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Vigadrone Side Effects

Generic name: vigabatrin

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 27, 2021.

Note: This document contains side effect information about vigabatrin. Some dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Vigadrone.


Common side effects of Vigadrone include: arthralgia, blurred vision, confusion, depression, diplopia, fatigue, weight gain, abnormal gait, ataxia, cough, diarrhea, drowsiness, memory impairment, tremor, irritability, and pharyngolaryngeal pain. Other side effects include: status epilepticus, urinary tract infection, pulmonary congestion, abnormality in thinking, asthenia, depressed mood, dysmenorrhea, erectile dysfunction, eye pain, muscle twitching, paresthesia, peripheral edema, sinus headache, abnormal behavior, abnormal sensory symptoms, anemia, back pain, bronchitis, chest pain, constipation, fever, hypoesthesia, hyporeflexia, lethargy, myalgia, nervousness, nystagmus disorder, peripheral neuropathy, sedated state, toothache, upper abdominal pain, vertigo, malaise, abnormal dreams, bruise, and increased appetite. Continue reading for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

Applies to vigabatrin: oral powder for oral solution, oral tablets.


    Permanent Vision Loss
  • Vigabatrin can cause permanent bilateral concentric visual field constriction, including tunnel vision that may result in disability.1 In some cases, vigabatrin also can damage the central retina and reduce visual acuity.1

  • Risk of vision loss increases with increasing dosage and cumulative exposure; however, no dosage or exposure is known to be without risk.1

  • Risk of new and worsening vision loss continues as long as vigabatrin is used and possibly after discontinuance.1

  • Baseline and periodic vision assessment recommended in patients receiving vigabatrin.1 However, such vision assessment cannot always prevent vision damage.1 3 (See Permanent Vision Loss under Cautions.)

  • Distribution of vigabatrin is restricted.1 71 (See Restricted Distribution Program under Dosage and Administration.)


FDA approved a REMS for vigabatrin to ensure that the benefits outweigh the risks. The REMS may apply to one or more preparations of vigabatrin and consists of the following: elements to assure safe use and implementation system. See the FDA REMS page ([Web]). (See also Restricted Distribution Program under Dosage and Administration.)

Side effects include:

Causes permanent vision damage in a high percentage of patients. (See Permanent Vision Loss under Boxed Warning and also under Cautions.)

Adults (>16 years of age) with refractory complex partial seizures: Headache, fatigue, somnolence, dizziness, nystagmus, tremor, convulsion, nasopharyngitis, blurred vision, diplopia, memory impairment, insomnia, irritability, upper respiratory tract infection, abnormal coordination, pharyngolaryngeal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, constipation, upper abdominal pain, increased weight, dysmenorrhea, depression, confusional state, asthenia, peripheral edema, fever/pyrexia, influenza, arthralgia, back pain, pain in extremities, disturbance in attention, sensory disturbance, hyporeflexia, paresthesia.

Pediatric patients 10–16 years of age with refractory complex partial seizures: Increased weight, upper respiratory tract infection, fatigue, abnormal behavior, diarrhea, influenza, otitis media, somnolence, tremor, aggression, diplopia, nystagmus.

Pediatric patients with infantile spasms: Somnolence, bronchitis, ear infection, acute otitis media.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to vigabatrin: oral powder for reconstitution, oral tablet.


The more commonly reported adverse reactions have included headache, somnolence, fatigue, dizziness, weight gain, tremor and visual field defects. This drug can cause permanent vision loss.[Ref]


Based on adult studies, 30 percent or more of patients can be affected with bilateral concentric visual field constriction ranging in severity from mild to severe. Severe cases may be characterized by tunnel vision to within 10 degrees of visual fixation, which can result in disability. In some cases, damage can occur to the central retina and may decrease visual acuity.[Ref]

Very common (10% or more): Visual field defect (30% or more), nystagmus (up to 19%), blurred vision (up to 16%), diplopia (up to 16%)

Common (1% to 10%): Asthenopia, eye pain, strabismus, conjunctivitis

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Retinal disorder (such as peripheral retinal atrophy)

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Optic neuritis, optic atrophy[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (up to 33%), somnolence (up to 26%), dizziness (up to 26%), tremor (up to 16%), memory impairment (up to 16%), abnormal coordination (up to 16%)

Common (1% to 10%): Speech disorder, sensory disturbance, paresthesia, movement disorder (including dystonia, dyskinesia, and hypertonia), either alone or in association with abnormalities in MRI, hyperreflexia, hyporeflexia, hyperesthesia, hypoesthesia, status epilepticus, dysarthria, postical state, sensory loss

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Coordination abnormal (ataxia)

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Encephalopathy (e.g., sedation, stupor, confusion)

Frequency not reported: Increase in seizure frequency

Postmarketing reports: Dystonia, encephalopathy, hypertonia, hypotonia, muscle spasticity, myoclonus, optic neuritis, dyskinesia[Ref]

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Abnormalities in Infants:

-Abnormal MRI signal changes characterized by increased T2 signal and restricted diffusion in a symmetric pattern involving the thalamus, basal ganglia, brain stem, and cerebellum have been observed in some infants treated with this drug for infantile spasms. Some infants exhibited coincident motor abnormalities, but no causal relationship has been established.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Acne

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Rash

Rare (less than 0.1%): Angioedema, urticaria

Postmarketing reports: Facial edema, angioedema, maculo-papular rash, pruritus, Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), alopecia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Excitation (children), agitation (children)

Common (1% to 10%): Agitation, aggression, nervousness, depression, paranoid reaction, irritability, asthenia, fever, thirst, malaise, expressive language disorder, abnormal dreams, mental impairment (thought disturbance), lethargy, disturbance in attention

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypomania, mania, psychotic disorder

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Suicide attempt

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Hallucination

Postmarketing reports: Acute psychosis, apathy, delirium, hypomania, neonatal agitation, psychotic disorder[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Weight gain (up to 14%)

Common (1% to 10%): Increased appetite[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Fatigue (up to 40%), gait disturbance (up to 12%)

Common (1% to 10%): Edema, tinnitus, vertigo, peripheral edema

Postmarketing reports: Deafness, malignant hyperthermia, multi-organ failure[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Anemia[Ref]


The following birth defects have been reported during the postmarketing period: congenital cardiac defects, congenital external ear anomaly, congenital hemangioma, congenital hydronephrosis, congenital male genital malformation, congenital oral malformation, congenital vesicoureteric reflux, dentofacial anomaly, dysmorphism, fetal anticonvulsant syndrome, hamartomas, hip dysplasia, limb malformation, limb reduction defect, low set ears, renal aplasia, retinitis pigmentosa, supernumerary nipple, and talipes.

Postmarketing reports: Birth Defects, delayed puberty, developmental delay


Very common (10% or more): Diarrhea (up to 16%), nausea (up to 10%)

Common (1% to 10%): Vomiting, abdominal pain, upper abdominal pain, constipation, dyspepsia, stomach discomfort, toothache, abdominal distention, thirst

Postmarketing reports: Gastrointestinal hemorrhage, esophagitis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Urinary tract infection, dysmenorrhea, erectile dysfunction[Ref]


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Hepatitis

Frequency not reported: Decreases in ALT and AST

Postmarketing reports: Cholestasis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Arthralgia

Common (1% to 10%): Joint sprain, muscle strain, back pain, pain in extremity, myalgia, muscle twitching, muscle spasms[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Upper respiratory tract infection (up to 51%) Nasopharyngitis (up to 14%), pharyngeal pain (up to 14%), cough (up to 14%)

Common (1% to 10%): Bronchitis, pulmonary congestion, sinus headache

Postmarketing reports: Laryngeal edema, pulmonary embolism, respiratory failure, stridor[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Chest pain[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Viral infection (up to 20%), pneumonia (up to 13%)

Common (1% to 10%): Influenza

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Candidiasis, ear infection, croup infectious[Ref]

Frequently asked questions


1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

3. "Product Information. Sabril (vigabatrin)." Lundbeck Inc (2009):

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.