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Using Topiramate in Patients with Epilepsy: Practical Aspects

J.W.A.S. Sander

Abstract: Clinical trials are important in determining the relative efficacy and safety of a new antiepileptic drug (AED); however, experience acquired in clinical practice will eventually determine its position in the antiepileptic armamentarium. Topiramate (TPM), a new AED has been available in the United Kingdom since mid-1995 and a considerable number of patients have being treated. As a result of this experience, a number of changes have being made in the way TPM is used, particularly in the starting doses and titration rates. This seems to have improved patients' tolerability of treatment, an important consideration if a drug is to be used to its optimum level. In this article, practical tips for the use of TPM are given and these include starting doses, titration rates, options for managing side effects occurring early in treatment, advice concerning the withdrawal of concomitant AEDs and indications for discontinuation of TPM. The need for adequate patient counseling regarding potential side effects and expectations of treatment is also reviewed.

Can. J. Neurol. Sci. 1998; 25: S16-S18


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