Objectives: To study the effectiveness and safety of topiramate in clinical practice, for a group of patients with childhood onset epilepsy.
Methods: All patients treated with topiramate at the three study centers between November 1995 and December 31, 1997 were analyzed retrospectively, using a standardized study protocol. Data were gathered on demographic features, seizures response and medication related adverse events.
Results: Eighty-seven patients were treated with topiramate. Over 90% seizure reduction was achieved in 8 (9%) patients, 50%-90% in 21 (24%), < 50% in 54 (62%) patients. Four patients (5%) had a deterioration in seizure control. Adverse events required topiramate discontinuation in 36 (41%). Of these 27 (31%) complained of unacceptable cognitive dulling. The rate of dose escalation and final dose in mg/kg were similar in those who remained on topiramate and those who were intolerant because of cognitive side effects.
Conclusions: Although topiramate resulted in > 50% seizure reduction in 29 (33%) of this group of patients with difficult epilepsy, its usefulness was limited by a high incidence of adverse effects. Adverse events prevented ongoing therapy for 36 (41%) and cognitive dulling resulted in topiramate discontinuation by 27 (31%) of the group.