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of everyone affected by epilepsy

New anti-epileptic medication launched in UK

8 July, 2005

A new
anti-epileptic drug, Zonegran, has been launched in the UK, which the
manufacturers claim will offer hope to people with difficult to treat
partial epilepsy.

In
tests, seizures stopped in around six per cent of people with difficult
to treat partial epilepsy taking 500mg daily of zonisamide (the generic
name for Zonegran). Other anti-epileptic drugs tried previously had not
stopped their seizures.

Launched in Japan in 1989, Zonegran has now been used by more than one million patients worldwide.

The manufacturers, Eisai,
claim that zonisamide's long half-life (the measure of the time it
takes for drug to break down in the body) means it can be taken just
once daily, which may make it easier for people to take their medicines.

Eisai
also claim that zonisamide has a low risk of interaction with other
medication. In trials, side effects were usually mild to moderate with
the most common being drowsiness, dizziness and anorexia.