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Mechanism of Action
The precise mechanism of vigabatrin's anti-seizure effect is unknown, but it is believed to be the result of its action as an irreversible inhibitor of γ-aminobutyric acid transaminase (GABA-T), the enzyme responsible for the metabolism of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. This action results in increased levels of GABA in the central nervous system.
No direct correlation between plasma concentration and efficacy has been established. The duration of drug effect is presumed to be dependent on the rate of enzyme re-synthesis rather than on the rate of elimination of the drug from the systemic circulation.
Effects on Electrocardiogram
There is no indication of a QT/QTc prolonging effect of SABRIL in single doses up to 6.0 g. In a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study, 58 healthy subjects were administered a single oral dose of SABRIL (3 g and 6 g) and placebo. Peak concentrations for 6.0 g SABRIL were approximately 2-fold higher than the peak concentrations following the 3.0 g single oral dose.
Vigabatrin displayed linear pharmacokinetics after administration of single doses ranging from 0.5 g to 4 g, and after administration of repeated doses of 0.5 g and 2.0 g twice daily. Bioequivalence has been established between the oral solution and tablet formulations. The following PK information (Tmax, half-life, and clearance) of vigabatrin was obtained from stand-alone PK studies and population PK analyses.
Following oral administration, vigabatrin is essentially completely absorbed. The time to maximum concentration (Tmax) is approximately 1 hour for children (10 years – 16 years) and adults, and approximately 2.5 hours for infants (5 months - 2 years). There was little accumulation with multiple dosing in adult and pediatric patients. A food effect study involving administration of vigabatrin to healthy volunteers under fasting and fed conditions indicated that the Cmax was decreased by 33%, Tmax was increased to 2 hours, and AUC was unchanged under fed conditions.
Vigabatrin does not bind to plasma proteins. Vigabatrin is widely distributed throughout the body; mean steady-state volume of distribution is 1.1 L/kg (CV = 20%).
Metabolism and Elimination
Vigabatrin is not significantly metabolized; it is eliminated primarily through renal excretion. The terminal half-life of vigabatrin is about 5.7 hours for infants (5 months – 2 years), 9.5 hours for children (10 years – 16 years), and 10.5 hours for adults. Following administration of 14C-vigabatrin to healthy male volunteers, about 95% of total radioactivity was recovered in the urine over 72 hours with the parent drug representing about 80% of this. Vigabatrin induces CYP2C9, but does not induce other hepatic cytochrome P450 enzyme systems.
Pharmacokinetics in Special Populations
The renal clearance of vigabatrin in healthy elderly patients ( ≥ 65 years of age) was 36% less than those in healthy younger patients. This finding is confirmed by an analysis of data from a controlled clinical trial [see Use In Specific Populations].
The clearance of vigabatrin is 2.4 L/hr for infants (5 months – 2 years), 5.8 L/hr for children (10 years – 16 years) and 7 L/hr for adults.
No gender differences were observed for the pharmacokinetic parameters of vigabatrin in patients.
No specific study was conducted to investigate the effects of race on vigabatrin pharmacokinetics. A cross study comparison between 23 Caucasian and 7 Japanese patients who received 1, 2, and 4 g of vigabatrin indicated that the AUC, Cmax, and half-life were similar for the two populations. However, the mean renal clearance of Caucasians (5.2 L/hr) was about 25% higher than the Japanese (4.0 L/hr). Inter-subject variability in renal clearance was 20% in Caucasians and was 30% in Japanese.
Mean AUC increased by 30% and the terminal half-life increased by 55% (8.1 hr vs 12.5 hr) in adult patients with mild renal impairment (CLcr from > 50-80 mL/min) in comparison to normal subjects.
Mean AUC increased by two-fold and the terminal half-life increased by two-fold in adult patients with moderate renal impairment (CLcr from > 30-50 mL/min) in comparison to normal subjects.
Mean AUC increased by 4.5-fold and the terminal half-life increased by 3.5-fold in adult patients with severe renal impairment (CLcr from > 10-30 mL/min) in comparison to normal subjects.
Adult patients with renal impairment
Infants with renal impairment
Information about how to adjust the dose in infants with renal impairment is unavailable.
Pediatric patients 10 years and older with renal impairment
Although information is unavailable on the effects of renal impairment on vigabatrin clearance in pediatric patients 10 years and older, dosing can be calculated based upon adult data and an established formula [see Use In Specific Populations and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
Vigabatrin is not significantly metabolized. The pharmacokinetics of vigabatrin in patients with impaired liver function has not been studied.
A 16% to 20% average reduction in total phenytoin plasma levels was reported in adult controlled clinical studies. In vitro drug metabolism studies indicate that decreased phenytoin concentrations upon addition of vigabatrin therapy are likely to be the result of induction of cytochrome P450 2C enzymes in some patients. Although phenytoin dose adjustments are not routinely required, dose adjustment of phenytoin should be considered if clinically indicated [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
In a study of 12 healthy adult volunteers, clonazepam (0.5 mg) co-administration had no effect on SABRIL (1.5 g twice daily) concentrations. SABRIL increases the mean Cmax of clonazepam by 30% and decreases the mean Tmax by 45% [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
When co-administered with vigabatrin, phenobarbital concentration (from phenobarbital or primidone) was reduced by an average of 8% to 16%, and sodium valproate plasma concentrations were reduced by an average of 8%. These reductions did not appear to be clinically relevant. Based on population pharmacokinetics, carbamazepine, clorazepate, primidone, and sodium valproate appear to have no effect on plasma concentrations of vigabatrin [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Co-administration of ethanol (0.6 g/kg) with vigabatrin (1.5 g twice daily) indicated that neither drug influences the pharmacokinetics of the other.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study using a combination oral contraceptive containing 30 mcg ethinyl estradiol and 150 mcg levonorgestrel, vigabatrin (3 g/day) did not interfere significantly with the cytochrome P450 isoenzyme (CYP3A)-mediated metabolism of the contraceptive tested. Based on this study, vigabatrin is unlikely to affect the efficacy of steroid oral contraceptives. Additionally, no significant difference in pharmacokinetic parameters (elimination half-life, AUC, Cmax, apparent oral clearance, time to peak, and apparent volume of distribution) of vigabatrin were found after treatment with ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Complex Partial Seizures
The effectiveness of SABRIL as adjunctive therapy in adult patients was established in two U.S. multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group clinical studies. A total of 357 adults (age 18 to 60 years) with complex partial seizures, with or without secondary generalization were enrolled (Studies 1 and 2). Patients were required to be on an adequate and stable dose of an anticonvulsant, and have a history of failure on an adequate regimen of carbamazepine or phenytoin. Patients had a history of about 8 seizures per month (median) for about 20 years (median) prior to entrance into the study. These studies were not capable by design of demonstrating direct superiority of SABRIL over any other anticonvulsant added to a regimen to which the patient had not adequately responded. Further, in these studies patients had previously been treated with a limited range of anticonvulsants.
The primary measure of efficacy was the patient's reduction in mean monthly frequency of complex partial seizures plus partial seizures secondarily generalized at end of study compared to baseline.
Study 1 (N=174) was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-response study consisting of an 8-week baseline period followed by an 18-week treatment period. Patients were randomized to receive placebo or 1, 3, or 6 g/day vigabatrin administered twice daily. During the first 6 weeks following randomization, the dose was titrated upward beginning with 1 g/day and increasing by 0.5 g/day on days 1 and 5 of each subsequent week in the 3 g/day and 6 g/day groups, until the assigned dose was reached.
Results for the primary measure of effectiveness, reduction in monthly frequency of complex partial seizures, are shown in Table 8. The 3 g/day and 6 g/day dose groups were statistically significantly superior to placebo, but the 6 g/day dose was not superior to the 3 g/day dose.
Table 8: Median Monthly Frequency of Complex Partial
|1 g/day SABRIL||45||8.5||7.7|
|3 g/day SABRIL||41||8.5||3.7*|
|6 g/day SABRIL||43||8.5||4.5*|
|*p < 0.05 compared to placebo
+Including one patient with simple partial seizures with secondary generalization only
Figure 1 presents the percentage of patients (X-axis) with a percent reduction in seizure frequency (responder rate) from baseline to the maintenance phase at least as great as that represented on the Y-axis. A positive value on the Y-axis indicates an improvement from baseline (i.e., a decrease in complex partial seizure frequency), while a negative value indicates a worsening from baseline (i.e., an increase in complex partial seizure frequency). Thus, in a display of this type, a curve for an effective treatment is shifted to the left of the curve for placebo. The proportion of patients achieving any particular level of reduction in complex partial seizure frequency was consistently higher for the SABRIL 3 and 6 g/day groups compared to the placebo group. For example, 51% of patients randomized to SABRIL 3 g/day and 53% of patients randomized to SABRIL 6 g/day experienced a 50% or greater reduction in seizure frequency, compared to 9% of patients randomized to placebo. Patients with an increase in seizure frequency > 100% are represented on the Y-axis as equal to or greater than -100%.
Figure 1: Percent Reduction from Baseline in Seizure
Study 2 (N=183 randomized, 182 evaluated for efficacy) was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel study consisting of an 8-week baseline period and a 16-week treatment period. During the first 4 weeks following randomization, the dose of vigabatrin was titrated upward beginning with 1 g/day and increased by 0.5 g/day on a weekly basis to the maintenance dose of 3 g/day.
Results for the primary measure of effectiveness, reduction in monthly complex partial seizure frequency, are shown in Table 9. Vigabatrin 3 g/day was statistically significantly superior to placebo in reducing seizure frequency.
Table 9: Median Monthly Frequency of Complex Partial
|3 g/day SABRIL||92||8.3||5.5*|
|*p < 0.05 compared to placebo|
Figure 2 presents the percentage of patients (X-axis) with a percent reduction in seizure frequency (responder rate) from baseline to the maintenance phase at least as great as that represented on the Y-axis. A positive value on the Y-axis indicates an improvement from baseline (i.e., a decrease in complex partial seizure frequency), while a negative value indicates a worsening from baseline (i.e., an increase in complex partial seizure frequency). Thus, in a display of this type, a curve for an effective treatment is shifted to the left of the curve for placebo. The proportion of patients achieving any particular level of reduction in seizure frequency was consistently higher for the SABRIL 3 g/day group compared to the placebo group. For example, 39% of patients randomized to SABRIL (3 g/day) experienced a 50% or greater reduction in complex partial seizure frequency, compared to 21% of patients randomized to placebo. Patients with an increase in seizure frequency > 100% are represented on the Y-axis as equal to or greater than -100%.
Figure 2: Percent Reduction from Baseline in Seizure
For both studies, there was no difference in the effectiveness of vigabatrin between male and female patients. Analyses of age and race were not possible as nearly all patients were between the ages of 18 to 65 and Caucasian.
Pediatric patients 10 to 16 years of age
SABRIL was studied in three double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group studies in 269 patients who received SABRIL and 104 patients who received placebo. No individual study was considered adequately powered to determine efficacy in pediatric patients age 10 years and above. The data from all three pediatric studies were pooled and used in a pharmacometric bridging analysis using weight-normalized doses to establish efficacy and determine appropriate dosing. All three studies were randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, adjunctive-treatment studies in patients aged 3-16 years with uncontrolled complex partial seizures with or without secondary generalization. The study period included a 6 to 10 week baseline phase and a 14 to 17 week treatment phase (composed of a titration and maintenance period).
The pharmacometric bridging approach consisted of defining a weight-normalized dose-response, and showing that a similar dose-response relationship exists between pediatric patients and adults patients when SABRIL was given as adjunctive therapy for complex partial seizures. Dosing recommendations in pediatric patients 10 to 16 years of age were derived from simulations utilizing these pharmacometric dose-response analyses [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
The effectiveness of SABRIL as monotherapy was established for infantile spasms in two multicenter controlled studies. Both studies were similar in terms of disease characteristics and prior treatments of patients and all enrolled infants had a confirmed diagnosis of infantile spasms.
Study 1 (N=221) was a multicenter, randomized, low-dose high-dose, parallel-group, partially-blind (caregivers knew the actual dose but not whether their child was classified as low or high dose; EEG reader was blinded but investigators were not blinded) study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of vigabatrin in patients < 2 years of age with new-onset infantile spasms. Patients with both symptomatic and cryptogenic etiologies were studied. The study was comprised of two phases. The first phase was a 14 to 21 day partially-blind phase in which patients were randomized to receive either low-dose (18-36 mg/kg/day) or high-dose (100148 mg/kg/day) vigabatrin. Study drug was titrated over 7 days, followed by a constant dose for 7 days. If the patient became spasm-free on or before day 14, another 7 days of constant dose was administered. The primary efficacy endpoint of this study was the proportion of patients who were spasm-free for 7 consecutive days beginning within the first 14 days of vigabatrin therapy. Patients considered spasm-free were defined as those patients who remained free of spasms (evaluated according to caregiver response to direct questioning regarding spasm frequency) and who had no indication of spasms or hypsarrhythmia during 8 hours of CCTV EEG recording (including at least one sleep-wake-sleep cycle) performed within 3 days of the seventh day of spasm freedom and interpreted by a blinded EEG reader. Seventeen patients in the high-dose group achieved spasm freedom compared with 8 patients in the low dose group. This difference was statistically significant (p=0.0375). Primary efficacy results are shown in Table 10.
Table 10: Spasm Freedom by Primary Criteria (Study 1)
|SABRIL Treatment Group|
|Patients who Achieved Spasm Freedom||8 (7.0)||17 (15.9)|
Note: Primary criteria were evaluated based on caregiver assessment plus CCTV EEG confirmation within 3 days of the seventh day of spasm freedom.
Study 2 (N=40) was a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study consisting of a pretreatment (baseline) period of 2-3 days, followed by a 5-day double-blind treatment phase during which patients were treated with vigabatrin (initial dose of 50 mg/kg/day with titration allowed to 150 mg/kg/day) or placebo. The primary efficacy endpoint in this study was the average percent change in daily spasm frequency, assessed during a pre-defined and consistent 2-hour window of evaluation, comparing baseline to the final 2 days of the 5-day double-blind treatment phase. No statistically significant differences were observed in the average frequency of spasms using the 2-hour evaluation window. However, a post-hoc alternative efficacy analysis, using a 24-hour clinical evaluation window found a statistically significant difference in the overall percentage of reductions in spasms between the vigabatrin group (68.9%) and the placebo group (17.0%) (p=0.030).
Duration of therapy for infantile spasms was evaluated in a post hoc analysis of a Canadian Pediatric Epilepsy Network (CPEN) study of developmental outcomes in infantile spasms patients. The 38/68 infants in the study who had responded to vigabatrin therapy (complete cessation of spasms and hypsarrhythmia) continued vigabatrin therapy for a total duration of 6 months therapy. The 38 infants who responded were then followed for an additional 18 months after discontinuation of vigabatrin to determine their clinical outcome. A post hoc analysis indicated no observed recurrence of infantile spasms in any of these 38 infants.
Last reviewed on RxList: 11/18/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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