This medication is used alone or with other medications to control seizures. Controlling and reducing seizures lets you do more of your normal daily activities, reduces your risk of harm when you lose consciousness, and lessens your risk for a possibly life-threatening condition of frequent, repeated seizures. Primidone belongs to a class of drugs known as barbiturate anticonvulsants. It works by controlling the abnormal electrical activity in the brain that occurs during a seizure.
How to use Primidone
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using primidone and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually 3-4 times daily or as directed by your doctor. Take with food or milk if stomach upset occurs. Your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose at bedtime and gradually increase your dose to prevent side effects such as drowsiness and dizziness. If you are changing from a different anticonvulsant to primidone, your doctor may direct you to continue your old medication and slowly lower the dose as you begin taking primidone. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.
Dosage is based on your medical condition, blood levels of primidone, use of other medications to treat seizures, and response to treatment. It may take several weeks to reach the best dose for you.
This medication works best when the amount of drug in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.
Do not stop taking this medication (and other anticonvulsant medications) without consulting your doctor. Your seizures may worsen or cause a very severe seizure that is difficult to treat (status epilepticus) when this drug is suddenly stopped.
If you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms (such as anxiety, hallucinations, twitching, trouble sleeping). Withdrawal from primidone can be severe and include seizures and (rarely) death. To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used primidone for a long time or in high doses. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have withdrawal.
Dizziness, drowsiness, excitation, tiredness, headache, loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: staggering walk/clumsiness, decreased sexual ability/interest, double vision.
A small number of people who take anticonvulsants for any condition (such as seizure, bipolar disorder, pain) may experience depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, or other mental/mood problems. Tell your doctor right away if you or your family/caregiver notice any unusual/sudden changes in your mood, thoughts, or behavior including signs of depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, thoughts about harming yourself.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: easy bruising/bleeding, fainting, slow heartbeat, severe tiredness/weakness, pale skin, fast/slow/shallow breathing.