Narrative Review of Topiramate: Clinical Uses and Pharmacological Considerations

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Advances in Therapy


Due to the diverse mechanisms of action of antiseizure drugs, there has been a rise in prescriptions of these drugs for non-epileptic pathologies. One drug that is now being used for a variety of conditions is topiramate. This is a narrative review that used PubMed, Google Scholar, MEDLINE, and ScienceDirect to review literature on the clinical and pharmacologic properties of topiramate. Topiramate is a commonly prescribed second-generation antiseizure drug. The drug works through multiple pathways to prevent seizures. In this regard, topiramate blocks sodium and calcium voltage-gated channels, inhibits glutamate receptors, enhances gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, and inhibits carbonic anhydrase. Topiramate is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for epilepsy treatment and migraine prophylaxis. Topiramate in combination with phentermine is also FDA-approved for weight loss in patients with a body mass index (BMI) > 30. The current target dosing for topiramate monotherapy is 400 mg/day and 100 mg/day to treat epilepsy and migraines, respectively. Commonly reported side effects include paresthesia, confusion, fatigue, dizziness, and change in taste. More uncommon and serious adverse effects can include acute glaucoma, metabolic acidosis, nephrolithiasis, hepatotoxicity, and teratogenicity. Related to a broad side effect profile, physicians prescribing this drug should routinely monitor for side effects and/or toxicity. The present investigation reviews various anti-seizure medications before summarizing indications of topiramate, off-label uses, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, adverse effects, and drug-drug interactions.

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