Objectives: To compare topiramate (TPM) with investigator's choice of carbamazepine (CBZ) or valproate (VPA) for initial treatment in patients with newly diagnosed epilepsy.
Material and methods: In patients with epilepsy diagnosed within previous 3 months, investigators selected CBZ (600 mg/day) or VPA (1250 mg/day) as preferred therapy based on the patient's clinical presentation. Based on investigators' treatment choice, patients (n=613) were assigned to the CBZ or VPA treatment branch. Within each branch, patients were randomized to double-blind treatment with the traditional antiepileptic drugs (CBZ or VPA), TPM 100 mg/day, or TPM 200 mg/day. Patients continued double-blind treatment until exiting the study or until 6 months after last patient randomized.
Results: No statistically significant differences between fixed doses of TPM and CBZ or VPA were observed in efficacy measures: time to exit, time to first seizure, and the proportion of patients seizure-free during the last 6 months of treatment. TPM 100 mg/day was associated with the fewest discontinuations due to adverse events.
Conclusion: In patients with newly diagnosed epilepsy, an initial target dose of TPM 100 mg/day is at least as effective as therapeutic doses of CBZ and VPA.