Epilepsy Home > How Does Topamax Work?

Topamax® (topiramate) is a prescription medication used to treat epileptic seizures and prevent migraine headaches. But how does Topamax work?
 
Although it is not entirely clear how this medication works for epilepsy or migraines, it is believed that Topamax slows down the abnormal electrical signals in the brain that can cause seizures. The drug works similarly for migraine headaches. Migraines may be triggered by nerve cells in the brain that are too easily excited. Topamax helps calm these nerve cells, working to prevent a migraine from ever starting.
 
Clinical studies have shown that Topamax increased the time until the next seizure and decreased the number of seizures. In one study of adults with epilepsy, approximately 75 percent of people taking 400 mg of the medicine per day were seizure-free for at least one year.
 
In one study that used Topamax for preventing migraines, 200 mg per day reduced the average number of migraines from 5.5 per month to 3.1 per month.
 
(For more information on how Topamax works, click Topamax. This article provides a complete overview of this prescription drug, including information on its uses, general precautions, and potential side effects.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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