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Tiagabine: efficacy and safety in partial seizures – current status

Authors Bauer J, Cooper-Mahkorn D

Published 8 August 2008 Volume 2008:4(4) Pages 731—736


Jürgen Bauer, Déirdre Cooper-Mahkorn

Department of Epileptology, Bonn University Hospital, Germany

Abstract: Tiagabine hydrochloride (TGB) is a selective gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) reuptake inhibitor. TGB is effective as an add-on medication in adults and children 12 years and older in the treatment of partial seizures. Results of nonrandomized add-on trials with TGB show treatment success with seizure reduction of at least 50% in 33% to 46% of patients. In newly diagnosed patients with partial epilepsy, TGB monotherapy was as effective as carbamazepine. Comedication with TGB elevates the risk of nonconvulsive status (7.8% vs 2.7% without TGB). The most common side effects include dizziness/lightheadedness, asthenia/lack of energy and somnolence. TGB has no negative effects on cognition; it does not increase the risk of fractures or rash. TGB may interfere with color perception. TGB presents an intermediate risk for depression in patients with epilepsy (approximately 4%). Regarding the risk of overdose, 96–680 mg TGB (mean 224 mg) caused seizures or coma. TGB is an antiepileptic drug exhibiting a specific anticonvulsive mechanism of action, the efficacy of which is relatively low when used in comedication. Critical side effects, such as the induction of nonconvulsive status epilepticus, further limit its use.

Keywords: epilepsy, tiagabine, antiepileptic drugs, status epilepticus, pharmacotherapy

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