Zonisamide: To Control Feline Seizures

Zonisamide: To Control Feline Seizures

Medically Reviewed by Taylor Froiland, PharmD, RPh
Written by Adam McCown, PharmD

Did you know that seizures are one of the most frequent neurological issues in cats? In fact, seizures affect up to 2% of all cats, and Nala, my poor little cat is one of them.

When Nala has a seizure, she falls over on her side, paddles her legs, and sometimes cries out. It's absolutely heartbreaking to see, and I'm always so relieved when it's over. If you have a cat who suffers from seizures, I feel your pain.

What should you know about feline seizures?

As a cat parent, here are five things that you should be aware of:

  1. Seizures can be caused by many different things, including infection, trauma, toxins, brain disease, or cancer.
  2. Seizures can be either partial or generalized. Generalized seizures involve the whole body, while partial seizures only affect certain parts of the body.
  3. Seizures can be either tonic or clonic. Tonic seizures involve muscle rigidity, while clonic seizures involve muscle spasms.
  4. Seizures usually last for a few seconds to a few minutes, but they can occasionally last for hours.
  5. Seizures can be treated with medication, but there is no cure for feline seizures.

I'm doing everything I can to make sure Nala is comfortable and happy, but it's tough when she has to deal with this condition. I do my best to reduce her stress by creating a calm environment for her. I have even adjusted her diet but all this was not enough. So I took her to the veterinarian, who ran some tests and prescribed her Zonisamide Compounded Oral Liquid.

Why Zonisamide Compounded Oral Liquid?

Zonisamide is an anti-seizure medication that is structurally similar to acetazolamide, which is used to treat humans with epilepsy. Zonisamide has been found to be effective in treating seizures in dogs, and it is now being used to treat seizures in cats.

Controlling seizures in dogs and cats can often be done with one medication, however, some are more difficult to control than others. When this happens, your veterinarian may prescribe a separate medication or a supplement to be taken with phenobarbital such as zonisamide.

The oral liquid form of zonisamide is compounded specifically for cats, and it has been shown to be safe and effective. It is also easy to administer, which is important when dealing with a stressed-out cat.

If you have a cat who suffers from seizures, talk to your veterinarian about whether zonisamide compounded oral liquid is right for them.

How does it work?

Zonisamide works by inhibiting voltage-gated sodium channels, which prevents electrical signals from being transmitted between neurons. This action decreases the excitability of neurons and helps to prevent seizures.

Zonisamide compounded oral liquid is given by mouth once daily with or without food. If your pet vomits after dosing it on an empty stomach, try giving future doses with food. The effects should be noticeable within 1 to 2 days. Do not stop this medication suddenly or seizures may occur.

This medication should be given just as your veterinarian prescribes. If you have difficulty giving it to your pet, contact your veterinarian for some helpful tips. We recommend washing your hands with soap and water after handling any medication.

What are the side effects?

The most common side effects of zonisamide are vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own.

Some rare side effects can include aggression, liver disease, or urinary stones. If your pet stops eating and develops yellow skin color, gums, or white eyes contact your veterinarian immediately.

In cats, common side effects may include lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, incoordination, and sleepiness.This is the information that I have gathered so far about feline seizures and Zonisamide Compounded Oral Liquid.

In any case, if you have questions or you need a custom flavored medication for your cat or dog, I strongly encourage you to get in touch with Express Vet pharmacists via phone at 833-206-2945 or email at pethealth@expressvetpharmacy.com.

They also offer a 35% discount on transferring compounded prescriptions! I hope you find this article helpful if your cat is dealing with this condition.