Your doctor may recommend a prescription for Zarontin if your child has pediatric epilepsy and is experiencing petit mal seizures, also known as absence seizures, and is three years of age or older. These types of seizures usually only last up to twenty seconds and are mild in comparison to what most people picture having a seizure is like. Even though absence seizures are mild and brief, they can still pose a danger to your child if one occurs while swimming, climbing, or doing activities that could cause a fall or put them in harm’s way.
Zarontin contains Ethosuximide, an anti-convulsant medication that has been used for many years and has proven to be more efficient than other drugs available for preventing absence seizures. When taken as directed, Zarontin will stabilize the activity in your child’s brain to prevent the repetitive firing of electrical signals that can over-stimulate the brain and cause a seizure. Zarontin is not a cure for epilepsy, but it can help your child and give you piece of mind. Sometimes there are no underlying causes for petit mal seizures and many children outgrow them when they reach their teen years.
Nerve cells communicate with each other through electrical signals in your brain. These signals are usually well regulated but something can occur to cause a large number of cells to send out their electrical charge at the same time. During an absence seizure, the electrical signals repeat themselves continuously in a three second pattern.
An absence or petit mal seizure occurs suddenly and most often looks like your child is simply daydreaming. They may stop talking mid-sentence, stop walking, or doing other activities for a brief moment and then pick up where they left off without even knowing what happened. This is why parents must be on their guard in case their child has a seizure while carrying out an otherwise normal task.
If your child also has grand mal seizures, your pediatrician may prescribe another anti-convulsant to take with Zarontin to control the more noticeable seizures that can cause your child to temporarily lose consciousness afterwards.
Discuss other medical conditions or allergies your child may have and list any OTC or Rx medications being taken, including vitamin supplements and herbal remedies. This will help the doctor determine if Zarontin is safe for your child to take. Inform your child’s teachers, councilors, playmates and their parents about the absence seizures and the medication being taken to prevent panic if a seizure should occur in their presence.
Adults experiencing absence seizures should not drive or operate machinery until you know how Zarontin affects you. If you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breast feeding, ask your doctor if Zarontin is safe for your unborn or nursing baby. Younger children should be watched closely when they begin treatment with Zarontin.