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Emeside syrup discontinued

28 Apr 2017

Essential Pharma has discontinued its version of ethosuximide syrup, Emeside.

If you take Emeside syrup, you will need to switch to a generic version of ethosuximide syrup. This is because the other branded version of the syrup, called Zarontin, has also been discontinued.

If you have any concerns about this, speak to your doctor, epilepsy nurse of pharmacist. 

Comments: read the 8 comments or add yours


Is anyone having problems with the Ethosuximide Essential Generics Syrup? My daughter took Zarontin until it was discontinued and now has to take this. She holds meds in her mouth so her teeth are now becoming really stained despite brushing and it tastes so vile that I literally have to fight her to get it into her mouth. Is there any way of contacting this company to ask if they can make changes to the colour/taste? Apparently a number of people are having this problem. Not to mention the disgusting increase in the cost of this medication by the drugs company.

Submitted by Jane on
Hi Jane
That does sound difficult. You can contact Essential Pharma on 01784 477 167. If enough people raise the complaint, they may consider doing something about it.
Meanwhile I wonder if you have checked with your epilepsy nurse or your pharmacist? They may have some suggestions for you about how to mask the flavour.
Epilepsy Action Helpline Team
Submitted by rich on

Hi, my daughter has always has Emeside until last month when we had the generic version, she did not notice any difference - she always takes it mixed in a small cup of blackcurrant squash. I have just picked up some Zarontin which we have never had before so hopefully it will be ok.

Submitted by Nicola Johnson on

Hello. Can you please advise on how we get the generic brand of Ethosuximide?

Will my daughter's gp just produce a new prescription, or we supposed to inform them of a new name?

My apologies for the strange question but I am not sure what to do? Our pharmacist just told us "it's been discontinued" but didn't know how to assist?


Submitted by Kim on

Hi all, we are having terrible trouble obtaining this syrup in Surrey. None of the pharmacies will stock it due to cost (now about £173 per bottle up from £4.40 when someone else had a share of the market....) and even if they order it in, a lot of their stockist depots don't have it. It took me 4 hours to locate the SINGLE bottle of 200mls in Surrey on Friday. I am currently in discussions with a couple of local pharmacies to stockpile for us, but our Consultant today said that all her patients (children) are struggling to obtain it. Any tips on how to make it more easily available? thanks

Submitted by Joanna on

Hi Joanna 

It is a worrying time when medicine isn’t readily available. 

We have checked the availability of the generic version of ethosuximide and there are no supply problems. You could tell your pharmacy it is available for the wholesalers Alliance and AAH

Even if the price has increased, your chemist has a duty to fulfil your prescriptions.  If your pharmacist isn’t willing to buy large quantities of this medicine, could you come to some agreement that you will phone and let them know a week before you are due to put your prescription in.

You could also talk to the practice manager at your GPs. They may have a good relationship with a local pharmacy. 

If you are unhappy with the service you received at your pharmacy, speak or write to your pharmacist (or the manager of the pharmacy they work for) first. If you feel too uncomfortable to complain to the pharmacist directly then you can make a complaint to NHS England.

If we can be of any more help, please feel free to contact our helpline team directly. You can email helpline@epilepsy.org.uk or phone the Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050. Our helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am until 5.30pm. 



Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

My daughter suffer from abscence seizure and was prescribed zarontin until it became discontinued and was given emiside we have to force her she most of the time vomit before taking it the flavour is unbearable could you suggest a solution please

Submitted by Abdellah bennacef on

Hi Abdellah

I am guessing your daughter is taking the liquid. You don’t say how old she is. I wonder if she would get on any better with the capsules?

Here is the general information about Emeside: http://www.medicinesforchildren.org.uk/ethosuximide-preventing-seizures

And here are some suggestions about how to help your child take medicine. And here is their information on helping your child to swallow tablets or capsules: http://www.medicinesforchildren.org.uk/sites/default/files/content-type/leaflet/pdf/Guide%20to%20swallowing%20tablets%2030.11.17.pdf

I hope this information helps.



Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by Cherry-Epilepsy... on
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