Before taking zonisamide,
tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to zonisamide, diuretics ('water pills'), oral medications for diabetes, sulfa drugs, or any other medications.
tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone);antifungals such as itraconazole (Sporanox) and ketoconazole (Nizoral); carbonic anhydrase inhibitors such as acetazolamide (Diamox) and methazolamide; clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac); diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac); erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin); fluvoxamine (Luvox); HIV protease inhibitors such as indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), and ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra); medications for irritable bowel disease, motion sickness, Parkinson's disease, ulcers, or urinary problems; other medications for seizures including carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Tegretol),phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton), phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek),and valproic acid (Depakene, Depakote); nefazodone (Serzone); hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, rings, and injections); pioglitazone (Actos, in Actoplus, in Duetact); rifabutin (Mycobutin); rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane); troleandomycin (TAO) (not available in the U.S.); and verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking, especially St. John's wort.
tell your doctor if you are following a ketogenic diet (a high fat, low carbohydrate diet used to control seizures) or if you have or have ever had breathing problems, kidney liver, or lung disease. Also tell your doctor if you have diarrhea now, or if you develop diarrhea at any time during your treatment.
tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You should use birth control to prevent pregnancy during your treatment. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that will work for you. If you become pregnant while taking zonisamide, call your doctor.
if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking zonisamide.
you should know that zonisamide may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car, operate machinery, or perform dangerous tasks until you know how this medication affects you.
you should know that zonisamide can decrease the body's ability to sweat and make it harder for your body to cool down when it gets very hot. This happens most often in warm weather and to children who take zonisamide. (Children should not normally take zonisamide, but in some cases, it may be prescribed by a doctor.) You should avoid exposure to heat and call your doctor right away if you have a fever and/or are not sweating as usual.
you should know that your mental health may change in unexpected ways and you may become suicidal (thinking about harming or killing yourself or planning or trying to do so) while you are taking zonisamide for the treatment of epilepsy, mental illness, or other conditions. A small number of adults and children 5 years of age and older (about 1 in 500 people) who took anticonvulsants such as zonisamide to treat various conditions during clinical studies became suicidal during their treatment. Some of these people developed suicidal thoughts and behavior as early as 1 week after they started taking the medication. There is a risk that you may experience changes in your mental health if you take an anticonvulsants medication such as zonisamide, but there may also be a risk that you will experience changes in your mental health if your condition is not treated. You and your doctor will decide whether the risks of taking an anticonvulsant medication are greater than the risks of not taking the medication. You, your family, or your caregiver should call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms: panic attacks; agitation or restlessness; new or worsening irritability, anxiety, or depression; acting on dangerous impulses; difficulty falling or staying asleep; aggressive, angry, or violent behavior; mania (frenzied, abnormally excited mood); talking or thinking about wanting to hurt yourself or end your life; withdrawing from friends and family; preoccupation with death and dying; giving away prized possessions; or any other unusual changes in behavior or mood. Be sure that your family or caregiver knows which symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor if you are unable to seek treatment on your own.