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Sabril (Vigabatrin) - Summary



  • SABRIL causes permanent bilateral concentric visual field constriction. Because assessing vision may be difficult in infants and children, the frequency and extent of vision loss is poorly characterized in these patients. For this reason, the risk described below is primarily based on the adult experience.
  • Based upon adult studies, 30 percent or more of patients can be affected, ranging in severity from mild to severe, including tunnel vision to within 10 degrees of visual fixation, and can result in disability. In some cases, SABRIL also can damage the central retina and may decrease visual acuity.
  • The onset of vision loss from SABRIL is unpredictable, and can occur within weeks of starting treatment or sooner, or at any time after starting treatment, even after months or years.
  • Symptoms of vision loss from SABRIL are unlikely to be recognized by patients or caregivers before vision loss is severe. Vision loss of milder severity, while often unrecognized by the patient or caregiver, can still adversely affect function.
  • The risk of vision loss increases with increasing dose and cumulative exposure, but there is no dose or exposure known to be free of risk of vision loss.
  • Unless a patient is formally exempted from periodic ophthalmologic assessment as documented in the SHARE program, vision should be assessed to the extent possible at baseline (no later than 4 weeks after starting SABRIL) and at least every 3 months during therapy. Vision assessment is also required about 3 to 6 months after the discontinuation of SABRIL therapy.
  • Once detected, vision loss due to SABRIL is not reversible. It is expected that, even with frequent monitoring, some patients will develop severe vision loss.
  • Drug discontinuation should be considered, balancing benefit and risk, if visual loss is documented.
  • It is possible that vision loss can worsen despite discontinuation of SABRIL.
  • Because of the risk of visual loss, SABRIL should be withdrawn from patients with refractory complex partial seizures who fail to show substantial clinical benefit within 3 months of initiation and within 2-4 weeks of initiation for patients with infantile spasms, or sooner if treatment failure becomes obvious. Patient response to and continued need for SABRIL should be periodically reassessed.
  • SABRIL should not be used in patients with, or at high risk of, other types of irreversible vision loss unless the benefits of treatment clearly outweigh the risks. The interaction of other types of irreversible vision damage with vision damage from SABRIL has not been well-characterized, but is likely adverse.
  • SABRIL should not be used with other drugs associated with serious adverse ophthalmic effects such as retinopathy or glaucoma unless the benefits clearly outweigh the risks.
  • The possibility that vision loss from SABRIL may be more common, more severe or have more severe functional consequences in infants and children than in adults cannot be excluded.
  • The lowest dose and shortest exposure to SABRIL consistent with clinical objectives should be used.

Because of the risk of permanent vision loss, SABRIL is available only through a restricted program under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) called the SHARE Program [see Warnings and Precautions ]. Further information is available at [www.sabril.net or 1-888-45-SHARE].



SABRIL (vigabatrin) is an oral antiepileptic drug and is available as white film-coated 500 mg tablets and as a white to off-white granular powder for oral solution in packets of 500 mg.

Refractory Complex Partial Seizures (CPS)

SABRIL is indicated as adjunctive therapy for adults and pediatric patients 10 years of age and older with refractory complex partial seizures who have inadequately responded to several alternative treatments and for whom the potential benefits outweigh the risk of vision loss  [see Warnings and Precautions ]. SABRIL is not indicated as a first line agent for complex partial seizures.

Infantile Spasms (IS)

SABRIL is indicated as monotherapy for pediatric patients with infantile spasms 1 month to 2 years of age for whom the potential benefits outweigh the potential risk of vision loss [see Warnings and Precautions ].

See all Sabril indications & dosage >>


Published Studies Related to Sabril (Vigabatrin)

Vigabatrin for refractory partial epilepsy. [2013]
CONCLUSIONS: This review of randomised controlled trials showed that

Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of vigabatrin for the treatment of cocaine dependence in Mexican parolees. [2009]
CONCLUSIONS: This first randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

Vigabatrin for refractory partial epilepsy. [2008]
CONCLUSIONS: This review of randomised controlled trials shows that

Serum concentrations and effects of gabapentin and vigabatrin: observations from a dose titration study. [2003]
To explore possible concentration-effect relationships, gabapentin (GBP) and vigabatrin (VGB) serum concentrations were obtained from patients participating in an add-on dose-titration trial comparing GBP and VGB in partial epilepsy. Patients randomized to GBP started on 1800 mg/d and could have their dosage increased stepwise to 2400 and 3600 mg/d if seizures persisted...

Long-term open multicentre, add-on trial of vigabatrin in adult resistant partial epilepsy. The Canadian Vigabatrin Study Group. [2000]
Vigabatrin (VGB) has been shown in a number of clinical trials with varying designs to be effective and well-tolerated as both add-on therapy and monotherapy in epilepsy with partial seizures with or without secondary generalization as well as in infantile spasms... Vigabatrin, as an add-on agent, is well-tolerated and can be of long-term benefit in a substantial proportion of patients with intractable partial epilepsy.

more studies >>

Clinical Trials Related to Sabril (Vigabatrin)

Sabril Patient Registry [Enrolling by invitation]
The purpose of this study is to create a patient registry to collect and analyze information on subjects treated with Sabril and the prescribers of Sabril.

Acceptability Study of a New Paediatric Form of Vigabatrin in Infants and Children With Infantile Spasms or Pharmacoresistant Partial Epilepsy [Recruiting]
The sponsor is developing a new paediatric formulation of vigabatrin to better adjust the dose to body weight and to limit waste of unused drug. The currently marketed vigabatrin (Sabril™) form only exists as 500 mg film coated tablets (for adults and children above 6 years) and 500 mg granules for oral solution sachets (for infants and children below 6 years). Sabril™ is not adapted for administration to infants when a fraction of the sachet is needed. Manual splitting of the sachet or lengthy and error-prone dilutions are often required. This study is a descriptive, non-randomized, open label multi-centric acceptability study in infants and children affected with infantile spasms. The primary objective is to describe the adherence to the new formulation. Secondary objectives include:

- evaluation of the palatability and user-friendliness of the new treatment,

- evaluation of the pharmacokinetic parameters of the new formulation,

- PK study,

- evaluation of the tolerance,

- measurement of taurine plasma levels. This study will recruit 50 patients with

infantile spasms and pharmacoresistant partial epilepsy aged 1 month to 6 years in 12 clinical sites in France.

A Study of the Structure and Function of the Retina in Adult Patients With Refractory Complex Partial Seizures Treated With Vigabatrin (Sabril�) [Completed]
The purpose of the study is to evaluate the change in visual fields by means of automated static perimetry and to evaluate the change in retinal structure by means of spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) in adult patients with refractory complex partial seizures (CPS) being treated with vigabatrin (Sabril)

Sabril for Complex Partial Seizures in Adult Tolerability Study (TS) Patients [Recruiting]
This is an open-label, phase 4 study to examine the safety and efficacy of vigabatrin (Sabril) in Tuberous Sclerosis patients, a subset of the larger refractory complex partial epilepsy population for which the drug is approved. While enrolled on this trial, subjects will continue to take all of their normally prescribed medications, including their other antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Alternatively, there is a prospective observational arm that subjects who are about to take Sabril as treatment for seizures associated with Tuberous Sclerosis may join. Subjects who join this arm will not have any study visits and will not be asked to do anything specifically for the study. The study team will collect all study data from subjects' medical records only.

An Open-Label, Single and Multiple Oral Dose Pharmacokinetic Study of Vigabatrin in Infants With Infantile Spasms [Withdrawn]

more trials >>

Reports of Suspected Sabril (Vigabatrin) Side Effects

Convulsion (27)Death (25)Fall (9)Grand MAL Convulsion (9)Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy (8)Condition Aggravated (8)Retinal Disorder (6)Decreased Appetite (6)Abnormal Behaviour (6)Respiratory Distress (6)more >>

Page last updated: 2014-12-01

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