K K Jain MD (Dr. Jain is a consultant in neurology and has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.)
Originally released December 18, 1998; last updated September 16, 2020; expires September 16, 2023

Historical note and terminology

Gabapentin, a GABA-receptor agonist, was first studied as an antiepileptic drug in humans in 1987. The synthesis of vigabatrin (gamma-vinyl-GABA) was a result of a rational approach to design compounds to inhibit the major GABA-degrading enzyme, GABA transaminase. It was approved for use in several European countries in 1989. It was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration in 1997. During the 15 years since the initial clinical trial in humans and 10 years since approval, more than 175,000 patients have been treated with this drug. More than 30 years of history for research and development of vigabatrin has been presented in a clinically relevant review (Tolman and Faulkner 2009).

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