Topiramate therapeutic monitoring in patients with epilepsy: Effect of concomitant antiepileptic drugs

Manuela Contin, Roberto Riva, Fiorenzo Albani, Patrizia Avoni, Agostino Baruzzi

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The authors assessed the effect of concomitant antiepileptic therapy on steady-state plasma concentrations of the new antiepileptic drug (AED) topiramate and the potential relation between topiramate plasma levels and side effects in a cohort of 116 patients with epilepsy. On the basis of concomitant AEDs, patients were divided into two subgroups, otherwise comparable for age and weight-adjusted daily dose of topiramate. Group A (n = 73) received topiramate plus AED inducers of cytochrome P450 (CYP) metabolism, such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, and phenytoin. Group B (n = 43) received topiramate plus AEDs without inducing properties of CYP metabolism (namely valproic acid and lamotrigine). Weight-normalized topiramate clearance values, calculated as dosing rate/steady-state plasma drug concentration, were about 1.5-fold in patients receiving AED inducers compared with patients receiving AED noninducers. Topiramate plasma concentrations were linearly related to daily drug doses, regardless of concomitant AED therapy, over a dose range from 25 to 800 mg/d, although, at a given daily dose, a large interpatient variability was observed in matched plasma drug concentrations within each group of patients. Thirty-nine patients (34%) reported side effects associated with topiramate, mostly central nervous system effects. No consistent relation was observed between topiramate plasma concentrations and adverse effects, either in the cohort of patients as a whole or within each subgroup. From a clinical point of view, patients receiving concurrent treatment with enzyme-inducing AEDs can show twofold lower topiramate plasma concentrations compared with patients receiving valproic acid or lamotrigine, and appropriate topiramate dosage adjustments may be required when concomitant AED inducers are either added or withdrawn. Due to the observed variability in topiramate metabolic variables and the complex spectrum of possible pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions with the most commonly coprescribed AEDs, monitoring of plasma topiramate concentrations may help the physician in the pharmacokinetic optimization of the drug dosage schedule in individual patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-337
Number of pages6
JournalTherapeutic Drug Monitoring
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Antiepileptic drug kinetic interaction
  • Therapeutic drug monitoring
  • Topiramate
  • Topiramate toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pharmacology
  • Toxicology


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