Randomized dose-controlled study of topiramate as first-line therapy in epilepsy

Acta Neurol Scand. 2005 Oct;112(4):214-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.2005.00485.x.


Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of topiramate as monotherapy, using a dose-controlled study design.

Materials and methods: We conducted a multinational, randomized, double-blind trial in adults and children (> or =6 years old) with epilepsy that was not being treated when randomized to 400 or 50 mg/day topiramate as target maintenance dosages. In addition to > or =2 lifetime unprovoked seizures, patients had to have one or two partial-onset seizures or generalized-onset tonic-clonic seizures in the 3-month retrospective baseline. The primary efficacy end point was time to first seizure; a secondary efficacy measure was the seizure-free rate at 6 months and 1 year. Double-blind treatment continued until 6 months after the last patient was randomized.

Results: Kaplan-Meier survival analyses for time to first seizure (intent-to-treat, n = 470) favored 400 mg/day over 50 mg/day (P = 0.0002) as a target maintenance dosage. The first evaluation point with a significant difference (P = 0.046) favoring the higher dose was at day 14 when patients were receiving 100 or 25 mg/day. The probability of being seizure-free at 6 months was 83% in patients randomized to 400 mg/day and 71% in those randomized to 50 mg/day (P = 0.005). Seizure-free rates at 12 months were 76% and 59%, respectively (P = 0.001). Differences favoring the higher dose were significant in patients with partial-onset seizures (P = 0.009) and in those with generalized-onset tonic-clonic seizures (P = 0.005). The most common dose-related adverse events were paresthesia, weight loss, and decreased appetite. Discontinuations due to cognitive-related adverse events were 2% in the 50-mg group and 7% in the 400-mg group. Overall, 7% and 19%, respectively, discontinued with adverse events during the median treatment duration of 9 months.

Conclusion: Topiramate is effective as monotherapy in adults and children. Because a therapeutic effect emerges during titration, clinicians should adjust dosages in step-wise fashion with intermediate stopping points, e.g., 100 mg/day, to evaluate patient response and achieve the optimal maintenance dosage.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anticonvulsants / administration & dosage*
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Fructose / administration & dosage
  • Fructose / adverse effects
  • Fructose / analogs & derivatives*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Topiramate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Topiramate
  • Fructose