Zonisamide for essential tremor: An evaluator-blinded study


  • Potential conflict of interest: None reported.


In this evaluator-blinded open-treatment trial, subjects with moderate/severe upper limb essential tremor were titrated to 300 mg/day zonisamide, or adjusted to a lesser dose if symptoms warranted, as monotherapy or as adjunct to stable antitremor medication, followed by a 12-week extension phase. The primary efficacy outcome variables were blinded rater videotaped/drawing tremor score changes at the Treatment and Extension visits compared to Baseline, based on Fahn-Tolosa-Marin and Postural Tremor Scales. Subjects also rated Functional Disabilities. Primary outcomes showed reduced tremor scores at the Treatment (P < 0.00001, n = 25) and Extension (n = 16) visits, at mean doses of 252 and 225 mg/day, respectively. Subject ratings indicated 200 mg/day was superior to 100 mg/day, whereas 300 mg/day produced no additional benefit, but instead was associated with more adverse symptoms, most commonly somnolence, poor energy, imbalance, and altered taste. Future double-blind placebo-controlled trials are warranted. © 2008 Movement Disorders Society