Topiramate comes in
tablets and capsules, which can be opened and sprinkled on food.
It is not known exactly how topiramate prevents seizures.
Topiramate may be used alone or in combination with other
antiepileptic drugs to control
partial seizures in children. It may also be used alone to treat children and adults with
newly diagnosed epilepsy and generalized tonic-clonic seizures.
Topiramate works to control partial and generalized tonic-clonic seizures.1
It may also help control seizures caused by
Common side effects of topiramate include:
Topiramate has been linked in a small number of people to a
potentially life-threatening condition called metabolic acidosis. Symptoms of
metabolic acidosis include fatigue, lack of appetite, and rapid breathing
(hyperventilation). If left untreated, metabolic
acidosis can lead to death.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning on
antiepileptic medicines and the risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts. The FDA
does not recommend that people stop using these medicines. Instead, people who
take antiepileptic medicine should be watched closely for
warning signs of suicide. People who take
antiepileptic medicine and who are worried about this side effect should talk
to a doctor.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference
is not available in all systems.)
It may take time and careful, controlled adjustments by you and
your doctor to find the combination, schedule, and dosing of medicine to best
manage your epilepsy. The goal is to prevent seizures while causing as few
side effects as possible. After you and your doctor figure out the
medicine program that works best for you, make sure to follow your program
exactly as prescribed.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
French JA, et al. (2004). Efficacy and tolerability of
the new antiepileptic drugs I: Treatment of new onset epilepsy. Report of the
Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee and Quality Standards
Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Epilepsy
Society. Neurology, 62(8): 1252–1260.
Jarrar RG, Buchhalter JR (2003). Therapeutics in
pediatric epilepsy, part 1: The new antiepileptic drugs and the ketogenic diet.
Mayo Clinical Procedures, 78(3): 359–370.
August 26, 2011
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
& Steven C. Schachter, MD - Neurology
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