Vigabatrin in adults with poorly-controlled epilepsy and learning disabilities

Seizure. 1992 Sep;1(3):157-62. doi: 10.1016/1059-1311(92)90018-v.


Twenty-two adult patients with uncontrolled epilepsy and severe learning difficulties were included in an open study of vigabatrin. Patients were all in residential care and had experienced at least 12 seizures during the previous 12 months despite all attempts to optimize antiepileptic drug (AED) treatment. Following a 4 month baseline period, vigabatrin 500 mg twice daily was added to the current AED treatment and the dose increased according to response, up to a maximum of 4 g/day. Ten patients achieved a reduction in seizure frequency of more than 50% during this 4 month dose titration phase. Two patients had no seizures during the baseline period. For the 30 patients with seizures during the baseline period the median improvement in seizure frequency with the addition of vigabatrin was 49% (P = 0.014). The response rate was higher for patients with partial seizures than for those with generalized seizures. Ten patients continued with vigabatrin while the dose of one of their other AEDs was gradually reduced and successfully withdrawn in three patients. Adverse events were reported in 20 patients during the 64 week study period. The most frequently reported events were sedation (8 patients), aggression (4 patients), agitation (3 patients) and ataxia (3 patients). No patients were withdrawn from the study as a consequence of adverse events. Vigabatrin was therefore an effective add-on therapy in 45% of these difficult-to-treat patients and allowed reduction of other AED treatment in a small number.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aminocaproates / adverse effects
  • Aminocaproates / therapeutic use*
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Electroencephalography / drug effects
  • Epilepsy, Generalized / drug therapy*
  • Epilepsy, Generalized / psychology
  • Evoked Potentials / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning Disabilities / drug therapy*
  • Learning Disabilities / psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / psychology
  • Vigabatrin


  • Aminocaproates
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Vigabatrin