Department of Neurology

What is tiagabine (Gabitril)?

Q: I am writing for information regarding the medication, Gabitril. My doctor would like me to start taking it, but I want more information first. If you could send me something on this medication (or a URL to someone who could tell me more about it), I would greatly apprectiate it.

Thank you.

A: Tiagabine (Gabitril) is a drug that was approved by the FDA in December, 1997. It is the first "rationally-designed" anticonvulsant drug in the U.S., in that it works the way it was intended to work. Tiagabine raises the levels of GABA in the brain, by preventing it from being taken up by other brain cells. GABA is the major substance in the brain that inhibits (slows down) the activity of nerve cells. It is effective for seizures that seem to start from one part of the brain ("partial onset seizures'), including complex partial ("psychomotor", "temporal lobe") seizures, and secondarily generalized tonic-clonic ("grand mal") seizures. Like most seizure medications, it must be slowly adjusted to your response and side effects. For detailed information, you might consider asking your physician or pharmacist for a package insert.

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