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Topiramate comes in tablets and capsules, which can be opened and sprinkled on food.
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
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.
- 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.
Last Revised: August 26, 2011
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