Zonegran vs. Phenobarbital

Are Phenobarbital and Zonegran the Same Thing?

Zonegran (zonisamide) and phenobarbital are used to treat seizures in patients with epilepsy.

Phenobarbital is also used short-term to treat insomnia, or as a sedative before surgery.

Zonegran and phenobarbital belong to different drug classes. Zonegran is a sulfonamide anticonvulsant and phenobarbital is a barbiturate.

A brand name for phenobarbital is Solfoton.

Side effects of Zonegran and phenobarbital that are similar include drowsiness, dizziness, headache, tired feeling, loss of appetite, and loss of balance or coordination.

Side effects of Zonegran that are different from phenobarbital include weight loss, sore throat, cough, trouble sleeping, diarrhea, blurred vision, and double vision.

Side effects of phenobarbital that are different from Zonegran include problems with memory or concentration, excitation, irritability, aggression, confusion (especially in children or older adults), nausea, vomiting, constipation as your body adjusts to the

medication, and a "hangover" effect (drowsiness the day after a dose).

Both Zonegran and phenobarbital may interact with alcohol, other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicines, sedatives, narcotics, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicines for depression or anxiety), and other seizure medications.

Zonegran may also interact with topiramate and cold or allergy medicines that contain antihistamines.

Phenobarbital may also interact with doxycycline, MAO inhibitors, griseofulvin, birth control pills or estrogen hormone replacement, and steroids.

Do not stop using phenobarbital suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Zonegran?

Common side effects of Zonegran include:

  • drowsiness,
  • dizziness,
  • headache,
  • tired feeling,
  • loss of appetite,
  • weight loss,
  • loss of balance or coordination,
  • sore throat,
  • cough,
  • trouble sleeping,
  • diarrhea,
  • blurred vision, or
  • double vision.

Tell the doctor immediately if you notice serious side effects of Zonegran including increased or worsening seizures, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating, fever, chills, sores in your mouth and throat, severe pain in your lower back, blood in your urine, feeling very thirsty or hot, being unable to urinate, or severe skin reaction.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Phenobarbital?

Side effects of Phenobarbital nclude<:/p>

  • dizziness,
  • drowsiness,
  • problems with memory or concentration,
  • excitation,
  • irritability,
  • aggression,
  • confusion (especially in children or older adults);
  • loss of balance or coordination,
  • headache,
  • tiredness,
  • loss of appetite,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting, or
  • constipation as your body adjusts to the medication.
  • You may also experience a "hangover" effect (drowsiness the day after a dose) after taking phenobarbital.

What Is Zonegran?

Zonegran (zonisamide) is a sulfonamide anticonvulsant and a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor indicated as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial seizures in adults with epilepsy.

What Is Phenobarbital?

Phenobarbital (Brand Name: Solfoton) is a barbiturate used to treat or prevent seizures. Phenobarbital is also used short-term to treat insomnia, or as a sedative before surgery.

SLIDESHOW

What Is Epilepsy? Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments See Slideshow

What Drugs Interact With Zonegran?

Zonegran may interact with other medicines that can make you sleepy (cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for depression or anxiety) or other seizure medications. Phenobarbital may also interact with lithium, hydrochlorothiazide, metformin, atropine, belladonna, benztropine, dimenhydrinate, methscopolamine, scopolamine, bronchodilators, bladder or urinary medications, or glaucoma medications.

What Drugs Interact With Phenobarbital?

Phenobarbital may interact with doxycycline, other seizure medications, MAO inhibitors, griseofulvin, birth control pills or estrogen hormone replacement, or steroids. Tell your doctor all medications you use. Phenobarbital is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm a fetus. Since untreated seizures are a serious condition that can harm both a pregnant woman and the fetus, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. Hormonal birth control may not work if taken with this medication. Discuss birth control with your doctor. Phenobarbital may lower folic acid and vitamin K levels, increasing the risk of spinal cord defects. Infants born to mothers who have use this medication during pregnancy may also have symptoms such as fussiness, shaking, or bleeding. Tell the doctor if you notice symptoms in your newborn. This medication passes into breast milk and may cause excessive sleepiness or feeding problems in the nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding. Withdrawal symptoms may occur if you abruptly stop taking this drug.

How Should Zonegran Be Taken?

The dose of Zonegran is 25 mg or 100 mg capsules administered orally once or twice daily.

How Should Phenobarbital Be Taken?

Dosing of Phenobarbital depends on its use.

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References


FDA. Zonegran Production Information.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2006/020789s019lbl.pdf

Dailymed. Phenobarbital Prescribing Information.

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=1e34926f-e5e5-41da-836a-c854b00d1a20&audience=consumer

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