Vigabatrinis intended for the treatment of a condition known as infantile spasms. Thisdrug may as well be used in combination with other medications to treat seizuredisorders. Vigabatrin decreases the number of seizures in adults and children.It is only for those who have not been able to control their seizures withother treatments.
Aninfantile spasm happens in babies. This type of condition is a rare form ofepilepsy. This generally occurs before a child is 1 year old. In most cases, itoccurs in babies when they’re about 4 months old. Infantile spasms can becaused by a brain abnormality or injury that happens before or after birth.This condition may last only a second or two. They usually occur close togetherwith each spasm occurring every 5 to 10 seconds in a series. During a spasm,the body stiffens suddenly, the back may arch, and the legs, arms, and head maybend forward. However, infantile spasms can sometimes be hard to notice. Soonafter the spasms begin, parents may notice several changes in their baby suchas:
- Loss of social interactions and smiles
- Loss of developmental milestones previously learned
- Increased fussiness or silence
Inseizure disorders, the electrical activity of the brain is periodicallydisturbed. That it may result in some degree of temporary brain dysfunction.Several forms of seizures may range in severity. These forms differ by how andwhere they begin in the brain. Most seizures last from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.It’s already a medical emergency if the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes.Seizures are more common than you think. It can occur after a stroke, a closedhead injury, an infection like meningitis. Most seizure disorders can becontrolled with medication but the management of it can still have asignificant impact on your daily life. The signs and symptoms of this conditioncan range from mild to severe and vary depending on the type of seizure. Thesigns and symptoms may include:
- A staring spell
- Temporary confusion
- Loss of consciousness or awareness
- Uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms andlegs
- Cognitive or emotional symptoms such as anxiety,fear, or déjà vu
Vigabatrinis a prescription approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is atype of drug called an anticonvulsant. It is thought to work by stopping thebreakdown of a natural calming substance in the brain. The substance is calledGABA which means Gamma-aminobutyric acid. Vigabatrin is supplied as tabletsthat are available in the dosage strength of 500 mg.
How doesVigabatrin work?
The brainand nerves consist of many nerve cells. These communicate with each otherthrough electrical signals. For the brain and nerves to function properly,these signals must be carefully regulated. It becomes over-stimulated andnormal function is disturbed when abnormally rapid and repetitive electricalsignals are released in the brain. This results in fits or seizures.
Vigabatrinaffects the activity of a neurotransmitter called GABA. Neurotransmitters arenatural body chemicals that are stored in nerve cells. They are involved intransmitting messages between the nerve cells. GABA acts as a natural‘nerve-calming’ agent and is a neurotransmitter. It helps keep the electricalnerve activity in the brain in balance. This drug prevents the breakdown ofGABA in the brain. This allows GABA to calm the nerve activity in the brain fora longer period, which helps to prevent seizures.
How touse Vigabatrin?
Thedosage of Vigabatrin is based on your medical condition to respond to it. Yourdoctor may recommend starting you with a lower dose and gradually increasingit. You should not take more or less than the prescribed dosage of yourdoctor.
This drugis to be taken by mouth. Swallow the tablet whole with a full glass of water.Do not chew, break, or crush it. Vigabatrin is usually taken once a day for thetreatment of infantile spasm. The medicine is usually given in the evening.When your child is already used to the drug, you may start giving them twice aday; once in the morning and once in the evening. For the treatment of seizuredisorders, Vigabatrin is given twice a day. The medication may be taken with orwithout food. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. Continueto take your other seizure medications unless otherwise directed by yourdoctor.
What arethe side effects of Vigabatrin?
- Weight gain
- Memory problems
- Swelling anywhere in your body
- Burning pain, numbness, or tingly feeling in yourhands or feet
- Joint pain
- Loss of coordination
- Sleep problems or insomnia
- Cold symptoms such as fever, stuffy nose, sorethroat, or sneezing
If youhave these following side effects, call your doctor right away:
- Back and forth eye movements that you cannotcontrol
- Any change in your vision, no matter how mild
- Worsening seizures
- Pale skin
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid heart rate
- Trouble concentrating
- Mood or behavior changes
- Vigabatrin should be used with caution in childrenand elderly people. This should as well be used carefully in people withdecreased kidney function.
- People with a history of mental disorders,behavioral problems, and depression, consult first your doctor before usingthis drug.
- Vigabatrin may cause an allergic reaction. Let yourdoctor know if you ever had an allergic reaction with this drug. This maycontain some ingredients that cause an allergic reaction.
- This medication should not be used in people withsignificant eye problems that have impaired their field of vision.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding women, do notuse this product without consulting your doctor.
- This drug may make you feel dizzy. Do not use anymachinery or drive unless you know how this affects you.
- It is very important for women with epilepsy totake to the doctor responsible for their epilepsy treatment before becomingpregnant. Those drugs may be associated with an increased risk of developmentaldisorders and malformations in the baby.