Epilepsy Home > Topamax

Topamax is a prescription drug that is licensed for treating epilepsy and preventing migraine headaches. By slowing down electrical signals and calming nerve cells in the brain, the medication can help prevent seizures and migraines. Topamax comes in the form of tablets and "sprinkle" capsules, and is usually taken twice a day. Potential side effects include fatigue, drowsiness, and dizziness.

What Is Topamax?

Topamax® (topiramate) is a prescription medication used to treat various conditions that affect the nervous system.

Who Makes It?

Topamax is made by Ortho-McNeil Neurologics.

What Is Topamax Used For?

Specific uses for the medication include:
(Click Topamax Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

How Does It Work?

It is not entirely clear how this medication works for epilepsy or migraines. An epileptic seizure occurs as the result of abnormal electrical signals in the brain. Topamax slows down those signals, helping to prevent seizures. The medication also works similarly for migraine headaches. It is thought that migraines may be triggered by nerve cells in the brain that are too easily excited. Topamax helps calm the nerve cells, working to prevent a migraine from ever starting.

Effects of Topamax

In studies, 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 drug per day were seizure-free for at least one year.
In one study of Topamax for preventing migraines, 200 mg per day reduced the average number of migraines from 5.5 per month to 3.1 per month.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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