Author(s): Rundfeldt C, Lscher W
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Abstract The anticonvulsant, adverse and biochemical effects of the novel antiepileptic drug vigabatrin (gamma-vinyl GABA), which increases GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) levels by inhibition of the GABA degrading enzyme GABA aminotransferase, were examined in amygdala-kindled rats after acute and chronic administration. Vigabatrin proved to be a potent anticonvulsant drug at acute doses (100-200 mg/kg), but during chronic administration, the anticonvulsant activity of the treatment was lost already in the second week of treatment. Tolerance also developed to the adverse effects, i.e. hypothermia, sedation and motor impairment. Determination of vigabatrin in plasma indicated that tolerance was not due to declining drug levels. Furthermore, determination of endogenous amino acids in plasma showed that GABA levels were highly elevated throughout the period of treatment, although the extent of GABA accumulation decreased in the second week. After cessation of chronic treatment with vigabatrin, there was no clear indication of withdrawal symptoms, except a prolonged seizure or afterdischarge duration in experiments with 100 mg/kg per day. The data suggest that chronic treatment with vigabatrin may be associated with a loss of anticonvulsant efficacy, at least when the drug is given as monotherapy.
This article was published in Eur J Pharmacol
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy