Prescription Drug Information: TOPIRAMATE

TOPIRAMATE — topiramate tablet, film coated
Dispensing Solutions Inc.


Topiramate is a sulfamate-substituted monosaccharide. Topiramate tablets are available as 25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg, and 200 mg circular tablets for oral administration.

Topiramate is a white crystalline powder with a bitter taste. Topiramate USP is most soluble in alkaline solutions containing sodium hydroxide or sodium phosphate and having a pH of 9 to 10. It is freely soluble in acetone, chloroform, dimethylsulfoxide, and ethanol. The solubility in water is 9.8 mg/mL. Its saturated solution has a pH of 6.3. Topiramate has the molecular formula C12 H21 NO8 S and a molecular weight of 339.37. Topiramate is designated chemically as 2,3:4,5-Di-O -isopropylidene-β-D-fructopyranose sulfamate and has the following structural formula:

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Topiramate tablets contain the following inactive ingredients: anhydrous lactose, microcrystalline cellulose, pregelatinized starch, sodium starch glycolate, magnesium stearate, purified water, polyvinyl alcohol, titanium dioxide, polyethylene glycol and talc.

In addition, individual tablets contain:

50 mg tablets: iron oxide yellow
100 mg tablets: iron oxide yellow, and D&C Yellow # 10 Aluminum Lake
200 mg tablets: iron oxide red, lecithin (soya), and iron oxide black


Mechanism of Action:

The precise mechanisms by which topiramate exerts its anticonvulsant effects are unknown; however, preclinical studies have revealed four properties that may contribute to topiramate’s efficacy for epilepsy. Electrophysiological and biochemical evidence suggests that topiramate, at pharmacologically relevant concentrations, blocks voltage-dependent sodium channels, augments the activity of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyrate at some subtypes of the GABA-A receptor, antagonizes the AMPA/kainate subtype of the glutamate receptor, and inhibits the carbonic anhydrase enzyme, particularly isozymes II and IV.


Topiramate has anticonvulsant activity in rat and mouse maximal electroshock seizure (MES) tests. Topiramate is only weakly effective in blocking clonic seizures induced by the GABAA receptor antagonist, pentylenetetrazole. Topiramate is also effective in rodent models of epilepsy, which include tonic and absence-like seizures in the spontaneous epileptic rat (SER) and tonic and clonic seizures induced in rats by kindling of the amygdala or by global ischemia.


The sprinkle formulation is bioequivalent to the immediate release tablet formulation and, therefore, may be substituted as a therapeutic equivalent.

Absorption of topiramate is rapid, with peak plasma concentrations occurring at approximately 2 hours following a 400 mg oral dose. The relative bioavailability of topiramate from the tablet formulation is about 80% compared to a solution. The bioavailability of topiramate is not affected by food.

The pharmacokinetics of topiramate are linear with dose proportional increases in plasma concentration over the dose range studied (200 to 800 mg/day). The mean plasma elimination half-life is 21 hours after single or multiple doses. Steady state is thus reached in about 4 days in patients with normal renal function. Topiramate is 15 to 41% bound to human plasma proteins over the blood concentration range of 0.5 to 250 mcg/mL. The fraction bound decreased as blood concentration increased.

Carbamazepine and phenytoin do not alter the binding of topiramate. Sodium valproate, at 500 mcg/mL (a concentration 5 to 10 times higher than considered therapeutic for valproate) decreased the protein binding of topiramate from 23% to 13%. Topiramate does not influence the binding of sodium valproate.

Metabolism and Excretion:

Topiramate is not extensively metabolized and is primarily eliminated unchanged in the urine (approximately 70% of an administered dose). Six metabolites have been identified in humans, none of which constitutes more than 5% of an administered dose. The metabolites are formed via hydroxylation, hydrolysis, and glucuronidation. There is evidence of renal tubular reabsorption of topiramate. In rats, given probenecid to inhibit tubular reabsorption, along with topiramate, a significant increase in renal clearance of topiramate was observed. This interaction has not been evaluated in humans. Overall, oral plasma clearance (CL/F) is approximately 20 to 30 mL/min in humans following oral administration.

Pharmacokinetic Interactions

(see also Drug Interactions):

Antiepileptic Drugs

Potential interactions between topiramate and standard AEDs were assessed in controlled clinical pharmacokinetic studies in patients with epilepsy. The effect of these interactions on mean plasma AUCs are summarized under PRECAUTIONS (Table 4).

Special Populations:

Renal Impairment:

The clearance of topiramate was reduced by 42% in moderately renally impaired (creatinine clearance 30 to 69 mL/min/1.73m2) and by 54% in severely renally impaired subjects (creatinine clearance <30 mL/min/1.73m2) compared to normal renal function subjects (creatinine clearance >70 mL/min/1.73m2). Since topiramate is presumed to undergo significant tubular reabsorption, it is uncertain whether this experience can be generalized to all situations of renal impairment. It is conceivable that some forms of renal disease could differentially affect glomerular filtration rate and tubular reabsorption resulting in a clearance of topiramate not predicted by creatinine clearance. In general, however, use of one-half the usual starting and maintenance dose is recommended in patients with moderate or severe renal impairment (see PRECAUTIONS: Adjustment of Dose in Renal Failure and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).


Topiramate is cleared by hemodialysis. Using a high efficiency, counterflow, single pass-dialysate hemodialysis procedure, topiramate dialysis clearance was 120 mL/min with blood flow through the dialyzer at 400 mL/min. This high clearance (compared to 20 to 30 mL/min total oral clearance in healthy adults) will remove a clinically significant amount of topiramate from the patient over the hemodialysis treatment period. Therefore, a supplemental dose may be required (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Hepatic Impairment:

In hepatically impaired subjects, the clearance of topiramate may be decreased; the mechanism underlying the decrease is not well understood.

Age, Gender, and Race:

The pharmacokinetics of topiramate in elderly subjects (65 to 85 years of age, N=16) were evaluated in a controlled clinical study. The elderly subject population had reduced renal function [creatinine clearance (-20%)] compared to young adults. Following a single oral 100 mg dose, maximum plasma concentration for elderly and young adults was achieved at approximately 1 to 2 hours. Reflecting the primary renal elimination of topiramate, topiramate plasma and renal clearance were reduced 21% and 19%, respectively, in elderly subjects, compared to young adults. Similarly, topiramate half-life was longer (13%) in the elderly. Reduced topiramate clearance resulted in slightly higher maximum plasma concentration (23%) and AUC (25%) in elderly subjects than observed in young adults. Topiramate clearance is decreased in the elderly only to the extent that renal function is reduced. As recommended for all patients, dosage adjustment may be indicated in the elderly patient when impaired renal function (creatinine clearance rate ≤70 mL/min/1.73 m2) is evident. It may be useful to monitor renal function in the elderly patient (see Special Populations: Renal Impairment, PRECAUTIONS: Adjustment of Dose in Renal Failure and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Clearance of topiramate in adults was not affected by gender or race.

Pediatric Pharmacokinetics:

Pharmacokinetics of topiramate were evaluated in patients ages 4 to 17 years receiving one or two other antiepileptic drugs. Pharmacokinetic profiles were obtained after one week at doses of 1, 3, and 9 mg/kg/day. Clearance was independent of dose.

Pediatric patients have a 50% higher clearance and consequently shorter elimination half-life than adults. Consequently, the plasma concentration for the same mg/kg dose may be lower in pediatric patients compared to adults. As in adults, hepatic enzyme-inducing antiepileptic drugs decrease the steady state plasma concentrations of topiramate.


The studies described in the following sections were conducted using topiramate tablets.


Monotherapy Controlled Trial

The effectiveness of topiramate as initial monotherapy in adults and children 10 years of age and older with partial onset or primary generalized seizures was established in a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group trial.

The trial was conducted in 487 patients diagnosed with epilepsy (6 to 83 years of age) who had 1 or 2 well-documented seizures during the 3-month retrospective baseline phase who then entered the study and received topiramate 25 mg/day for 7 days in an open-label fashion. Forty-nine percent of subjects had no prior AED treatment and 17% had a diagnosis of epilepsy for greater than 24 months. Any AED therapy used for temporary or emergency purposes was discontinued prior to randomization. In the double-blind phase, 470 patients were randomized to titrate up to 50 mg/day or 400 mg/day. If the target dose could not be achieved, patients were maintained on the maximum tolerated dose. Fifty eight percent of patients achieved the maximal dose of 400 mg/day for ≥ 2 weeks, and patients who did not tolerate 150 mg/day were discontinued. The primary efficacy assessment was a between group comparison of time to first seizure during the double-blind phase. Comparison of the Kaplan-Meier survival curves of time to first seizure favored the topiramate 400 mg/day group over the topiramate 50 mg/day group (p=0.0002, log rank test; Figure 1). The treatment effects with respect to time to first seizure were consistent across various patient subgroups defined by age, sex, geographic region, baseline body weight, baseline seizure type, time since diagnosis, and baseline AED use.

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Figure 1: Kaplan-Meier Estimates of Cumulative Rates for Time to First Seizure

Adjunctive Therapy Controlled Trials in Patients With Partial Onset Seizures

The effectiveness of topiramate as an adjunctive treatment for adults with partial onset seizures was established in six multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, two comparing several dosages of topiramate and placebo and four comparing a single dosage with placebo, in patients with a history of partial onset seizures, with or without secondarily generalized seizures.

Patients in these studies were permitted a maximum of two antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in addition to topiramate tablets or placebo. In each study, patients were stabilized on optimum dosages of their concomitant AEDs during baseline phase lasting between 4 and 12 weeks. Patients who experienced a prespecified minimum number of partial onset seizures, with or without secondary generalization, during the baseline phase (12 seizures for 12-week baseline, 8 for 8-week baseline, or 3 for 4-week baseline) were randomly assigned to placebo or a specified dose of topiramate tablets in addition to their other AEDs.

Following randomization, patients began the double-blind phase of treatment. In five of the six studies, patients received active drug beginning at 100 mg per day; the dose was then increased by 100 mg or 200 mg/day increments weekly or every other week until the assigned dose was reached, unless intolerance prevented increases. In the sixth study (119), the 25 or 50 mg/day initial doses of topiramate were followed by respective weekly increments of 25 or 50 mg/day until the target dose of 200 mg/day was reached. After titration, patients entered a 4, 8, or 12-week stabilization period. The numbers of patients randomized to each dose, and the actual mean and median doses in the stabilization period are shown in Table 1. provides trustworthy package insert and label information about marketed prescription drugs as submitted by manufacturers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Package information is not reviewed or updated separately by Every individual prescription drug label and package insert entry contains a unique identifier which can be used to secure further details directly from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and/or the FDA.

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