Compare Zarontin vs. valproic-acid

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Controls absence seizures.

Zarontin (ethosuximide) is a first choice medicine to treat absence seizures as it has less side effects than similar medicines. However, you can't use it for other types of seizures.

Treats and prevents seizures.

valproic-acid (valproic acid) is good for treating certain types of seizures, but can cause weight change and hair loss.

Upsides
  • Zarontin (ethosuximide) is recommended for treating absence seizures in children because its side effects are less severe.
  • If you have other types of seizures, you can take Zarontin (ethosuximide) with your other seizure medicines.
  • Available in generic as both a pill and a liquid form.
  • Approved in children age 3 and older.
  • Lowers the frequency of seizures, especially for people with absence seizures and complex partial seizures.
  • valproic-acid (valproic acid) is available as a generic in pill and liquid form.
Downsides
  • Zarontin (ethosuximide) is only recommended for absence or petit mal seizures. It can't be used to treat other types of seizures.
  • Your doctor will have to run blood tests regularly the first few weeks to make sure you're getting enough Zarontin (ethosuximide).
  • Zarontin (ethosuximide) can interact with a lot of medicines. Talk to your doctor to see if changes need to be made in your other medicines.
  • It can take 3 to 4 weeks before you feel the full effects of valproic-acid (valproic acid).
  • valproic-acid (valproic acid) is not a good option for people with liver problems.
  • You'll need regular blood tests to see how valproic-acid (valproic acid) is affecting your body.
  • valproic-acid (valproic acid) can cause you to bleed more easily.
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Used for
  • Absence seizure
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
The Zarontin (ethosuximide) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
26possible side effects
  • Nausea
    48%
  • Headache
    31%
  • Feeling weak
    27%
  • Vomiting
    27%
  • Sleepiness
    27%
  • Tremor
    25%
  • Dizziness
    25%
  • Abdominal pain
    23%
  • Double vision
    16%
  • Diarrhea
    13%
  • Anorexia
    12%
  • Lazy eye/blurred vision
    12%
  • Flu syndrome
    12%
  • Infection
    12%
  • Upset stomach
    8%
  • Lack of muscle control
    8%
  • Involuntary eye movement
    8%
  • Fever
    6%
  • Exaggerated changes in mood
    6%
  • Abnormal thinking
    6%
  • Hair loss
    6%
  • Weight loss
    6%
  • Constipation
    5%
  • Amnesia
    5%
  • Bronchitis
    5%
  • Stuffy nose
    5%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Changes in blood cell counts
  • Liver and kidney damage
    • History of kidney damage
    • History of liver damage
  • Suicidal behavior
    • Taking other medicines to control seizures
  • Lupus
  • Skin allergies and rashes
  • Treats only absence seizures
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Pregnancy
  • Liver damage
    • Children under age 2
    • History of metabolic disorders
    • Severe seizure disorder
    • Brain disease
    • Prior history of liver condition
  • Pancreas problems
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • History of depression
  • Increased bleeding
  • Mental changes
    • History of metabolic disorders
    • People also taking Topamax
See more detailed risks and warnings