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Treatment of refractory complex partial seizures: role of vigabatrin

Authors Waterhouse E, Mims KN, Gowda SN

Published 6 October 2009 Volume 2009:5 Pages 505—515


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Elizabeth J Waterhouse, Kimberly N Mims, Soundarya N Gowda

Department of Neurology, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA, USA

Abstract: Vigabatrin (VGB) is an antiepileptic drug that was designed to inhibit GABA-transaminase, and increase levels of γ-amino-butyric acid (GABA), a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. VGB has demonstrated efficacy as an adjunctive antiepileptic drug for refractory complex partial seizures (CPS) and for infantile spasms (IS). This review focuses on its use for complex partial seizures. Although VGB is well tolerated, there have been significant safety concerns about intramyelinic edema and visual field defects. VGB is associated with a risk of developing bilateral concentric visual field defects. Therefore, the use of VGB for complex partial seizures should be limited to those patients with seizures refractory to other treatments. Patients must have baseline and follow-up monitoring of visual fields, early assessment of its efficacy, and ongoing evaluation of the benefits and risks of VGB therapy.

Keywords: vigabatrin, epilepsy, complex partial seizures, review

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