the dose must be determined by a physician.

If you miss a dose of this drug, you should usually take it when you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, you should skip the dose you forgot to take and return to your normal plan.

Interactions

Like many medications, oral ethotoin can interact - sometimes quite severely - with a number of other drugs.

For that reason, you should always keep an accurate list of - and be fully upfront with your doctor about - all of the medication you are currently taking, including both prescription and over the counter items. Your physician may choose to alter the current spread of medications you are taking if you need to start on oral ethotoin, so you should ensure your list is accurate.

Drugs which can cause a major interaction with oral ethotoin include aspirins mixed with propoxyphene and caffeine, Buprenex (buprenorphine), and a number of Darvocet propoxyphene and acetaminophen drugs including A500 and Darvocet-N 100 or 50.

Some drugs run the risk of causing a medium-level interaction with oral ethotoin. These include 12 Hour Allergy Relief (clemastine), codeine in various forms (including its mixing with pseudoephedrine and dexbrompheniramine), and more.

Finally, some drugs come with a low - but still possible - risk of interaction with oral ethotoin. These include Edecrin (ethacrynic acid), Octocaine 100 (with lidocaine and epinephrine), bilberry mixtures with flax and evening primrose.

Warnings

As with many medications, this medication comes with a number of important warnings regarding its use. It's vital that you take some time to look over these warnings, otherwise you may find that you miss an important precaution.

Even if you do not think any or many of the warnings apply to you, it is better to read them all so that you are fully informed. Usually, the full list of warnings comes printed on an information booklet with the medication. The list below is not necessarily exhaustive, so you should keep the leaflet that comes with the medication in case you need to refer back to it in the future.

If you are pregnant, there is a risk that oral ethotoin can harm the child. For that reason, you should always inform your physician if you believe you may have fallen pregnant whilst on this medication. In addition, it is a sensible idea to use birth control whilst taking this medication.

When taking oral ethotoin, you should stay in close touch with your physician during the course of the medication, and prepare for the possibility that they will carry out urine or blood tests in order to assess the medication's impact on your body. This will allow your physician to decide whether or not the medication is working as it should.

In some patients, oral ethotoin can result in depressive or suicidal tendencies. For that reason, it is a good idea to closely observe your own behaviours or ask someone to do this for you in order to notice any symptoms early.

You should also be aware that taking this medication can lead to problems with your lymph nodes. In the event that the glands in your groin, neck or other regions become tender or they swell up, you should consult your physician.

Finally, issues surrounding bleeding or the potential for infection are possible when taking oral ethotoin. For that reason, you should be mindful of any conditions such as bruises, feeling fatigued, sore throats and more, as these may be indicative of underlying problems.

Storage

Storing your oral ethotoin correctly is very important to ensure that your medication works as it should do and that it does not become accessible to those who have not been prescribed it.

Your first priority should be safe storage of the medicine. You should take steps to ensure that children do not gain access to this medication, such as by storing it in a location where children cannot reach it. Even if you do not have children living with you, it is vital that you still do this in order to prevent accidental consumption by any young visitors to your home in the future.

It is essential that the container in which your oral ethotoin is stored in is kept in room temperature conditions and that it remains closed when not in use. You should also ensure that it is prevented from reaching temperature extremes which could damage it, including high heat, direct sunlight, other sources of light, or moisture.

If your oral ethotoin becomes exposed to these conditions, you could find it fails to work as it should. Your oral ethotoin should never be frozen.

You should always take your oral ethotoin until you have finished the course or until you are advised to stop by a physician, but if you do have leftover medication, do not keep it. You should ensure that you consistently take stock of what medication you have left over in your medicine cabinet as time goes on. This way, you can quickly dispose of any medications which you don't need to use any more.

If you are unsure how to go about doing this, speak to a healthcare professional for advice.

Summary

Oral ethotoin is designed to assist epilepsy patients who suffer from certain types of seizures, including complex partial and tonic-clonic. It works by altering the brain tissue and reducing the amount of electrical activity. It is known in the USA as Peganone, and it is only available in tablet form through a prescription from your physician.

This medication comes with a number of side effects. Some side effects, such as drowsiness, require immediate medical attention. Others, such as peeling skin or irritation of the eyes, require you to visit your physician as soon as possible. Some side effects, such as an inability to sleep, only require a visit to a medical professional if they persist or are causing you problems.

While standard dosages for this medication exist, you should always follow the dosage advice given to you by your physician. The dosage can and does vary based on age.

This drug can interact severely with a number of other drugs, such as aspirins mixed with propoxyphene and caffeine. For this reason, you should always provide your physician with an up to date and accurate list of medications you are currently taking, including over the counter medications.

There are several warnings associated with this drug, including ones related to pregnancy. You should always consult the list of warnings which comes with the drug in order to ensure you are fully informed.

Always ensure that you store your oral ethotoin out of the reach of children, and ensure that you do not leave it in direct sunlight or other adverse environmental conditions.

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