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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2000 Sep;1(6):1245-60.

An assessment of zonisamide as an anti-epileptic drug.

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  • 1Jain PharmaBiotech, Bläsiring 7, CH-4057 Basel, Switzerland.


A brief review of epilepsy as a disease, anti-epileptic drugs and methods of evaluation of anti-epileptic drugs are presented as a background for assessment of zonisamide, which has been approved by the FDA as add-on therapy for the treatment of partial seizures with or without secondary generalisation in adults. Chemically, zonisamide is classified as a sulphonamide and is unrelated to other anti-epileptic drugs. The mode of action of zonisamide remains unclear, but likely mechanisms are blockade of sodium and T-type calcium channels. It is also shown to have some neuroprotective effect against hypoxia and ischaemia. It has a liner pharmacokinetics with excellent oral bioavailability. Zonisamide has been approved for use in Japan for ten years prior to approval in USA and Europe. Clinical experience with zonisamide in Japan has documented its efficacy in the treatment of partial seizures (partial-onset generalised tonic-clonic, simple partial and/or complex partial seizures) and to a more variable extent, generalised tonic-clonic, generalised tonic (mainly seen in symptomatic generalised epilepsies including Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome) and compound/combination seizures. The efficacy and safety was confirmed in trials conducted in USA and Europe in adults as well as children. Zonisamide compares favourably with other newly introduced drugs and has the potential for development as a monotherapy for epilepsy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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