Zonisamide, Serum or Plasma

CPT: 80203
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  • Zonegran®

Expected Turnaround Time

2 - 4 days

Related Documents

Specimen Requirements


Serum or plasma


0.5 mL

Minimum Volume

0.3 mL (Note: This volume does not allow for repeat testing.)


Red-top tube, sodium heparin tube, potassium EDTA tube or lithium heparin tube. Do not use a gel-barrier tube. The use of gel-barrier tubes is not recommended due to slow absorption of the drug by the gel. Depending on the specimen volume and storage time, the decrease in drug level due to absorption may be clinically significant.


Separate serum from cells within 45 minutes of collection and transfer to a plastic transport tube. Separate plasma immediately and transfer to a plastic transport tube for shipment to the laboratory.

Storage Instructions

Room temperature

Stability Requirements



Room temperature

14 days


7 days


4 weeks

Freeze/thaw cycles

Stable x3

Patient Preparation

Collect samples immediately prior to next dose.

Causes for Rejection

Hemolyzed samples; gel separator tubes; clotted specimen; samples not separated from blood cells

Test Details


Monitor drug levels for optimal therapy


Zonisamide is contraindicated in patients who have demonstrated hypersensitivity to sulfonamides or zonisamide. Consideration should be given to discontinuing zonisamide in patients who develop an otherwise unexplained rash. If the drug is discontinued, patients should be observed frequently.


Homogeneous Enzyme Immunoassay

Reference Interval

10.0−40.0 μg/mL

Additional Information

Zonisamide is an antiepileptic drug belonging to the sulfonamide class and is chemically unrelated to other antiepileptic drugs. While the exact mechanism of action is unknown, anticonvulsant activity may be mediated by action at sodium and calcium channels. This action may result in stabilizing neuronal membranes and suppressing neuronal hypersynchronizations.1 Preliminary studies on smaller population groups has indicated possible other uses for zonisamide in intractable neuropathic pain syndromes2 and refractory migraine headaches.3

Zonisamide is excreted primarily in urine as the parent drug and glucuronide of the metabolite 2-sulfamoylacetyl phenol. Metabolism of zonisamide is mediated by the P450 isozyme CYP3A4 and to a lesser extent by CYP2D6.4 The drug was rapidly absorbed orally following 200−400 mg doses in volunteers. Peak plasma concentrations were 2−5 μg/mL and occurred in two to six hours. Food does not effect the overall bioavailability, but delays time to maximum concentration until four to six hours. Zonisamide extensively binds to erythrocytes, resulting in an eightfold higher concentration in red blood cells than in plasma. The pharmacokinetics of zonisamide are dose proportional in the range of 200−400 mg.1 Time to steady state is from 5 to 15 days with an elimination half-life of 63 to 69 hours in volunteers receiving no other medication.4 The half-life, however, is reduced by the co-medicated P450 inducers phenytoin and carbamazepine. The half-life of zonisamide is reduced to a mean of 27.1 hours when the former is co-administered and to a mean of 36.4 hours with co-administration of the latter.5


1. Duncan L, et al. 2005 Mosby's Drug Consult. 15th ed. St Louis, Mo: Mosby; 2005.
2. Hasegawa H. Utilization of zonisamide in patients with chronic pain or epilepsy refractory to other treatments: A retrospective, open label, uncontrolled study in a VA hospital. Curr Med Res Opin. 2004 May; 20(5):577-580. 15140322
3. Drake ME Jr, Greathouse NI, Renner JB, Armentbright AD. Open-label zonisamide for refractory migraine. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2004 Nov-Dec; 27(6):278-280. 15613932
4. Leppik IE. Three new drugs for epilepsy: Levetiracetam, oxcarbazepine, and zonisamide. J Child Neurol. 2002 Jan; 17(Suppl 1):S53-57. 11918464
5. Ojemann LM, Shastri RA, Wilenski AJ, et al. Comparative pharmacokinetics of zonisamide (CI-912) in epileptic patients on carbamazepine or phenytoin monotherapy. Ther Drug Monit. 1986; 8(3):293-296. 3750373


Asconape JJ. Some common issues in the use of antiepileptic drugs. Semin Neurol. 2002 Mar; 22(1):27-39. 12170391
Johannessen SI, Battino D, Berry DJ, et al. Therapeutic drug monitoring of the newer antiepileptic drugs. Ther Drug Monit. 2003 Jun; 25(3):347-363. 12766564
Miura H. Developmental and therapeutic pharmacology of antiepileptic drugs. Epilepsia. 2000; 41(Suppl 9):2-6. 11156504


Order Code Order Code Name Order Loinc Result Code Result Code Name UofM Result LOINC
007915 Zonisamide(Zonegran), Serum 29620-2 007916 Zonisamide ug/mL 29620-2

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