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    Information about Primidone

    Primidone uses

    Primidone is used in Epilepsy/Seizures.

    How primidone works

    Primidone controls seizures or fits by increasing the action of GABA, a chemical messenger which suppresses the abnormal and excessive activity of the nerve cells in the brain.

    Common side effects of primidone

    Drowsiness, Nausea, Vomiting, Vertigo, Low energy, Impaired coordination, Visual impairment, Nystagmus (involuntary eye movement), Headache, Dizziness
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Swati Mishra
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Khushbu Goel
    DM, MD
    Last updated on:
    20 Feb 2020 | 06:30 PM (IST)
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    Read Our Editorial Policy

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    Expert advice for Primidone

    • Take your medication regularly as directed by your doctor as missing doses can trigger seizures.
    • Do not change the brand of your medicine and make sure that you have sufficient amount of medicine present with you.
    • Some healthy tips to prevent seizures:
      • Take a healthy diet along with regular exercise.
      • Practice yoga every day.
      • Get enough sleep at nighttime.
      • Limit the use of screen time such as mobile/ laptop.
      • Take your medication on time.
    • It makes you feel dizzy and drowsy. Avoid driving and activity requiring mental focus until you know how this medicine affects you. 
    • Your doctor may get regular tests done to monitor the level of blood cells in your blood while taking this medication.
    • Inform your doctor if you notice mood changes and suicidal thoughts while taking Primidone.
    • Do not stop taking the medication suddenly, as it can reverse the seizures. 

    Frequently asked questions for Primidone


    Q. Is Primidone habit forming?

    Yes, if you use Primidone for a long time, you may become dependent on it. Moreover, stopping the medicine suddenly may also lead to withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, you must inform your doctor before stopping the Primidone.

    Q. Can I stop taking Primidone?

    Do not stop taking Primidone even if you are feeling well, unless your doctor advises so. Suddenly stopping Primidone may cause unwanted effects commonly known as withdrawal symptoms. To prevent this, the dose of Primidone needs to be reduced gradually before completely stopping it.

    Q. What should I tell my doctor before taking this medicine?

    Inform your doctor if you are taking any other medicines including medicines for epilepsy or seizures, medicines used to thin your blood (e.g., warfarin), birth control pills, medicines to control bacterial infection (e.g., chloramphenicol, metronidazole, and doxycycline), medicines to control viral infection (e.g., nelfinavir), and asthma medicines (e.g., theophylline and montelukast), etc. Also, inform your doctor if you are planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding. Further, you should tell the doctor if you have ever had liver problems, kidney problems, lung problems, or porphyria (a rare blood pigment disorder).

    Q. What should I avoid while taking Primidone?

    If Primidone makes you feel sleepy, avoid driving or operating heavy machinery. Alcohol consumption should be avoided since taking both together may cause excessive sleepiness. You should avoid getting pregnant since Primidone is associated with an increased risk of abnormalities in babies.

    Q. What are the serious side effects of using Primidone? How can I check for these side effects?

    Severe allergic reactions, skin reactions, abnormalities in blood cells, and worsening of seizures are some of the serious side effects of Primidone. Severe allergic reactions may result in difficulty in breathing, swelling of the lips, tongue, face, or hives. Skin reactions may cause redness, pain, ulcers, blisters, shedding the outer layer of skin. If you have an abnormality of the blood cells, your skin may appear pale. Additionally you may suffer from abnormal bleeding or frequent bruising, fever, or sore throat.

    Q. Can Primidone cause headache?

    Though headache is not a very common side effect of Primidone, it can occur in a few patients.

    Q. Does Primidone affect blood pressure?

    No, Primidone does not have any effect on blood pressure.

    Q. Can I take Primidone and propranolol together?

    While taking propranolol and Primidone together, your blood pressure should be monitored as Primidone may interfere with working of propranolol. Your doctor may modify your dose if needed.

    Q. How should I store this medicine?

    Keep it in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C. Do not leave it on a windowsill or in the car on hot days. Keep it out of reach of children.

    Content on this page was last updated on 20 February, 2020, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)