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All about: Gabitril

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Generic Name: tiagabine (tie AY ga been)
Brand Names: Gabitril

What is Gabitril (tiagabine)?

The exact way that tiagabine works is unknown. However, it is believed that it alters chemical impulses in the brain that cause seizures.

Tiagabine is used to control seizures.

Tiagabine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Gabitril (tiagabine)?

Do not stop taking tiagabine without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel better. It is important to continue taking tiagabine to prevent the seizures from recurring. Stopping tiagabine suddenly may result in increased seizure frequency. If the medication needs to be stopped, your doctor may need to lower the dosage gradually.

Carry or wear a medical identification tag to let others know that you are taking this medicine in the case of an emergency.

Tiagabine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, decreased concentration, vision problems, or poor coordination. Do not drive, operate dangerous machinery, or perform other hazardous activities until you know how tiagabine affects you. If you experience drowsiness, dizziness, decreased concentration, vision problems, or poor coordination, avoid these activities.

Healthcare professionals are allowed to, and sometimes do, prescribe drugs for uses that are not approved by the FDA. The maker of tiagabine is strongly discouraging its use for any condition except for epilepsy because most of the reported seizures with tiagabine occurred in patients being treated for other conditions. However, if you are taking tiagabine for a condition other than epilepsy, you should not stop taking it on your own; you should speak to your healthcare professional as soon as you can.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Gabitril (tiagabine)?

Healthcare professionals are allowed to, and sometimes do, prescribe drugs for uses that are not approved by the FDA. The maker of tiagabine is strongly discouraging its use for any condition except for epilepsy because most of the reported seizures with tiagabine occurred in patients being treated for other conditions. However, if you are taking tiagabine for a condition other than epilepsy, you should not stop taking it on your own; you should speak to your healthcare professional as soon as you can.

Before taking tiagabine, tell your doctor if you have liver disease. You may not be able to take this medication, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment. Tiagabine is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether tiagabine will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take tiagabine without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant. It is not known whether tiagabine passes into breast milk. Do not take tiagabine without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Gabitril (tiagabine)?

Take tiagabine exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose of tiagabine with a full glass of water. Take tiagabine with food.

It is important to take tiagabine regularly to get the most benefit.

Do not stop taking tiagabine without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel better. It is important to continue taking tiagabine to prevent the seizures from recurring. Stopping tiagabine suddenly may result in increased seizure frequency. If the medication needs to be stopped, your doctor may need to lower the dosage gradually.

If treatment with tiagabine is stopped for any reason, contact your doctor before restarting the medication. A lower dose may be needed to prevent side effects from occurring.

Your doctor may want you to have blood tests or other medical evaluations during treatment with tiagabine to monitor progress and side effects.

Carry or wear a medical identification tag to let others know that you are taking this medicine in the case of an emergency.

Store tiagabine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical treatment if an overdose is suspected.

Symptoms of a tiagabine overdose include drowsiness, slurred speech, poor coordination, confusion, and agitation.

What should I avoid while taking Gabitril (tiagabine)?

Tiagabine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, decreased concentration, vision problems, or poor coordination. Do not drive, operate dangerous machinery, or perform other hazardous activities until you know how tiagabine affects you. If you experience drowsiness, dizziness, decreased concentration, vision problems, or poor coordination, avoid these activities. Do not drink alcohol while taking tiagabine. Alcohol may increase drowsiness or dizziness caused by tiagabine. Alcohol may also increase the risk of seizures.

Gabitril (tiagabine) side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking tiagabine and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:
  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);

  • increasing frequency or worsening of seizures;

  • irregular back-and-forth movements of the eyes (nystagmus);

  • weakness; or

  • rash.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take tiagabine and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • dizziness, poor coordination, or drowsiness;

  • nausea and vomiting;

  • agitation or nervousness; or

  • tremor.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Gabitril (tiagabine)?

Tiagabine interacts with many of the other drugs used to treat seizures. Before taking tiagabine, tell your doctor about all other medications you are taking. You may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking a combination of medications to treat seizures. Continue to take all medications prescribed to treat seizures exactly as directed.

Tiagabine may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), pain relievers, anxiety medicines, and muscle relaxants. Do not take other medications that may increase drowsiness without first talking to your doctor.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with tiagabine or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about tiagabine written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Tiagabine is available with a prescription under the brand name Gabitril. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.01. Revision Date: 5/9/05 3:08:19 PM.

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