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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking ethotoin (Peganone)?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to ethotoin or if you have liver disease or a blood cell disorder (such as anemia, hemophilia, and others).
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take ethotoin:
You may have thoughts about suicide while taking this medication. Tell your doctor if you have new or worsening depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several months of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.
Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
FDA pregnancy category D. Seizure medication may cause harm to an unborn baby, but having a seizure during pregnancy could harm both the mother and the baby. Do not start taking ethotoin during pregnancy without telling your doctor you are pregnant.
If you become pregnant while taking ethotoin for seizures, do not stop taking it without your doctor's advice. Seizure control is very important during pregnancy and the benefits of preventing seizures may outweigh any risks posed by taking ethotoin.
If you have taken ethotoin during pregnancy, be sure to tell the doctor who delivers your baby about your ethotoin use. Both you and the baby may need to receive medications to prevent excessive bleeding during delivery and just after birth.
Your name may need to be listed on a pregnancy registry if you take ethotoin during pregnancy. The purpose of this registry is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and delivery to evaluate whether the medication had any effect on the baby.
Ethotoin passes into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take ethotoin (Peganone)?
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
If you are switching to ethotoin from another anticonvulsant medication, carefully follow your doctor's instructions about timing and dosage when switching from one drug to another. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose over several weeks or months to make sure you get the best results from this medication.
Take ethotoin after eating to prevent upset stomach.
Ethotoin can cause a decrease in many types of blood cells (white cells, red cells, platelets). This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. Call your doctor at once if you have any unusual bleeding, weakness, or any signs of infection, including flu-like symptoms. These symptoms may first develop even after you have been using the medication for several months.
To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood may need to be tested on a regular basis while taking ethotoin. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
Contact your doctor if your seizures get worse or you have them more often while taking ethotoin.
Carry an ID card or wear a medical alert bracelet stating that you are taking ethotoin, in case of emergency. Any doctor, dentist, or emergency medical care provider who treats you should know that you are taking a seizure medication.
It is important to use ethotoin regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
Store ethotoin at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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