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[Role of zonisamid in treating epilepsy, Parkinson disorders and other neurological diseases]

Author(s): Janszky J

Affiliation(s): Pecsi Tudomanyegyetem, Altalanos Orvostudomanyi Kar, Neurologiai Klinika, Pecs. janszky@index.hu

Publication date & source: 2009-11-30, Ideggyogy Sz., 62(11-12):383-9.

Publication type: English Abstract; Review

On the basis of six randomized controlled trials, zonisamide (ZNS) can be prescribed as add-on treatment in focal adulthood epilepsy in USA and Europe. In Japan, it can be prescribed as first-line monotherapy drug - independent of age. ZNS may also be effective in idiopathic generalized epilepsy and some difficult-to-treat epilepsies including West, Lennox-Gastaut, or Dravet syndromes. The most frequent side effects of ZNS are related to central nervous system occurring in 19%. Kidney stones and oligohidrosis are ZNS-specific side effects. Loss of appetite and weight are usually "beneficial" effects. ZNS is not recommended in pregnancy ZNS can be taken once daily, which may be beneficial in non-compliance. The pathomechanism of ZNS is different from other antiepileptic drugs. ZNS has an effect on the voltage-gated Na+ - and T-type Ca2+ channels as well as on the dopaminerg, glutamaterg, cholinerg, and GABAerg systems. The multiple way of action may be the reason why ZNS seems to be a broad-spectrum drug and beneficial in various neurological disorders. ZNS reduces production of free radicals according to in vitro and in vivo studies. Animal experiments suggest that ZNS may be a neuroprotective agent. Based on an adequate randomized controlled trial, ZNS is effective in adjuctive treatment of Parkinson disorder. A peculiar benefit of the ZNS is that parallel to its positive effect on motor impairment it also reduces severity of dyskinesias. ZNS may be effective in bipolar disorder, obesity, eating disorders, and migraine prophylaxis.

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