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Topiramate (By mouth)

Treats and prevents seizures, and helps prevent migraine headaches.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Topiramate is used alone or together with other medicines to help treat certain types of seizures (eg, partial seizures, tonic-clonic seizures, or Lennox-Gastaut syndrome). This medicine will not cure epilepsy and will only work to control seizures for as long as you continue to take it. It is also used to help prevent migraine headaches. This medicine is available only with your doctor's… Read more
Brand names include
Qudexy XR, Topamax, Topiragen, Trokendi XR
Drug classes About this
Anticonvulsant, Central Nervous System Agent
Combinations including this drug

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Use of topiramate for the treatment of essential tremor

The authors of this review tried to assess the effectiveness and safety of topiramate in people with essential tremor.

Topiramate for treating neuropathic pain or fibromyalgia

Neuropathic pain is pain coming from damaged nerves. It is different from pain messages carried along healthy nerves from damaged tissue (for example from a fall, a cut, or arthritic knee). Neuropathic pain is treated by different medicines than pain from damaged tissue. Medicines like paracetamol or ibuprofen are not effective in treating neuropathic pain, while medicines that are sometimes used to treat depression or epilepsy can be very effective in some people with neuropathic pain. Our knowledge about fibromyalgia is even less advanced, but fibromyalgia can respond to the same medicines as neuropathic pain.

Antiepileptics other than gabapentin, pregabalin, topiramate, and valproate for preventing migraine attacks in adults

Various medicines, collectively termed 'antiepileptics', are used to treat epilepsy. For several years, three antiepileptics have also been recommended as drugs of first choice (topiramate and valproate) or third choice (gabapentin) for preventing migraine attacks. These three drugs, along with one other (pregabalin), are the subject of separate Cochrane reviews. For the present review, researchers in The Cochrane Collaboration reviewed the evidence about the effect of other antiepileptics in adult patients (≥ 16 years of age) with 'episodic' migraine (headache on < 15 days per month). They examined research published up to 15 January 2013 and found 10 studies of nine different antiepileptics. The majority of these drugs were no better than placebo for migraine prophylaxis (acetazolamide, carisbamate, clonazepam, lamotrigine, oxcarbazepine, and vigabatrin). In one study each, carbamazepine and levetiracetam were better than placebo, and there was no significant difference between zonisamide and topiramate (a drug proven to be effective for migraine prophylaxis). None of these studies was of high methodological quality. The quantity and quality of the evidence were such that no firm conclusions could be drawn about the effect or lack of effect of any of the antiepileptics studied.

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Summaries for consumers

Use of topiramate for the treatment of essential tremor

The authors of this review tried to assess the effectiveness and safety of topiramate in people with essential tremor.

Topiramate for treating neuropathic pain or fibromyalgia

Neuropathic pain is pain coming from damaged nerves. It is different from pain messages carried along healthy nerves from damaged tissue (for example from a fall, a cut, or arthritic knee). Neuropathic pain is treated by different medicines than pain from damaged tissue. Medicines like paracetamol or ibuprofen are not effective in treating neuropathic pain, while medicines that are sometimes used to treat depression or epilepsy can be very effective in some people with neuropathic pain. Our knowledge about fibromyalgia is even less advanced, but fibromyalgia can respond to the same medicines as neuropathic pain.

Antiepileptics other than gabapentin, pregabalin, topiramate, and valproate for preventing migraine attacks in adults

Various medicines, collectively termed 'antiepileptics', are used to treat epilepsy. For several years, three antiepileptics have also been recommended as drugs of first choice (topiramate and valproate) or third choice (gabapentin) for preventing migraine attacks. These three drugs, along with one other (pregabalin), are the subject of separate Cochrane reviews. For the present review, researchers in The Cochrane Collaboration reviewed the evidence about the effect of other antiepileptics in adult patients (≥ 16 years of age) with 'episodic' migraine (headache on < 15 days per month). They examined research published up to 15 January 2013 and found 10 studies of nine different antiepileptics. The majority of these drugs were no better than placebo for migraine prophylaxis (acetazolamide, carisbamate, clonazepam, lamotrigine, oxcarbazepine, and vigabatrin). In one study each, carbamazepine and levetiracetam were better than placebo, and there was no significant difference between zonisamide and topiramate (a drug proven to be effective for migraine prophylaxis). None of these studies was of high methodological quality. The quantity and quality of the evidence were such that no firm conclusions could be drawn about the effect or lack of effect of any of the antiepileptics studied.

See all (33)

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