Which medications in the drug class Anticonvulsants, Succinimide are used in the treatment of Epilepsy and Seizures?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: David Y Ko, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

Anticonvulsants, Succinimide

These agents reduce current in T-type calcium channels.

Ethosuximide (Zarontin)

Ethosuximide is a succinimide antiepileptic drug (AED) that is effective only against absence seizures. It has no effect on generalized tonic-clonic, myoclonic, atonic, or partial seizures.

The mechanism of action is based on reducing current in T-type calcium channels on thalamic neurons. The spike-and-wave pattern during petit mal seizures is thought to be initiated in thalamocortical relays by activation of these channels. Ethosuximide is available in large 250-mg capsules, which may be difficult for some children to swallow, and as a syrup (250 mg/5 mL).

Blood levels should be measured 1-3 weeks after starting ethosuximide. The therapeutic concentration of ethosuximide is 40-100 mcg/mL. The major side effects of the drug include nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, hyperactivity and sleep disturbance.


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