Vigabatrin Tablet

Vigabatrin is intended for the treatment of a condition known as infantile spasms. This drug may as well be used in combination with other medications to treat seizure disorders. Vigabatrin decreases the number of seizures in adults and children. It is only for those who have not been able to control their seizures with other treatments. 

An infantile spasm happens in babies. This type of condition is a rare form of epilepsy. This generally occurs before a child is 1 year old. In most cases, it occurs in babies when they’re about 4 months old. Infantile spasms can be caused 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 together with 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 may bend forward. However, infantile spasms can sometimes be hard to notice. Soon after the spasms begin, parents may notice several changes in their baby such as:

  • Loss of social interactions and smiles
  • Loss of developmental milestones previously learned
  • Increased fussiness or silence 

In seizure disorders, the electrical activity of the brain is periodically disturbed. That it may result in some degree of temporary brain dysfunction. Several forms of seizures may range in severity. These forms differ by how and where 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 closed head injury, an infection like meningitis. Most seizure disorders can be controlled with medication but the management of it can still have a significant impact on your daily life. The signs and symptoms of this condition can range from mild to severe and vary depending on the type of seizure. The signs and symptoms may include:

  • 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

Vigabatrin is a prescription approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is a type of drug called an anticonvulsant. It is thought to work by stopping the breakdown of a natural calming substance in the brain. The substance is called GABA which means Gamma-aminobutyric acid. Vigabatrin is supplied as tablets that are available in the dosage strength of 500 mg. 

How does Vigabatrin work?

The brain and nerves consist of many nerve cells. These communicate with each other through electrical signals. For the brain and nerves to function properly, these signals must be carefully regulated. It becomes over-stimulated and normal function is disturbed when abnormally rapid and repetitive electrical signals are released in the brain. This results in fits or seizures.

Vigabatrin 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 acts as a natural ‘nerve-calming’ agent and is a neurotransmitter. It helps keep the electrical nerve activity in the brain in balance. This drug prevents the breakdown 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 Vigabatrin?

The dosage of Vigabatrin is based on your medical condition to respond to it. Your doctor may recommend starting you with a lower dose and gradually increasing it. You should not take more or less than the prescribed dosage of your doctor. 

This drug is 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 the treatment 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 a day; once in the morning and once in the evening. For the treatment of seizure disorders, Vigabatrin is given twice a day. The medication may be taken with or without food. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. Continue to take your other seizure medications unless otherwise directed by your doctor. 

What are the side effects of Vigabatrin?

Common side effects:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Tiredness
  • Drowsiness
  • Weight gain
  • Memory problems
  • Swelling anywhere in your body
  • Burning pain, numbness, or tingly feeling in your hands or feet 
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of coordination
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sleep problems or insomnia 
  • Cold symptoms such as fever, stuffy nose, sore throat, or sneezing

If you have these following side effects, call your doctor right away:

  • Back and forth eye movements that you cannot control
  • Any change in your vision, no matter how mild
  • Worsening seizures
  • Pale skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Light-headedness 
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Confusion
  • Mood or behavior changes

Warnings and Precautions

  • Vigabatrin should be used with caution in children and elderly people. This should as well be used carefully in people with decreased kidney function. 
  • People with a history of mental disorders, behavioral problems, and depression, consult first your doctor before using this drug. 
  • Vigabatrin may cause an allergic reaction. Let your doctor know if you ever had an allergic reaction with this drug. This may contain some ingredients that cause an allergic reaction. 
  • This medication should not be used in people with significant eye problems that have impaired their field of vision. 
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding women, do not use this product without consulting your doctor. 
  • This drug may make you feel dizzy. Do not use any machinery or drive unless you know how this affects you. 
  • It is very important for women with epilepsy to take to the doctor responsible for their epilepsy treatment before becoming pregnant. Those drugs may be associated with an increased risk of developmental disorders and malformations in the baby.