Vigabatrin (Oral route)
Vigabatrin causes permanent vision loss, which may occur at any time during therapy, and the risk increases with total dose and duration of use. Periodic vision testing is required for patients receiving vigabatrin therapy. Vigabatrin should not be used concomitantly with other drugs associated with adverse ophthalmic effects or in patients at high risk for other types of irreversible vision damage. Vigabatrin is only available through a special restricted distribution program .
Gamma Aminobutyric Acid Transaminase Inhibitor
Gamma Aminobutyric Acid (class)
Uses of This Medicine:
Vigabatrin is used alone or together with other medicines to treat complex partial seizures in adults and infantile spasms in children. It is used in patients who have already been treated with other medicines that did not work well.
Vigabatrin is an anticonvulsant. It increases the amount of the chemical called gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) in the brain. Some seizures are caused by low levels of GABA. When vigabatrin increases GABA, it reduces the likelihood of a seizure.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using This Medicine:
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of vigabatrin oral solution to treat infantile spasms in children 1 month to 2 years of age.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of vigabatrin tablets in children and teenagers younger than 16 years of age with complex partial seizures. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of vigabatrin in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving vigabatrin.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems—
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine:
Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.
Vigabatrin is only available through a restricted program called the SHARE program. It is very important that you understand the SHARE program and become familiar with the Medication Guide. Talk to your doctor about the SHARE program before starting treatment with vigabatrin.
You may take this medicine with or without food.
To use the oral liquid:
Vigabatrin may be used together with other seizure medicines. Keep using all of your medicines unless your doctor tells you to stop.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions While Using This Medicine:
It is very important that your doctor check your or your child's progress at regular visits to allow for changes in the dose and to check for any unwanted effects.
This medicine may cause permanent vision loss. Check with your doctor immediately if blurred vision, difficulty in reading, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. It is very important that your ophthalmologist (eye doctor) check your child's or your eyes approximately every 3 months for any visual problems.
Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests (eg, magnetic resonance imaging or MRI).
This medicine may cause some people to be agitated, irritable, or display other abnormal behaviors. It may also cause some people to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies or to become more depressed. If you, your child, or your caregiver notice any of these side effects, tell your doctor right away.
This medicine may cause some people to become drowsy, sleepy, or weak than they are normally. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are drowsy or not alert.
Check with your doctor right away if you or your child are having burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations in the arms, hands, legs, or feet. These could be symptoms of a condition called peripheral neuropathy.
Tell your doctor if you or your child have increased weight or swelling in the hands, ankles, or feet while taking this medicine.
Do not suddenly stop taking this medicine without checking first with your doctor. Your doctor may want to gradually reduce the amount you are using before stopping it completely. Stopping this medicine suddenly may cause seizures.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Side Effects of This Medicine:
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Last Updated: 6/13/2013
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