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- What is topiramate, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for topiramate?
- Is topiramate available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for topiramate?
- What are the side effects of topiramate?
- What is the dosage for topiramate?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with topiramate?
- Is topiramate safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about topiramate?
What is topiramate, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Topiramate is an oral drug that is used to prevent the seizures of epilepsy. It is an anti-epileptic or anti-seizure drug. It is used primarily among patients who are not controlled by other anti-epileptic drugs. About 1 in 4 Americans diagnosed with epilepsy has seizures that resist treatment with other anti-epileptic drugs. Topiramate also prevents migraine headaches.
Seizures are due to the abnormal activity ("firing") of nerves in the brain, and the abnormal activity spreads to smaller or larger portions of the brain. Although topiramate's exact mechanism of action is unknown, scientific studies suggest that it may alter neurotransmitters within the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that nerves manufacture and use to communicate with other nearby nerves. By altering the production or action of the neurotransmitters, topiramate may suppress the abnormal activity of the nerves in the brain that cause the seizures or may prevent the abnormal activity from spreading to other nerves. Other studies suggest that topiramate may suppress the nerves directly (i.e., not by altering neurotransmitters) and make them less likely to fire. The FDA approved topiramate as a tablet in 1997. The sprinkle capsules were approved in October 1998.
What brand names are available for topiramate?
Topamax, Qudexy XR, Topamax Sprinkle, Topiragen, Trokendi XR
Is topiramate available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
Do I need a prescription for topiramate?
What are the side effects of topiramate?
The most common side effects of topiramate are:
- coordination problems,
- weight loss,
- speech problems,
- changes in vision or
- double vision,
- tingling or prickling sensation in hands and feet,
- difficulty with memory, and
- sensory distortion.
Other important side effects include:
- increased ammonia levels,
- metabolic acidosis,
- kidney stones,
- decreased sweating, and
- increased body temperature.
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