- What is primidone (Mysoline)? How does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What are the uses for primidone?
- What are the side effects of primidone?
- What is the dosage for primidone?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with primidone?
- Is primidone safe to take if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about primidone?
What is primidone (Mysoline)? How does it work (mechanism of action)?
Primidone, brand name Mysoline, is an oral anticonvulsant (anti-seizure) medication used for treating several types of seizures. Its exact mechanism of action is not known. Primidone is converted into phenobarbital and phenylethylmalonamide (PEMA) in the body. Primidone, phenobarbital, and PEMA all have anticonvulsant activity. In addition to its anticonvulsant activity, PEMA increases the anticonvulsant activity of phenobarbital. The FDA approved primidone in March, 1954.
What are the uses for primidone?
Primidone is used alone or with other medications for treating grand mal, psychomotor, or focal epileptic seizures. It may be effective for grand mal seizures that are not responsive to other anticonvulsants. Primidone should not be used by patients with porphyria and people who are allergic to phenobarbital. It also is used for treating partial seizures and essential tremor.
What are the side effects of primidone?
Common side effects of primidone include:
- Difficulty speaking (dysarthria)
- Burning, tingling from damaged nerves (paresthesia)
- Difficulty moving (ataxia)
- Loss of balance (vertigo)
- Paradoxical excitement (children)
- Hyperactivity (children)
Possible serious side effects of primidone include:
- Acute psychosis
- Folate-deficiency anemia
- Liver toxicity
- Low blood calcium
- Weakening of bones
- Serious skin reactions (for example, Stevens-Johnson syndrome)
Seizure medications increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior. Patients treated with seizure medications should be observed for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and unusual changes in mood or behavior.
Suddenly stopping medications for seizures may cause seizures.
Quick GuideEpilepsy: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
What is the dosage for primidone?
To treat psychomotor, focal, or grand mal seizures
- Patients 8 years of age or older should be treated with the following regimen:
- Days 1 to 3: 100 to 125 mg at bedtime.
- Days 4 to 6: 100 to 125 mg twice daily.
- Days 7 to 9: 100 to 125 mg three times daily.
- Day 10 to maintenance: 250 mg three or four times daily.
- The maximum dose is 2 g daily.
- It takes several weeks before the antiseizure effects of primidone are seen.
To treat partial seizures
- The initial dose is 125 mg at bedtime. Increase the dose by 125 mg every 3 days to 250 mg every 12 hours if needed. The maximum dose is 500 mg daily.
Which drugs or supplements interact with primidone?
Primidone may decrease blood levels and the effect of several drugs by increasing the activity of liver enzymes that breakdown these drugs. Examples of drugs affected by Primidone include naloxegol (Movantik), roflumilast (Daliresp), lurasidone (Latuda), and many others.
Is primidone safe to take if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
Primidone has not been adequately evaluated in pregnant women. Some other seizure medications have been associated with birth defects. Primidone is excreted in human milk and may cause adverse effects in the infant.
What else should I know about primidone?
Primidone is available as 50 mg and 250 mg tablets.
Keep this drug stored at room temperature, 20 C - 25 C (68 F - 77 F).
Primidone is available in generic form. You need a prescription from your doctor to obtain this drug.
- Epileptic seizures
- Grand mal seizures
- Psychomotor seizures.
- Treat partial seizures and essential tremor
Researchers do not knew exactly how primidone works in the body. Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), for example, primidone (Mysoline), increase the risk of suicidal thoughts in patients taking antiepileptic drugs regardless of why your doctor has prescribed them to you.
The most common side effects are vertigo and poor coordination and unsteadiness). Less frequent side effects include:
- Sexual impotency
- Morbilliform skin eruptions
- Double vision (diplopia)
- Involuntary eye movements that are rapid, rhythmic, and repetitious (nystagmus)
Rare side effects include:
- Red cell hypoplasia and aplasia
If persistent or severe side effects persist, the drug may need to be withdrawn. Researchers do not know the risks of taking primidone during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Pregnant women with epilepsy who are taking anticonvulsant drugs have an increased risk of having a child with birth defects. Primidone is secreted in breast milk, but there are no tests to determine how much of the drug is secreted. Therefore, doctors do not recommend taking primidone if you are breastfeeding.
REFERENCE: Primidone FDA Prescribing Information.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Related Disease Conditions
Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which the person has seizures. There are two kinds of seizures, focal and generalized. There are...
Tremor is the involuntary movements of one or more parts of the body. Causes of tremor include neurological disorders,...
Suicide is the process of intentionally ending one's own life. Approximately 1 million people worldwide commit suicide each year,...
Seizures Symptoms and Types
Seizures are divided into two categories: generalized and partial. Generalized seizures are produced by electrical impulses from...
Seizure vs. Seizure Disorders (Differences and Similarities)
The differences between a seizure, epilepsy, and seizure disorders are confusing to many people. What makes it more confusing, is...
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Daily Health News
Brain & Nervous Resources
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter
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.
Top primidone-oral Related Articles
Seizures QuizDo you know the difference between seizures and epilepsy? What are the types of seizures? Take the Epilepsy & Seizures Quiz to test your knowledge and learn about this complex disorder of the brain.
Epilepsy TreatmentEpileptic seizures mostly controlled through drug therapy, particularly anticonvulsant drugs. Types of treatment prescribed depends on several factors including the frequency and severity of the seizures as well as the person's age, overall health and medical history. Other forms of treatment options also exist including ketogenic diet and electrical stimulation.
SeizureEpilepsy is a brain disorder in which the person has seizures. There are two kinds of seizures, focal and generalized. There are many causes of epilepsy. Treatment of epilepsy (seizures) depends upon the cause and type of seizures experienced.
Seizure vs Seizure Disorders Whats the difference
The differences between a seizure, epilepsy, and seizure disorders are confusing to many people. What makes it more confusing, is that they are not the same thing. A seizure begins suddenly, and is a symptom of another disease. When a seizure occurs there is uncontrolled activity in the brain that usually only lasts for a short period. While a seizure disorder is a medical condition, in which the person has episodes of uncontrolled activity in the brain producing symptoms that include one or more seizures. Epilepsy is considered a seizure disorder.
There are two types of major seizures, generalized and partial seizure type and the symptoms depend upon the part of the brain affected, and may include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Thought disturbances
- Eye rolling
- Stiff limbs
- Twitching on only one side or a portion of the body like an arm or leg.
- Involuntary urination or bowel movement
- Repetitive shaking or jerking of the body
- Staring into space, sometimes with eye blinking
- No loss of consciousness, but the person becomes confused for a few minutes
A third type of seizure is called unclassified seizure.
Seizure disorders are classified under two types of major seizures (generalized and partial), and a third type called unclassified seizures. There are about 40 types of named seizure disorders. The symptoms and signs are different depending on the part of the brain affected by the seizure. Examples of seizure disorders are:
- Febrile seizures
- Benign Rolandic epilepsy
- Catamenial epilepsy
- Absence seizures
- Frontal lobe epilepsy
Sometimes there is a known cause for a seizure like alcohol, cocaine or other illegal drug abuse, drug reactions, a severe chemical imbalance in the blood, or medical problems like low blood pressure. Treatment, management, and prevention of seizures include medication and avoiding any known causes or common triggers.
CDC. "Types of Seizures." Updated: Apr 10, 2017.
Harvard Health Publications; Harvard Medical School. "Generalized Seizures (Grand Mal Seizures)."
Seizures Symptoms and TypesSeizures are divided into two categories: generalized and partial. Generalized seizures are produced by electrical impulses from throughout the brain, while partial seizures are produced by electrical impulses in a small part of the brain. Seizure symptoms include unconsciousness, convulsions, and muscle rigidity.
SuicideSuicide is the process of intentionally ending one's own life. Approximately 1 million people worldwide commit suicide each year, and 10 million to 20 million attempt suicide annually.
TremorTremor is the involuntary movements of one or more parts of the body. Causes of tremor include neurological disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, drugs, mercury poisoning, overactive thyroid and liver failure. There are several types of tremor. Treatment depends upon the type of tremor and availability of medications for the condition.