UK Clinical Pharmacy Association


Issues for surgery

Precipitation of rebound seizures or status epilepticus if omitted.

Advice in the perioperative period

Elective and emergency surgery


Patients should be advised to take their regular medications on the day of surgery.

Abrupt withdrawal of any anticonvulsant drug should be avoided.

Confirm with the patient if they need to be maintained on a specific manufacturer’s product (see Further information).

Post-operative advice

Regular dosing of the patient’s usual oral medication should be re-established as early as possible post-operatively.

Tiagabine is only available as an oral preparation. If patients cannot resume their usual oral medication post-operatively, the advice of a neurologist should be sought to determine the most appropriate antiepileptic preparation, dose, route and frequency to be used.

Interactions with common anaesthetic agents


For general information regarding the use of anaesthetic agents in patients with epilepsy see Antiepileptics overview.

Interactions with other common medicines used in the perioperative period


For general information regarding the use of antiemetics in patients with epilepsy see Antiepileptics overview.

Further information

MHRA/CHM Advice: Antiepileptic Drugs: updated advice on switching between different manufacturer’s products (November 2017)

Tiagabine is a category 3 antiepileptic, hence it is usually unnecessary to ensure that patients are maintained on a specific manufacturer’s product unless there are specific concerns such as patient anxiety, and risk of confusion or dosing errors. For more information see Antiepileptics overview.


Joint Formulary Committee. British National Formulary (online) London: BMJ Group and Pharmaceutical Press [Accessed 20th July 2019]

Perks A, Cheema S, Mohanraj R. Anaesthesia and epilepsy. BJA: British Journal of Anaesthesia. 2012; 108(4):562-571

Carter EL, Adapa RM. Adult epilepsy and anaesthesia. BJA Education. 2015; 15(3):111-117

Baxter K, Preston CL (eds), Stockley’s Drug Interactions (online) London: Pharmaceutical Press. [Accessed on 20th July 2019]

Tiagabine. In: Brayfield A (Ed), Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference. London: The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. [Accessed 20th July 2019]

Summary of Product Characteristics – Gabitril® (tiagabine) 15mg Tablets. Cephalon (UK) Limited. Accessed via 20/07/2019 [date of revision of the text July 2016]