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Epilepsia. 1999 Jul;40(7):965-72.

Safety and tolerability of gabapentin as adjunctive therapy in a large, multicenter study.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee 37212, USA.



To evaluate the tolerability and safety of gabapentin (GBP) as add-on therapy for seizure control.


Conducted in an outpatient setting and reflecting usual practice, this study compared tolerability of GBP dosages < or = 1,800 versus >1,800 mg/day, when these doses were required to achieve the most effective seizure control. Two analyses of adverse events are presented: tolerability and safety. In the tolerability analysis, each patient served as his or her own control to compare the occurrence of adverse events at GBP < or =1,800 versus >1,800 mg/day. The safety analysis required patients to receive at least one dose of GBP and have a follow-up contact.


A total of 2,216 patients enrolled in this open-label, 16-week study and were evaluable for safety. Of these, 74.0% completed the 16-week study, and 281 met the tolerability criteria. Within these 281 patients, two mutually exclusive groups were compared (a) those reporting adverse events at only < or =1,800 mg/day (low dose); and (b) those reporting adverse events at only >1,800 mg/day (high dose). Three adverse events (asthenia, headache, and dizziness) were observed in a statistically significantly larger number of patients at only the low dose than in the group reporting these same adverse events at only the high dose, suggesting that patients who tolerated GBP at < or = 1,800 mg/day did not experience a significant increase in adverse events with dosages >1,800 mg/day. Overall, 10.6% of the 2,216 patients in the safety population prematurely withdrew because of adverse events, and 3.5% discontinued because of lack of efficacy. Safety and tolerability of GBP was rated as excellent or good for 78.5% of all patients.


Gabapentin doses >1,800 mg/day were as well tolerated as doses < or =1,800 mg/day and were not associated with more adverse events.

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