Topiramate: efficacy and tolerability in children according to epilepsy syndromes

Epilepsy Res. 2003 Mar;53(3):225-32. doi: 10.1016/s0920-1211(03)00028-7.


To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of topiramate (TPM) as add-on therapy in children less than 12 years of age with refractory epilepsy, according to epilepsy syndromes, we conducted an open, prospective, pragmatic and multicenter study in France. Efficacy was assessed, especially according to epilepsy syndromes, as well as tolerability. We included 207 children (41 of whom were less than 4 years of age). TPM was effective (responders with >50% decrease in seizure frequency) in 50% of 128 patients with partial epilepsy, and in 44% of 79 patients with generalized epilepsy. In case of generalized epilepsy, responders more frequently had generalized symptomatic epilepsy, severe myoclonic epilepsy and myoclono-astatic epilepsy, whereas response rate was mild in both infantile spasms and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). Improvement was well maintained in all patients during the treatment period (median 5.6 months). Seizure frequency/severity increased (worsening) in 13% of patients with partial epilepsy and 17% with generalized epilepsy (particularly in those with infantile spasms), and resulted in withdrawal of TPM for 8%. The most frequently reported adverse events were moderate neurobehavioral and gastrointestinal disorders. Adverse events led to withdrawal of TPM from 13.5% of patients. Children less than 4 years of age had particularly good tolerability. Results confirm that TPM is effective and well tolerated in children under 12 years of age in a broad range of epilepsy syndromes, including refractory partial epilepsy, and symptomatic and myoclonic generalized epilepsy. Use of TPM should be considered in children under 4 years of age, and slow and progressive titration is important.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects*
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / chemically induced
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Fructose / adverse effects*
  • Fructose / analogs & derivatives*
  • Fructose / therapeutic use*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Nervous System Diseases / chemically induced
  • Prospective Studies
  • Syndrome
  • Topiramate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Topiramate
  • Fructose