Sabril (vigabatrin) is a brand-name prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to treat certain types of seizure disorders.
Sabril is prescribed to treat:
- refractory focal onset seizures (also known as complex partial seizures) in adults and children ages 2 years and older when used in combination with other seizure medications
- infantile spasms in children under 2 years old
Sabril comes as an oral tablet or a powder packet that’s mixed with water to make an oral solution.
The active drug in Sabril is vigabatrin. It belongs to a group of drugs called anticonvulsants.
Sabril is available as a generic drug. Generic drugs are copies of brand-name drugs that are considered as safe and effective.
For information about the dosage and administration of Sabril, including its strength, keep reading. For a comprehensive look at Sabril, see this article.
This article describes typical dosages for Sabril provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Sabril, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.
The information below is a Sabril dosing guide that describes the typical recommended Sabril dosing. However, you should take Sabril as your doctor prescribes.
Sabril comes as an oral tablet and powder packet. The powder packet is mixed with water to form an oral solution.
Sabril comes in one strength: 500 milligrams (mg).
Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for refractory focal onset seizures
Sabril is used to treat refractory focal onset seizure in adults and children ages 2 years and older. It’s approved for people who have tried other seizure drugs that haven’t worked for their condition. Sabril is used in combination with other seizure medications.
Adults are prescribed a recommended starting dosage. The dosage for children, on the other hand, is based on body weight.
Dosage for refractory focal onset seizures in adults
For people ages 17 years and older, the recommended starting Sabril dosage to treat refractory focal onset seizures is 500 mg twice per day.
Each week, your doctor will increase your daily dose by 500 mg until the recommended daily dose of 3,000 mg per day is reached. At this dosage, you’ll take 1,500 mg twice per day.
Dosage for refractory focal onset seizures in children
For children ages 2 to 16 years, the recommended starting dose to treat refractory focal onset seizures is based on body weight in kilograms (kg). For reference, 1 kg is about 2.2 pounds (lb).
Depending on how your child responds to the drug, their doctor may increase your child’s dose each week to a maintenance dose that’s effective for their condition. A maintenance dose is the dosage your child will take long term to maintain a steady level of the drug in their body over time. Below is a table of the recommended dosages of Sabril for this use:
|Sabril (vigabatrin) weight-based dosage recommendations for children|
|Child’s weight||Starting dosage||Maintenance dosage|
|10 kg to 15 kg (about 22 lb to 33 lb)||175 mg twice daily||525 mg twice daily|
|15 kg to 20 kg (about 33 lb to 44 lb)||225 mg twice daily||650 mg twice daily|
|20 kg to 25 kg (about 44 lb to 55 lb)||250 mg twice daily||750 mg twice daily|
|25 kg to 60 kg (about 55 lb to 132 lb)||250 mg twice daily||1,000 mg twice daily|
For children weighing more than 60 kg (about 132 lb), the adult dosage recommendations are used. See the “Dosage for refractory focal onset seizures in adults” section above for more information.
Dosage for infantile spasms
For children ages 1 month to 2 years, the dosage to treat infantile spasms is based on body weight in kg. The recommended starting dosage of Sabril is 50 mg per kg of body weight (mg/kg) per day. The total daily dose is divided into two daily doses.
For example, if your child weights 5 kg (about 11 lb), their total daily starting dose will be 250 mg, split into two doses. So, you’ll give your child 125 mg of Sabril twice per day.
Depending on how your child responds to the drug, their doctor may increase their dose by 50 mg/kg every 3 days. The maximum dosage for infantile spasms is 150 mg/kg per day.
Dosage for refractory focal onset seizures
Sabril is approved to treat refractory focal onset seizures in children ages 2 years and older.
For information about the recommended dosages for this condition, see the section just above, “Dosage for refractory focal onset seizures in children.”
Dosage for infantile spasms
Sabril is approved to treat infantile spasms in children ages 1 month to 2 years.
For information about the recommended dosages for this condition, see the section just above, “Dosage for infantile spasms.”
Sabril is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Sabril is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.
Find answers below to some common questions about Sabril.
Is there a Sabril dosage for anxiety?
No, Sabril isn’t approved to treat anxiety. For this reason, there isn’t a Sabril dosage for anxiety.
Some drugs are used off-label to treat certain conditions. Off-label drug use is when a drug is prescribed for a purpose other than what it’s approved for by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some seizure medications, such as gabapentin, are used off-label to treat anxiety. However, Sabril isn’t used for this purpose.
Talk with your doctor about treatment options for anxiety. They can recommend treatment options that are right for you.
If I have to stop taking Sabril, does my dosage need to be decreased?
Yes — if your doctor recommends that you stop taking Sabril, they will slowly decrease your dosage to help prevent serious side effects.
You should not suddenly stop taking Sabril. Doing so can increase your risk of serious side effects, such as increased seizures.
For adults, it’s likely your doctor will decrease your dosage by a certain amount each week until you can stop taking Sabril.
Talk with your doctor first before you stop Sabril treatment. They can help you to safely stop taking the medication.
The Sabril dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:
- the type and severity of the condition you’re taking Sabril to treat
- the form of Sabril you take
- your age
- your body weight (if prescribed to a child)
Other medical conditions you have can also affect your Sabril dosage.
Your doctor will likely decrease your dosage of Sabril if you have kidney issues. The amount your dosage will be reduced depends on the severity of your kidney issues.
Sabril oral tablets are taken by mouth twice per day with or without food. It may be helpful to take Sabril around the same times each day. This helps maintain a steady level of the drug in your body so Sabril can work effectively.
If you have trouble swallowing tablets, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you’re prescribed Sabril powder packets, your doctor or pharmacist will determine how many packets you should use and the amount of water you’ll need to prepare your dose. They’ll advise you to use an oral syringe provided by the pharmacy to form the solution. You should not use kitchen measuring spoons because they are not accurate and won’t measure your dose correctly.
You’ll mix Sabril powder packets with cold or room-temperature water to form a 50 milligram per milliliter (mg/mL) solution. You’ll form the solution right before you take the medication by mouth. Discard any unused amount of solution after taking your dose.
You should not use any liquid except water to form the solution. See these instructions for step-by-step directions on how to mix the powder packets into a solution.
You should not stop taking Sabril suddenly. Doing so can cause serious side effects.
ACCESSIBLE DRUG LABELS AND CONTAINERS
If you’re having trouble reading your prescription label, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.
If you’re having trouble opening medication bottles, ask your pharmacist about putting Sabril in an easy-open container. They also may recommend tools that can make it easier to open bottles.
If you miss your dose of Sabril, call your doctor right away. They can advise you when to take your next dose.
Before you start taking Sabril, talk with your doctor about what to do in certain situations, such as if you miss your dose or if your child vomits after taking a dose.
If you take more Sabril than your doctor prescribes, you may develop serious side effects.
It’s important that you do not take more Sabril than your doctor advises.
Symptoms of an overdose
Overdose symptoms of Sabril can include:
- loss of consciousness
- trouble breathing
- slow heart rate
- low blood pressure
If you take more than the recommended amount of Sabril
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Sabril. Another option is to call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.
The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Sabril for you, they will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes.
As with any drug, never change your dosage of Sabril without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Sabril that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Sabril. These additional articles might be helpful:
- More about Sabril. For information about other aspects of Sabril, refer to this article.
- Details about your condition. For details about seizure disorders, see our epilepsy and seizures hub.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.