Q. How quickly does ZEN start working?
Your symptoms may take 1-2 weeks to improve. In some cases, it may take longer.
Q. Is ZEN an analgesic? What is it used for?
No, ZEN is not an analgesic and should not be used for regular aches or pains. It is an anti-epileptic medicine which is given to treat fits (seizures). It is also used to treat pain of trigeminal neuralgia and to control mood disorders when other medicines fail to work.
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 are the long-term effects of ZEN ?
The long-term side effects of ZEN vary from person to person. While some people can take ZEN safely for several years, some may develop side effects on using it for a long term. These side effects include osteoporosis and osteopenia in which the bones become weak and can be easily fractured. If you have been prescribed ZEN for long term, get your bone density checked at regular intervals, maintain a healthy diet and exercise daily.
Q. What should I avoid while taking ZEN?
If ZEN makes you feel sleepy, avoid driving or operating heavy machinery. Alcohol consumption should be avoided since taking both together may cause excessive sleepiness.
Q. How do I stop taking ZEN ?
You should stop ZEN only after consulting your doctor. The dose of ZEN should be reduced gradually so that the condition for which you are taking it does not recur.
Q. How can I look for early symptoms of suicidal thoughts and actions?
Pay attention to any changes, especially sudden changes in mood, behavior, thoughts, or feelings. Keep all follow-up visits with your doctor as scheduled. Call your doctor as needed, especially if you are worried about any symptoms.
Q. Can the use of ZEN lead to weight gain? If yes, how can it be managed?
Yes, ZEN commonly causes weight gain due to increase in appetite. You can manage your weight by eating a healthy diet, consuming low calorie food and including more vegetables and fruits in your diet. Regular physical exercise will be very helpful.
Q. Can the use of ZEN affect my sex life?
Though rare but ZEN may cause decreased sexual desire. It may also impair male fertility as it may reduce sperm count and/or motility. Consult your doctor if you develop these symptoms.
Q. I am taking ZEN for trigeminal neuralgia. For how long do I need to take it?
Once the medicine relieves your pain, talk to your doctor who will gradually reduce your dose. After taking the reduced dose for several weeks, ZEN can possibly be stopped if there is no recurrence of pain.
Q. How can I reduce the side effects of ZEN?
Side effects of ZEN can be reduced by starting it at a low dose and then increasing the dose gradually, until an effective dose is reached.
Q. When should I go for laboratory test when taking this drug?
Before starting treatment with ZEN, your doctor may ask you to get regular blood tests, liver tests, and in some cases, even urine test. You may need to take these tests from time to time during your treatment. This is quite usual and nothing to worry about.