Gabapentin versus vigabatrin as first add-on for patients with partial seizures that failed to respond to monotherapy: a randomized, double-blind, dose titration study. GREAT Study Investigators Group. Gabapentin in Refractory Epilepsy Add-on Treatment

Epilepsia. 2000 Oct;41(10):1289-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.2000.tb04607.x.


Purpose: Our objective was to compare the efficacy and safety of gabapentin and vigabatrin as first-line add-on treatment in patients with partial epilepsy.

Methods: This was a multicenter, double-blind, randomized dose titration study. After baseline assessment and randomization, the dose could be increased if seizures persisted and reduced if side effects occurred. Health-related quality of life was assessed at baseline and at the end of the study. By a protocol amendment post hoc, all randomized patients were offered a standardized perimetry examination at the end of the study. Improvement rate was the proportion of patients with a reduction of seizure frequency of at least 50% during an 8-week period without any adverse events causing withdrawal.

Results: One hundred two patients were randomized and analyzed on an intent-to-treat basis. The improvement rate was 48% in the gabapentin group and 56% in the vigabatrin group. The improvement rate, when per protocol criteria were fulfilled, was 57% in the gabapentin group and 59% in the vigabatrin group. The proportion of seizure-free patients was 31% in the gabapentin group and 39% in the vigabatrin group. There was no difference in quality-of-life scores between the groups. Perimetry after termination of the study on 64 patients showed abnormal results in 3 of 32 patients in the vigabatrin group.

Conclusion: Approximately one third of the patients in both groups became seizure-free. Although no major differences were seen in terms of the improvement rate between the groups, equivalence between the two drugs was not found.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / administration & dosage
  • Acetates / therapeutic use*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amines*
  • Anticonvulsants / administration & dosage
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Epilepsies, Partial / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Gabapentin
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Research Design
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vigabatrin / administration & dosage
  • Vigabatrin / therapeutic use*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid*


  • Acetates
  • Amines
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Gabapentin
  • Vigabatrin