The Food and Drug Administration is saying that the epilepsy drug Zonegran can cause a certain type of metabolic disorder that can increase the risk of kidney stones and bone diseases. Zonegran is marketed by the Japanese pharmaceutical firm Eisai Co. and is also sold as a generic drug under the name zonisamide. The product is approved to treat partial seizures in adults with epilepsy with other epilepsy medications. In a posting on its Web site last month, the FDA said doctors need to be aware that treatment with zonisamide can cause metabolic acidosis, a disturbance in the body’s acid-base balance that results in excessive acidity of the blood.
The FDA said Zonegran’s label would be updated to warn health-care professionals of the problem and to recommend that patients be tested for the condition by measuring a blood chemical known as serum bicarbonate before starting treatment and periodically during treatment. The FDA said metabolic acidosis is often asymptomatic but that it can cause hyperventilation, or fast breathing, fatigue and loss of appetite. More severe symptoms include an irregular heart beat or unconsciousness.
Source: Wall Street Journal
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