The Use of Zonisamide for the Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders: A Systematic Review

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Abstract

Objective

Traditional pharmacotherapy has undoubtedly improved the outcome of patients with psychiatric disorders, but partial efficacy or poor tolerability persists in a number of these subjects. Among different compounds, zonisamide has been used to address unmet needs of standard pharmacotherapy. The purpose of the present article is to provide a review about the use of zonisamide for the treatment of psychiatric conditions.

Methods

A research in the main database sources has been conducted to obtain an overview of the use of zonisamide in psychiatric disorders or associated conditions (obesity and smoking cessation).

Results

Most available data indicate the possible effectiveness of zonisamide for the treatment of acute phases of bipolar disorder, binge-eating disorder (BED), alcohol misuse, and obesity. A further assessment of the safety and tolerability of zonisamide is made necessary by the fact that, with the exception of BED, for all other disorders at least some data come from studies with combined pharmacological therapies.

Conclusions

Zonisamide may have some utility, especially as an adjunctive therapy, for the management of acute phases and weight gain in bipolar disorder and for prevention of alcohol misuse. Preliminary evidence indicates zonisamide as a candidate compound for the treatment of BED and obesity. However, open-label design and small sample sizes of most available studies prevent from drawing sound conclusions about the utility of this compound in psychiatry.

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