Gabitril

1 What is Gabitril?

Brand: Gabitril

Generic: Tiagabine

Gabitril is an anticonvulsant drug used to control seizures in epilepsy. It cannot cure epilepsy permanently rather it would only prevent and control seizures as long as you continue to take it.

This medication is available only through your doctor's prescription.

This product is available in the two dosage forms:

  • Capsule
  • Tablet

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Gabitril, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it.

Your doctor will consider these risks before prescribing the drug and will inform you about them. Following factors should be considered before taking this drug:

  • Allergies: If you have had an allergic reaction to this drug in the past, inform your doctor. You should also tell your healthcare provider if you are allergic to any other drugs or food products.
  • Age specific problems: The data regarding the effects of this medicine specific to the pediatric age group is not yet available. Its safety and efficacy has not been established in children younger than 12 years of age.  The studies specific to the geriatric age group have not been carried out, that would limit the use of this drug in old age group.
  • Pregnancy: Regarding the safety of usage of this drug during pregnancy, it comes under “C” category, which means that clinical trials on animals have revealed harmful effects to the developing fetus or relevant studies have not been performed.
  • Drug Interactions: Certain drugs should not be used together because they can interact inside the body which can have a harmful effect. On the other hand certain drugs are allowed to be used together. So, you should tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking. If there is a chance of interaction between those two drugs, the doctor may change the dose or may prescribe an alternative drug. Tiagabine is not allowed to be used along with orlistat.

Tiagabine should be used with caution with following drugs:

  • Ginkgo
  • Carbamazepine
  • Phenytoin
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Phenobarbital
  • Primidone

Furthermore, certain medications should not be taken with alcohol or tobacco, which may also result in harmful interactions. Ask your doctor about the concurrent use of this drug along with alcohol or tobacco.

You should also inform your doctor about any other medical condition you may be suffering from., especially:

  • Liver failure — Decrease excretion by liver may lead to higher blood levels of Tiagabine, which may lead to an increase in the chance of side effects
  • Status epilepticus — Tiagabine may cause the condition to recur
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3 Proper Usage

To avoid adverse effects, Gabitril should be used exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

Tiagabine should always be taken with food or on a full stomach. Do not overuse or misuse this drug and do not use it longer than the recommended time. Read all the instructions mentioned in the medication guide.

Do not miss any dose. The dose of this drug varies according to the condition of each person. The number of doses per day, the time interval between the doses and the length of time you have to take the medicine depends on your condition individually and all these factors should only be determined by your healthcare provider. Follow each and every instruction of your doctor and also read the label carefully.

In case you miss one dose of this drug, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your subsequent dose, you can then skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

Storage:

This medicine should be stored at room temperature within a closed container, away from heat, direct light and moisture. Keep this drug out of the reach of children. Do not store expired or outdated medicines or the medicine no longer needed. 

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Gabitril, there are some precautions you must take.

Tiagabine can cause drowsiness, dizziness, motor skills deficit, trouble in thinking and visual abnormalities. If you are having these symptoms while on tiagabine, drive carefully. Also perform any task carefully which can be dangerous due to lack of coordination.

Avoid taking this medication with alcohol or any other CNS depressants like anti histamines, opiates, tranquilizers and sleeping pills. Do not stop taking this drug abruptly. You should tapper it off gradually under the supervision of a doctor.

Regular follow-up is necessary during and after the treatment. It is important to allow your doctor to monitor your progress and to make sure that there aren’t any side effects from the medication. Contact your doctor if your symptoms have not improved even after taking the full course of treatment.

Avoid taking any other medicine unless thoroughly discussed with your doctor. Always ask your doctor before using any prescription, non-prescription or herbal medicine.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Gabitril. Although these side effects may occur only in a handful of patients but if they do occur, contact your physician immediately.

This medication is associated with following side effects:

  • Difficulty in concentrating or paying attention
  • Blue or purple spots on skin
  • Burning, numbness, or tingling sensations
  • Confusion
  • Clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • Itching
  • Speech or language problems
  • Mental depression
  • Burning, pain, or difficulty in urinating
  • Agitation
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Hostility
  • Generalized weakness
  • Memory problems
  • Rash
  • Quick to react or overreact emotionally
  • Clumsiness or unsteadiness (severe)
  • Walking in unusual manner
  • Agitation
  • Drowsiness
  • Coma
  • Mental depression
  • Confusion
  • Muscle twitching or jerking
  • Increase in seizures
  • Weakness
  • Sluggishness
  • Speech problems (severe)

Seek medical help instantly, if you experience any of these symptoms while on this medication. Also contact your healthcare professional immediately, if have overdosed on this drug.

If any of these side effects becomes more bothersome or does not go away, contact your doctor.

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