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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 atonic seizures and 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.
FDA Advisory. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has
issued an advisory on antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and the risk of suicide. Talk
to your doctor about these possible side effects and the warning signs of suicide in adults and in children and teens.
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.
Drugs for epilepsy (2008). Treatment Guidelines From The Medical Letter, 6(70): 37–46.
August 28, 2013
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Steven C. Schachter, MD - Neurology
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