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Drugs reference index «Ethotoin»


Brand names: Peganone

Why is Ethotoin prescribed?

Peganone is an antiepileptic drug prescribed to control tonic-clonic seizures (also known as grand mal seizures), a type of seizure in which the individual experiences a sudden loss of consciousness immediately followed by generalized convulsions. It is also used to treat complex partial seizures (also called psychomotor or temporal lobe seizures), which occur in only certain parts of the brain and are characterized by blank staring and repetitive movements.

Most important fact about Ethotoin

If you have been taking Peganone regularly to prevent major seizures, do not stop abruptly. This may precipitate prolonged or repeated epileptic seizures without any recovery of consciousness between attacks—a condition called status epilepticus—that can be fatal if not treated promptly.

How should you take Ethotoin?

Take Peganone with food to avoid stomach upset. Depending on the type of seizure disorder, your doctor may give you another drug to take with Peganone.

It is important that you strictly follow the prescribed dosage regimen and tell your doctor about any condition that makes it impossible for you to take Peganone as prescribed.

  • If you miss a dose...Take the missed dose as soon as possible. However, if it is within 4 hours of your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at once.

If you forget to take your medication 2 or more days in a row, check with your doctor.

  • Storage instructions...Store at room temperature, but not above 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine whether it is safe for you to continue taking Peganone.

  • Side effects of Peganone may include:Chest pain, diarrhea, dizziness, double vision, fatigue, fever, gum overgrowth or thickening, headache, insomnia, involuntary or rapid eye movement, loss of or impaired muscle coordination, lymph node disease, nausea, numbness, skin rash, vomiting

Why should Ethotoin not be prescribed?

Do not take Peganone if you have liver problems or blood disorders.

Special warnings about Ethotoin

Blood abnormalities have occurred in some patients taking Peganone, although it is unknown whether the drug was the cause. Your doctor will do monthly blood tests when you first start therapy to guard against any such problems. Call your doctor immediately if you have symptoms such as sore throat, fever, malaise (marked by bodily discomfort, fatigue, or a general feeling of illness), easy bruising, small purple skin spots, nosebleeds, or any sign of infection or bleeding tendency.

The doctor may also check your liver function if he or she suspects a problem.

There is some evidence that Peganone may interfere with the body's metabolism of folic acid, which could lead to anemia. Talk to your doctor about taking supplements, especially if you're planning to become pregnant.

If you have systemic lupus erythematosus, you should be aware that Peganone could make the symptoms worse.

Because Peganone may cause gum hypertrophy (excessive formation of the gums over the teeth), it's important to practice good dental hygiene while taking Ethotoin.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Ethotoin

If Peganone is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Peganone with the following:

Blood-thinning drugs such as warfarinDrugs used to treat blood disordersPhenacemide

Although no specific problems with alcohol have been reported, it's still a good idea to watch your alcohol intake while taking Ethotoin.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Because of the possibility of birth defects with antiepileptic drugs such as Peganone, you may need to discontinue the drug. Do not, however, stop taking it without first consulting your doctor. Because Peganone appears in breast milk, you should not breastfeed during treatment with the drug.

Recommended dosage for Ethotoin

Dosage is tailored to each individual's needs. Your doctor will monitor blood levels of the drug closely. If you're switching from another antiepileptic drug, the doctor will have you slowly taper off the dosage while increasing the dose of Peganone.


The recommended starting dose is 1,000 milligrams or less a day, taken in 4 to 6 divided doses spaced as evenly as possible. Depending on your response, the doctor may raise your dose. The usual effective maintenance dose is 2,000 to 3,000 milligrams a day.


Dosage depends on the child's age and weight. The initial starting dose should not exceed 750 milligrams a day, taken in 4 to 6 divided doses spaced as evenly as possible. The usual maintenance dose is 500 to 1,000 milligrams a day, although occasionally doses as high as 3,000 milligrams a day may be necessary.


Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose of Peganone, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Symptoms of Peganone overdose may include:Drowsiness, loss of or impaired muscle coordination, nausea, visual disturbance, and, at very high doses, coma
  • Ethotoin Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Ethotoin MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • ethotoin Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • ethotoin Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Peganone Prescribing Information (FDA)

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