What Is Vigabatrin Used For?
Healthcare providers may recommend vigabatrin for adults who have complex partial seizures or young children who have infantile spasms. Vigabatrin is approved for use as a "last resort" and only when the benefits outweigh the significant risk for permanent vision loss. This prescription drug works by preventing abnormal brain signals that cause seizures. Treating other types of seizures is a possible off-label use for vigabatrin.
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Vigabatrin (Sabril®) is a prescription seizure medication. Specifically, it is approved to treat the following conditions:
- Complex partial seizures in adults who have not had success with several other treatments, combined with other seizure medications
- Infantile spasms in children one month to two years of age, used alone.
Vigabatrin has a high risk for causing permanent vision loss. Therefore, it should only be used when the benefits of the medication outweigh the significant risk to vision.
There are over 30 different types of seizures a person with epilepsy may experience. These seizures are generally classified into two main categories:
- Partial-onset seizures (also known as focal seizures or simply partial seizures)
- Generalized seizures.
Partial seizures occur in just one part of the brain. Two types of partial-onset seizures include:
- Simple partial seizures, in which a person will remain conscious but experiences unusual feelings or sensations that can take many forms.
- Complex partial seizures, in which a person has a change or loss of consciousness. People having a complex partial seizure may display strange, repetitious behaviors such as blinks, twitches, mouth movements, or even walking in a circle.
Vigabatrin is approved to treat complex partial seizures in adults. Because of the high risk for vision loss, vigabatrin should be given only in difficult-to-control cases that have not responded to several other treatments. For this use, vigabatrin is approved only for use in combination with other seizure medications.