Tiagabine Hydrochloride

Tiagabine Hydrochloride is used for the treatment of certain types of seizures such as focal seizures. This is used with other medications to help lessen the spread of seizure activity in the brain. This medication is known as an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this prescription. 

seizure is an uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain. It may cause changes in your behavior, feelings, or movements, and levels of consciousness. You have epilepsy if you have had two or more seizures or a tendency to have recurrent seizures. This type of condition is more common than you might think. It can happen after a stroke, an infection such as meningitis, or a closed head injury. Many types of seizures can range in severity. The types may vary by where and how they begin in the brain. Most seizures may last from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. A seizure that takes longer than 5 minutes is already an emergency. The signs and symptoms of this condition may range from mild to severe. It includes:

  • A staring spell
  • Temporary confusion
  • Loss of consciousness or awareness
  • Uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs
  • Cognitive or emotional symptoms such as anxiety, fear, or déjà vu 

Focal seizures affect just one part of the brain. The symptoms may vary depending on the particular event. For instance, if the disturbance is in the part of your brain that affects vision, you may have hallucinations or see bright lights. Other possible symptoms of a focal seizure may include:

  • Contractions on just one side of your body
  • Muscle contractions, followed by relaxation
  • Unusual head or eye movements
  • Abdominal pain
  • Mood changes
  • Rapid heart rate or pulse
  • Flushed face
  • Sweating 
  • Nausea

How does Tiagabine Hydrochloride work?

Tiagabine Hydrochloride works by stabilizing electrical activity in the brain. 

The brain and nerves are made up of many nerve cells that communicate with each other over electrical signals. These signals must be sensibly controlled for the brain and nerves to work as it should be. When strangely fast and repetitive electrical signals are released in the brain, it turns out to be over-stimulated and regular function is disturbed. This results in fits or seizures.

This medication affects the activity of a neurotransmitter called GABA. Neurotransmitters are natural body chemicals that are stored in nerve cells. They are involved in transmitting messages between the nerve cells. GABA is a neurotransmitter that acts as a natural nerve-calming agent. It helps keep the electrical nerve activity in the brain in balance. Tiagabine Hydrochloride prevents the uptake of GABA in the brain. This allows GABA to calm the nerve activity in the brain for a longer period, which helps to prevent seizures. 

How to use Tiagabine Hydrochloride?

This medication is to be taken by mouth as directed by your doctor. Your doctor may direct you to start this at a low dose and slowly increase it. Starting this at a low dose may lessen your risk of side effects. During the first week of treatment, this medication is usually taken once a day. In the following weeks, your doctor may increase your dose to 2 to 4 times a day. Follow the instructions of your doctor carefully. Tiagabine Hydrochloride is not usually used by itself. Do not stop your other anti-seizure medication unless your doctor tells you to do so. 

The tablet should be swallowed as a whole with a full glass of water. Do not chew or break it. If by chance the tablet was broken, avoid contact with it and wash away as soon as possible any loose powder with water. If the powder gets in the eyes, flush with lots of water right away and call your doctor. 

The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to the treatment, or other medications you are taking. Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. If you stop taking this medication for several days, talk with your doctor about how to restart it. You may need to restart with a low dose and slowly increase your dose again. Tell your doctor if your seizures get worse. 

What are the side effects of Tiagabine Hydrochloride?

Common side effects:

  • Weight changes
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Lack of coordination
  • Sleep problems or insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting 
  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Weakness
  • Shaking
  • Tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Inability to concentrate 

Tell your doctor right away if you have these side effects:

  • Severe weakness
  • Difficulty forming sentences 
  • Trouble thinking clearly
  • Confusion
  • Increase in seizure activity 

Call for medical help if you have these signs of an allergic reaction:

  • Hives or itching
  • Swelling of your face, lips, throat, mouth, or tongue 
  • Trouble or difficulty breathing 

Warnings and Precautions

  • This medicine may lessen your ability to drive or operate machinery safely. Do not operate machinery or drive until you know how this medicine affects you and you are sure it won’t affect your performance.
  • If you experience any changes in your vision while taking this medicine you should consult your doctor. He may want you to go for an eye test.
  • If you experience any unexplained bruising while taking this medicine you should let your doctor know. He may want you to have a blood test to check your blood cells.
  • Tiagabine Hydrochloride should be used with caution in people with mild to moderately decreased liver function, hereditary blood disorders, or a history of serious behavioral problems. 
  • This is not recommended for use in children under 12 years of age, those with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, glucose-galactose malabsorption, or the Lapp lactase deficiency. 
  • Certain medicines should not be used during breastfeeding or pregnancy. However, other medicines may be safely used in breastfeeding or pregnancy providing the benefits to the mother outweighs the risks to the unborn baby. Don’t forget to inform your doctor if you are pregnant or have plans to become pregnant, before using any medication.