|Primidone Primidone

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Generic name: Primidone
Brand names: Mysoline

Why is Primidone prescribed?

Primidone is used to treat epileptic and other seizures. It can be used alone or with other anticonvulsant drugs. It is chemically similar to barbiturates.

Most important fact about Primidone

Primidone should not be stopped suddenly; this could cause you to have seizures. If you no longer need the medication, your doctor will reduce the dosage gradually.

How should you take Primidone?

Take Primidone exactly as prescribed. Do not change from one manufacturer"s product to another without consulting your doctor.

If using Primidone Suspension, shake well before using.

--If you miss a dose...

Take it as soon as you remember. If it is within an hour of your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at the same time.

--Storage instructions...

Store at room temperature in a tightly closed container, away from light.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Primidone.

  • More common side effects may include: Lack of muscle coordination, vertigo or severe dizziness

Why should Primidone not be prescribed?

You should not take Primidone if you have porphyria (an inherited metabolic disorder) or if you are allergic to phenobarbital.

Special warnings about Primidone

Remember that you must not stop taking Primidone suddenly.

It can take several weeks for the full effectiveness of Primidone to be seen.

Since Primidone is generally given for long periods of time, your doctor will check your blood count every 6 months.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Primidone

If Primidone is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Primidone with the following:

Antidepressants called MAO inhibitors, such as Parnate and Nardil
Blood-thinning drugs such as Coumadin
Doxycycline (Doryx, Vibramycin)
Estrogen-containing oral contraceptives such as Ortho-Novum and Triphasil
Griseofulvin (Fulvicin-U/F, Grifulvin V)
Steroid drugs such as Decadron

Avoid alcoholic beverages while you are taking Primidone.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Although the effects of Primidone in pregnancy and nursing infants are not known, recent studies show an increase in birth defects in infants born to epileptic women taking anticonvulsant medications (particularly Dilantin and phenobarbital). Although most pregnant women taking anticonvulsant medication give birth to normal, healthy babies, this possibility may also exist with Primidone. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Primidone appears in breast milk and can affect a nursing infant, causing excessive sleepiness and drowsiness. If Primidone is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to stop breastfeeding.

Recommended dosage


For people 8 years of age and older who have not been treated before, the doctor will start Primidone as follows, using either 50-milligram or scored 250-milligram Primidone tablets:

Days 1 to 3: 100 to 125 milligrams at bedtime

Days 4 to 6: 100 to 125 milligrams 2 times a day

Days 7 to 9: 100 to 125 milligrams 3 times a day

Day 10 to maintenance: 250 milligrams 3 times a day

For most adults and children 8 years of age and over, the usual maintenance dosage is 250 milligrams 3 or 4 times a day. If you need more, your doctor may increase the dose to five or six 250-milligram tablets. You should not take more than 500 milligrams 4 times a day (2000 milligrams or 2 grams).

In patients already receiving other anticonvulsants, the usual starting dose of Primidone is 100 to 125 milligrams at bedtime; your doctor will gradually increase this dose to a maintenance level as the other drug is gradually decreased. Your doctor will either find a working level for the combination or withdraw the other medication completely. When Primidone is to be used as a single drug, it will take at least 2 weeks to make the transition from two drugs to one.


Days 1 to 3: 50 milligrams at bedtime

Days 4 to 6: 50 milligrams 2 times a day

Days 7 to 9: 100 milligrams 2 times a day

Day 10 to maintenance: 125 milligrams 3 times a day to 250 milligrams 3 times day

The usual maintenance dosage is 125 to 250 milligrams 3 times daily or 10 to 25 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight per day, divided into smaller doses.


Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect a Primidone overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

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