Selective mutism and obsessive compulsive disorders associated with zonisamide

Seizure. 2002 Oct;11(7):468-70. doi: 10.1053/seiz.2001.0625.


We treated 27 children with idiopathic epilepsy with zonisamide monotherapy over a period of 2 years and observed behaviour disturbances in a prospective study. In all cases, seizure control was excellent; however, two cases (7.4%) had behaviour disturbances. The first (Case 1) was a 14-year-old girl with partial epilepsy which began at age 4 years. Zonisamide was administered at age 6 years, which was effective against her seizures, but selective mutism, violent behaviour, and lack of concentration developed at age 10 years. The second (Case 2) was a 15-year-old girl with generalized tonic-clonic seizures which began at age 10 years. Zonisamide was also effective against her seizures, but obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD) developed at age 13 years. The patients have had no other physical or mental problems and decreasing the dosage of zonisamide reduced the problems. There are few reports of behaviour disturbances provoked by zonisamide monotherapy in epileptic children who are neither physically nor mentally disturbed. While problems can develop several years later, in the present study, decreasing the zonisamide dosage maintained adequate prevention of seizures and eliminated the behaviour disturbances. Zonisamide is still a useful anticonvulsant for epileptic seizures, but physicians should be wary of its adverse behavioural side effects, which may arise several years later.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects*
  • Epilepsies, Partial / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isoxazoles / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Mutism / chemically induced*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / chemically induced*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Zonisamide


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Isoxazoles
  • Zonisamide