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CNS Spectr. 2003 Jun;8(6):428-32.

Topiramate in the preventive treatment of episodic migraine: a combined analysis from pilot, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


The safety and efficacy of medications for preventive treatment of migraine is the subject of current concern and investigation in health care. Two single-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies were conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of topiramate for migraine prophylaxis. Seventy patients with a diagnosis of migraine were randomly assigned to topiramate-treated and placebo groups. The studies consisted of a 4-week baseline phase, a 6-8 week titration, and 8-12 weeks of maintenance. Topiramate was titrated from an initial dose of 25 mg/day to a target dose of 100 mg BID. The primary efficacy measure, the mean 28-day migraine frequency, was lower in topiramate-treated patients than in the placebo group (3.2 versus 3.8, P=.001). Similarly, topiramate treatment resulted in a significantly greater mean reduction in migraine frequency than did placebo (1.55 versus 0.47, P=.001) and a significantly higher responder rate (35.3% versus 8.3%, P=.008). Paresthesia was the most common side effect reported with topiramate treatment. Other topiramate-associated adverse events included altered taste, memory impairment, diarrhea, and appetite suppression/weight loss. The rates of discontinuation were similar for the topiramate group (n=10) and the placebo group (n=8). These results suggest that topiramate is effective and well tolerated in the preventive treatment of migraine headaches.

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