Tiagabine for Epilepsy
How It Works
Tiagabine increases the brain levels of a chemical messenger (neurotransmitter) called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which may prevent abnormal electrical activity in brain cells.
Why It Is Used
Tiagabine is used in combination with other antiepileptic medicines in adults and children older than 12 years to control partial seizures.
How Well It Works
When added to treatment with another antiepileptic drug, tiagabine is sometimes effective in reducing partial seizures in children older than 12 years. It seems to work better in controlling partial seizures in adults, either alone or when used with another antiepileptic medicine. It is not helpful in reducing other types of seizures, such as primary generalized seizures or seizures in children who have Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.1
Common side effects of tiagabine include:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning on antiepileptic medicines and the risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts. The FDA does not recommend that people stop using these medicines. Instead, people who take antiepileptic medicine should be watched closely for warning signs of suicide. People who take antiepileptic medicine and who are worried about this side effect should talk to a doctor.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
It may take time and careful, controlled adjustments by you and your doctor to find the combination, schedule, and dosing of medicine to best manage your epilepsy. The goal is to prevent seizures while causing as few side effects as possible. After you and your doctor figure out the medicine program that works best for you, make sure to follow your program exactly as prescribed.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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