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an anticonvulsant agent used orally as the hydrochloride salt as an adjunct in treatment of partial seizures.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


(tye-a-ga-been) ,


(trade name)


Therapeutic: anticonvulsants
Pregnancy Category: C


Adjunctive treatment of partial seizures.


Enhances the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid, an inhibitory neurotransmitter.

Therapeutic effects

Decreased frequency of seizures.


Absorption: 90% absorbed following oral administration.
Distribution: Unknown.
Protein Binding: 96%.
Metabolism and Excretion: Mostly metabolized by the liver; 2% excreted unchanged in urine.
Half-life: Without enzyme-inducing antiepileptic drugs—7–9 hr; with enzyme-inducing antiepileptic drugs—4–7 hr.

Time/action profile (blood levels)

POunknown45 minunknown


Contraindicated in: Hypersensitivity.
Use Cautiously in: All patients (may ↑ risk of suicidal thoughts/behaviors);Hepatic impairment (↓ dose/increased interval may be necessary);Patients receiving concurrent non–enzyme-inducing antiepileptic drug therapy such as valproates (may require lower doses and/or slower titration);Using tiagabine for off-label uses or other conditions leading to ↑ levels (may ↑ risk of new onset seizures); Obstetric / Lactation / Pediatric: Pregnancy, lactation, or children <12 yr (safety not established).

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects

Central nervous system

  • suicidal thoughts (life-threatening)
  • dizziness (most frequent)
  • drowsiness (most frequent)
  • nervousness (most frequent)
  • weakness (most frequent)
  • cognitive impairment
  • confusion
  • difficulty concentrating
  • hallucinations
  • headache
  • mental depression
  • personality disorder

Ear, Eye, Nose, Throat

  • abnormal vision
  • ear pain
  • tinnitus


  • dyspnea
  • epistaxis


  • chest pain
  • edema
  • hypertension
  • palpitations
  • syncope
  • tachycardia


  • abdominal pain
  • gingivitis
  • nausea
  • stomatitis


  • dysmenorrhea
  • dysuria
  • metrorrhagia
  • urinary incontinence


  • alopecia
  • dry skin
  • rash
  • sweating


  • weight gain
  • weight loss


  • arthralgia
  • neck pain


  • ataxia
  • tremors


  • allergic reactions
  • chills
  • lymphadenopathy


Drug-Drug interaction

Carbamazepine, phenytoin, primidone, and phenobarbital induce metabolism and ↓ blood levels; although concurrent therapy is usually necessary, adjustments may be required when altering regimens.


Oral (Adults >18 yr) 4 mg once daily initially for 1 wk; may ↑ by 4–8 mg/day at weekly intervals, up to 56 mg/day in 2–4 divided doses.
Oral (Children 12–18 yr) 4 mg once daily initially for 1 wk; may ↑ by 4 mg/day after 1 wk, then may ↑ by 4–8 mg/day at weekly intervals, up to 32 mg/day in 2–4 divided doses.

Availability (generic available)

Tablets: 2 mg, 4 mg, 12 mg, 16 mg

Nursing implications

Nursing assessment

  • Assess location, duration, and characteristics of seizure activity.
  • Assess mental status. May cause impaired concentration, speech or language problems, confusion, fatigue, and drowsiness. Symptoms may decrease with dose reduction or discontinuation.
  • Monitor closely for notable changes in behavior that could indicate the emergence or worsening of suicidal thoughts or behavior or depression.
  • Therapeutic serum levels have not been determined. However, levels may be monitored prior to and following changes in the therapeutic regimen.

Potential Nursing Diagnoses

Risk for injury (Side Effects)


  • Do not confuse tiagabine with tizanidine.
  • Oral: Administer with food.
    • Discontinue tiagabine gradually. Abrupt discontinuation may cause increase in seizure frequency.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patient to take medication as directed. Take missed doses as soon as possible unless almost time for next dose. Do not double doses. Do not discontinue abruptly; may cause increase in frequency of seizures. Instruct patient to read the Medication Guide before starting and with each Rx refill, changes may occur.
  • Advise patient to notify health care professional immediately if frequency of seizures increases.
  • May cause dizziness. Caution patient to avoid driving or activities requiring alertness until response to medication is known. Do not resume driving until physician gives clearance based on control of seizure disorder.
  • Advise patient and family to notify health care professional if thoughts about suicide or dying, attempts to commit suicide; new or worse depression; new or worse anxiety; feeling very agitated or restless; panic attacks; trouble sleeping; new or worse irritability; acting aggressive; being angry or violent; acting on dangerous impulses; an extreme increase in activity and talking, other unusual changes in behavior or mood occur.
  • Advise patient to notify health care professional of all Rx or OTC medications, vitamins, or herbal products being taken and to consult with health care professional before taking other medications.
  • Instruct patient to notify health care professional of medication regimen prior to treatment or surgery.
  • Advise patient to carry identification describing disease process and medication regimen at all times.
  • Advise patient to notify health care professional if pregnancy is planned or suspected or if breast feeding.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

  • Decrease in the frequency or cessation of seizures.
Drug Guide, © 2015 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
The GABITRIL REMS consists of a Medication Guide to inform patients about the potential risks associated with the use of GABITRIL.
In the case of Gabitril, which had been approved for use for epilepsy, Cephalon told the sales force to visit not just neurologists, but also psychiatrists, and to promote the drug for anxiety and other psychiatric indications.
Included in this class are lithium, Depakote, Tegretol, Neurontin, Lamictal, Topomax, and Gabitril. All of these drugs, except lithium, are classed as anti-convulsants.
The settlement will resolve civil and criminal complaints alleging that the company marketed Gabitril (tiagabine), Actiq (oral transmucosal fentanyl), and Provigil (modafinil) for off-label uses.
The AEDs in the meta-analysis were carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro), dival-proex sodium (Depakote, Depakote ER), fel-bamate (Felbatol), gabapentin (Neurontin), lamotrigine (Lamictal), levetiracetam (Keppra), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), pregabalin (Lyrica), tiagabine (Gabitril), topira-mate (Topamax), and zon-isamide (Zonegran).
Tiagabine (Gabitril), a selective GABA reuptake inhibitor already on the market for the treatment of partial seizures, is under evaluation for insomnia.
The medications considered inadequate for the control of seizures in these syndromes--either because they do not work or because they exacerbate seizure types other than generalized tonic-clonic seizures--include phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), gabapentin (Neurontin), and tiagabine (Gabitril).
The company's proprietary products in the United States include: TREANDA (bendamustine hydrochloride) for injection, AMRIX (Cyclobenzaprine Hydrochloride Extended-Release Capsules), PROVIGIL (modafinil) Tablets (C-IV), FENTORA, TRISENOX (arsenic trioxide) injection, VIVITROL (naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension), GABITRIL (tiagabine hydrochloride), NUVIGIL (armodafinil) Tablets (C-IV) and ACTIQ (oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate) (C-II).
The human pregnancy experience is too limited to assess the embryo/fetal risk for the other second-generation agents: felbamate (Felbatol), gabapentin (Neurontin), pregabalin (Lyrica), levetiracetam (Keppra), tiagabine (Gabitril), and topiramate (Topamax).
DENVER -- The anticonvulsant tiagabine (Gabitril) increased slow wave sleep in dose-dependent fashion in a 30-center randomized trial involving 232 adults with primary insomnia, James K.
The anticonvulsants that have been most widely used for bipolar illness are sodium valproate and carbamazepine, and more recently, gabapentin (Neurontin), lamotrigine (Lamictal), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), and tiagabine (Gabitril).
Gabapentin (Neurontin), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), or tiagabine (Gabitril) offer alternatives to carbamazepine (Tegretol) or phenytoin (Dilantin) for partial-onset seizures in children.