Objectives: The purposes of this review were to assess the efficacy of topiramate as monotherapy for epilepsy and migraine prevention, describe how it should be used, and give clinical advice on how to manage the practical aspects of dosing, titration, and possible adverse events in these 2 indications.
Methods: We searched the PubMed and BIOSIS databases using the key words topiramate, epilepsy, and migraine from the year 1987 onward, and subsequently focused the search on larger controlled trial studies of topiramate as monotherapy.
Results: Studies have evaluated the use of topiramate as monotherapy in the treatment of partial-onset and generalized seizures and in the prevention of migraine. In a randomized study, 75% of epilepsy patients treated with 400 mg/d topiramate remained seizure free at 1 year. Patients in the same study treated with a lower dose of topiramate (50 mg/d) also experienced notable seizure reductions, with 59% of patients free of seizures at 1 year. A comparison trial of topiramate (100 or 200 mg/d), valproate, and carbamazepine found that topiramate was associated with a similar time to first posttreatment seizure as the other 2 agents (P = NS). Trials of topiramate monotherapy in migraine prevention found that 100 mg/d was associated with a > or =50% reduction in monthly migraine frequency in 49% to 54% of patients. The migraine prevention trials typically used a starting dose of 25 mg/d, with weekly increases of 25 mg and an initial monotherapy target dose of 100 mg/d. The most common adverse events associated with topiramate are paresthesia, weight loss, and other centrally mediated symptoms, many of which may be ameliorated by proper titration and dosing and by good communication between physician and patient.
Conclusions: Data from controlled trials suggest that 100 mg/d topiramate as monotherapy is effective in the treatment of partial-onset and generalized seizures and in the prevention of migraine.