Topiramate and its clinical applications in epilepsy

Renzo Guerrini, Lucio Parmeggiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Topiramate, a derivative of the monosaccharide D-fructose, has shown a wide spectrum of antiepileptic efficacy in both animal models and clinical trials. Multiple putative mechanisms of action include voltage-sensitive sodium channel blockade, calcium channel inhibition, increase of potassium conductance, GABA-mediated chloride current increment, glutamate-mediated neurotransmission inhibition and carbonic anhydrase isoenzyme inhibition. In general, the clinical response is maintained in the long-term. The most common side effects include somnolence, fatigue, headache, psychomotor slowing, confusion, difficulty with memory, impaired concentration and attention, speech and language problems and weight loss. If slowly titrated and used at a low-to-medium dosage, it is well tolerated and offers a valid therapeutic option, the relevance of which is comparable to that of the most widely used 'old' antiepileptic drugs. As it is not yet wholly clear which specific epilepsy syndromes may benefit most from topiramate with respect to other drugs, more accurate indications for initial monotherapy would require syndrome-oriented trials and more clinical experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)811-823
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006


  • Antiepileptic drug side effects
  • Antiepileptic drugs
  • Epilepsy treatment
  • Topiramate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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