a lot of medical literature state people who never had seizurers should not take psychiatrist told me to take 6mg of gabitril along with lunesta.I never had a seizure,but chronic insomniac.for 2 weeks I have been taking 6mg gabitril along with lunesta.I never had a better sleep in all years I took ambien.I get upat 200 am to go to bathroom,not dizzy then and I wake up with no I safe or when I start getting involuntary movements

Hi Roger,
It's great that Gabitril and Lunesta are giving you relief from your insomnia.  We've been communicating for a little while, so I know this has been a difficult period for you.  I'm happy this is working out, and I'm so glad you're under the care of a specialist.  Finding the right one can often be a challenge, I know.  Naturally, however, being non-epileptic, you're concerned about the risk of seizures with Gabitril.  I would be interested in knowing how your doctor answered this question for you.  As we've already discussed, there is a risk of seizures in non-epileptic patients being treated with Gabitril for unapproved (and unstudied) indications.  In fact, the FDA had issued a warning against off-label use of the drug for this very reason.  The risk of seizures seems to be dose-dependent.  In other word, the risk increases as the dose increases.  6mg of Gabitril is a relatively low dose and it's probably unlikely to be cause for concern.  Having said this, however, there is always inter-individual variation in response, so one should always exert caution.  There have been cases of seizure with lowish doses also, but these patients were on other concomitant medications known to lower seizure threshold (ie, the baseline at which seizures are likely to occur).  The good news is that Lunesta is not one of these medications.  But it might be worth checking with your doctor/pharmacist as to whether any of your other medications can have this effect.  

Despite all this, and as there always exists inter-individual variation in response to drugs, it may be worth executing some caution with Gabitril.  Of course, if you do experience a seizure, however mild it may be, report this to your doctor.  This is the ultimate deal breaker, and the drug should be stopped immediately.  You may wish to keep an eye on side-effects such as restlessness, twitching, tremor, hyperactivity or even difficulty speaking/forming sentences.  These may also be signs of seizure.  Keep in close contact with your psychiatrist, even if that means having weekly appointments at least in the beginning of therapy.  And be prepared to report any side-effects you may be experiencing.  If any of these symptoms can be linked to seizure activity, then the drug should be ceased.

I hope this helps, Roger.  Unfortunately we can't use a crystal ball to see into the future and determine your outcome (although, it would be nice).  It's all about assessing risk and benefits, and regular monitoring.  All the very best, and I am truly happy that this is working for you.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Gisella Campanelli


I am able to answer questions relating to pharmaceuticals, therapeutic regimes and primary health care. This includes offering advice on drug indications, dosages, and disease state management. I can also identify side effects, drug interactions and contra-indications, and offer recommendations on ways to mitigate these. I can diagnose minor illnesses and suggest appropriate over-the-counter remedies and/or preventive healthcare tips. I can recognize cardinal symptoms which would otherwise require referral to a medical practitioner.


I am a registered pharmacist in Australia, and I have practiced in a hospital pharmacy for over thirteen years. My clinical specializations lie within the areas of psychiatry and general medicine (including gastroenterology, respiratory, endocrinology, neurology, infectious diseases, gerontology, dermatology). I self-managed the training program for pharmacy interns in preparation for their final registration exams, and I have worked for the Pharmacy Board of Australia as an examiner and exam writer.

I hold a Bachelor of Pharmacy from the Victorian College of Pharmacy, Monash University, and I am board-registered to practice within Australia. I also hold a Master's degree in an unrelated field (art conservation).

©2017 All rights reserved.