"March 4, 2011 -- Taking the epilepsy drug topiramate (Topamax) during pregnancy raises the risk of oral cleft birth defects such as cleft lip and cleft palate, according to a new warning issued by the FDA.
New drug registry data show "...
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Acute Myopia And Secondary Angle Closure Glaucoma
A syndrome consisting of acute myopia associated with secondary angle closure glaucoma has been reported in patients receiving TOPAMAX® (topiramate). Symptoms include acute onset of decreased visual acuity and/or ocular pain. Ophthalmologic findings can include myopia, anterior chamber shallowing, ocular hyperemia (redness), and increased intraocular pressure. Mydriasis may or may not be present. This syndrome may be associated with supraciliary effusion resulting in anterior displacement of the lens and iris, with secondary angle closure glaucoma. Symptoms typically occur within 1 month of initiating TOPAMAX® therapy. In contrast to primary narrow angle glaucoma, which is rare under 40 years of age, secondary angle closure glaucoma associated with topiramate has been reported in pediatric patients as well as adults. The primary treatment to reverse symptoms is discontinuation of TOPAMAX® as rapidly as possible, according to the judgment of the treating physician. Other measures, in conjunction with discontinuation of TOPAMAX®, may be helpful.
Visual Field Defects
Visual field defects have been reported in patients receiving topiramate independent of elevated intraocular pressure. In clinical trials, most of these events were reversible after topiramate discontinuation. If visual problems occur at any time during topiramate treatment, consideration should be given to discontinuing the drug [see PATIENT INFORMATION].
Oligohidrosis And Hyperthermia
Oligohidrosis (decreased sweating), infrequently resulting in hospitalization, has been reported in association with TOPAMAX® use. Decreased sweating and an elevation in body temperature above normal characterized these cases. Some of the cases were reported after exposure to elevated environmental temperatures.
The majority of the reports have been in pediatric patients. Patients, especially pediatric patients, treated with TOPAMAX® should be monitored closely for evidence of decreased sweating and increased body temperature, especially in hot weather. Caution should be used when TOPAMAX® is prescribed with other drugs that predispose patients to heat-related disorders; these drugs include, but are not limited to, other carbonic anhydrase inhibitors and drugs with anticholinergic activity.
Hyperchloremic, non-anion gap, metabolic acidosis (i.e., decreased serum bicarbonate below the normal reference range in the absence of chronic respiratory alkalosis) is associated with TOPAMAX® treatment. This metabolic acidosis is caused by renal bicarbonate loss due to the inhibitory effect of topiramate on carbonic anhydrase. Such electrolyte imbalance has been observed with the use of topiramate in placebo-controlled clinical trials and in the post-marketing period. Generally, topiramate-induced metabolic acidosis occurs early in treatment although cases can occur at any time during treatment. Bicarbonate decrements are usually mild-moderate (average decrease of 4 mEq/L at daily doses of 400 mg in adults and at approximately 6 mg/kg/day in pediatric patients); rarely, patients can experience severe decrements to values below 10 mEq/L. Conditions or therapies that predispose patients to acidosis (such as renal disease, severe respiratory disorders, status epilepticus, diarrhea, ketogenic diet, or specific drugs) may be additive to the bicarbonate lowering effects of topiramate.
In adults, the incidence of persistent treatment-emergent decreases in serum bicarbonate (levels of < 20 mEq/L at two consecutive visits or at the final visit) in controlled clinical trials for adjunctive treatment of epilepsy was 32% for 400 mg/day, and 1% for placebo. Metabolic acidosis has been observed at doses as low as 50 mg/day. The incidence of persistent treatment-emergent decreases in serum bicarbonate in adults in the epilepsy controlled clinical trial for monotherapy was 15% for 50 mg/day and 25% for 400 mg/day. The incidence of a markedly abnormally low serum bicarbonate (i.e., absolute value < 17 mEq/L and > 5 mEq/L decrease from pretreatment) in the adjunctive therapy trials was 3% for 400 mg/day, and 0% for placebo and in the monotherapy trial was 1% for 50 mg/day and 7% for 400 mg/day. Serum bicarbonate levels have not been systematically evaluated at daily doses greater than 400 mg/day.
In pediatric patients (2 to 16 years of age), the incidence of persistent treatment-emergent decreases in serum bicarbonate in placebo-controlled trials for adjunctive treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or refractory partial onset seizures was 67% for TOPAMAX® (at approximately 6 mg/kg/day), and 10% for placebo. The incidence of a markedly abnormally low serum bicarbonate (i.e., absolute value < 17 mEq/L and > 5 mEq/L decrease from pretreatment) in these trials was 11% for TOPAMAX® and 0% for placebo. Cases of moderately severe metabolic acidosis have been reported in patients as young as 5 months old, especially at daily doses above 5 mg/kg/day.
Although not approved for use in patients under 2 years of age with partial onset seizures, a controlled trial that examined this population revealed that topiramate produced a metabolic acidosis that is notably greater in magnitude than that observed in controlled trials in older children and adults. The mean treatment difference (25 mg/kg/day topiramate-placebo) was -5.9 mEq/L for bicarbonate. The incidence of metabolic acidosis (defined by a serum bicarbonate < 20 mEq/L) was 0% for placebo, 30% for 5 mg/kg/day, 50% for 15 mg/kg/day, and 45% for 25 mg/kg/day. The incidence of markedly abnormal changes (i.e., < 17 mEq/L and > 5 mEq/L decrease from baseline of > 20 mEq/L) was 0% for placebo, 4% for 5 mg/kg/day, 5% for 15 mg/kg/day, and 5% for 25 mg/kg/day [see Use in Special Populations].
In pediatric patients (6 to 15 years of age), the incidence of persistent treatment-emergent decreases in serum bicarbonate in the epilepsy controlled clinical trial for monotherapy was 9% for 50 mg/day and 25% for 400 mg/day. The incidence of a markedly abnormally low serum bicarbonate (i.e., absolute value < 17 mEq/L and > 5 mEq/L decrease from pretreatment) in this trial was 1% for 50 mg/day and 6% for 400 mg/day. In adult patients ( > 16 years of age), the incidence of persistent treatment-emergent decreases in serum bicarbonate in the epilepsy controlled clinical trial for monotherapy was 14% for 50 mg/day and 25% for 400 mg/day. The incidence of a markedly abnormally low serum bicarbonate (i.e., absolute value < 17 mEq/L and > 5 mEq/L decrease from pretreatment) in this trial for adults was 1% for 50 mg/day and 6% for 400 mg/day.
The incidence of persistent treatment-emergent decreases in serum bicarbonate in placebo-controlled trials for adults for prophylaxis of migraine was 44% for 200 mg/day, 39% for 100 mg/day, 23% for 50 mg/day, and 7% for placebo. The incidence of a markedly abnormally low serum bicarbonate (i.e., absolute value < 17 mEq/L and > 5 mEq/L decrease from pretreatment) in these trials was 11% for 200 mg/day, 9% for 100 mg/day, 2% for 50 mg/day, and < 1% for placebo.
Some manifestations of acute or chronic metabolic acidosis may include hyperventilation, nonspecific symptoms such as fatigue and anorexia, or more severe sequelae including cardiac arrhythmias or stupor. Chronic, untreated metabolic acidosis may increase the risk for nephrolithiasis or nephrocalcinosis, and may also result in osteomalacia (referred to as rickets in pediatric patients) and/or osteoporosis with an increased risk for fractures. Chronic metabolic acidosis in pediatric patients may also reduce growth rates. A reduction in growth rate may eventually decrease the maximal height achieved. The effect of topiramate on growth and bone-related sequelae has not been systematically investigated in long-term, placebo-controlled trials. Long-term, open-label treatment of infants/toddlers, with intractable partial epilepsy, for up to 1 year, showed reductions from baseline in Z SCORES for length, weight, and head circumference compared to age and sex-matched normative data, although these patients with epilepsy are likely to have different growth rates than normal infants. Reductions in Z SCORES for length and weight were correlated to the degree of acidosis [see Use In Specific Populations]. Topiramate treatment that causes metabolic acidosis during pregnancy can possibly produce adverse effects on the fetus and might also cause metabolic acidosis in the neonate from possible transfer of topiramate to the fetus [see Use In Specific Populations].
Measurement of baseline and periodic serum bicarbonate during topiramate treatment is recommended. If metabolic acidosis develops and persists, consideration should be given to reducing the dose or discontinuing topiramate (using dose tapering). If the decision is made to continue patients on topiramate in the face of persistent acidosis, alkali treatment should be considered.
Suicidal Behavior And Ideation
Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including TOPAMAX®, increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in patients taking these drugs for any indication. Patients treated with any AED for any indication should be monitored for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in mood or behavior.
Pooled analyses of 199 placebo-controlled clinical trials (mono- and adjunctive therapy) of 11 different AEDs showed that patients randomized to one of the AEDs had approximately twice the risk (adjusted Relative Risk 1.8, 95% CI:1.2, 2.7) of suicidal thinking or behavior compared to patients randomized to placebo. In these trials, which had a median treatment duration of 12 weeks, the estimated incidence rate of suicidal behavior or ideation among 27,863 AED-treated patients was 0.43%, compared to 0.24% among 16,029 placebo-treated patients, representing an increase of approximately one case of suicidal thinking or behavior for every 530 patients treated. There were four suicides in drug-treated patients in the trials and none in placebo-treated patients, but the number is too small to allow any conclusion about drug effect on suicide.
The increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with AEDs was observed as early as one week after starting drug treatment with AEDs and persisted for the duration of treatment assessed. Because most trials included in the analysis did not extend beyond 24 weeks, the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior beyond 24 weeks could not be assessed.
The risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior was generally consistent among drugs in the data analyzed. The finding of increased risk with AEDs of varying mechanisms of action and across a range of indications suggests that the risk applies to all AEDs used for any indication. The risk did not vary substantially by age (5 to 100 years) in the clinical trials analyzed.
Table 4 shows absolute and relative risk by indication for all evaluated AEDs.
Table 4: Risk by Indication for Antiepileptic Drugs in
the Pooled Analysis
|Indication||Placebo Patients with Events per 1000 Patients||Drug Patients with Events per 1000 Patients||Relative Risk: Incidence of Events in Drug Patients/Incidence in Placebo Patients||Risk Difference: Additional Drug Patients with Events per 1000 Patients|
The relative risk for suicidal thoughts or behavior was higher in clinical trials for epilepsy than in clinical trials for psychiatric or other conditions, but the absolute risk differences were similar for the epilepsy and psychiatric indications.
Anyone considering prescribing TOPAMAX® or any other AED must balance the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with the risk of untreated illness. Epilepsy and many other illnesses for which AEDs are prescribed are themselves associated with morbidity and mortality and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Should suicidal thoughts and behavior emerge during treatment, the prescriber needs to consider whether the emergence of these symptoms in any given patient may be related to the illness being treated.
Patients, their caregivers, and families should be informed that AEDs increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of the signs and symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, or behavior or thoughts about self-harm. Behaviors of concern should be reported immediately to healthcare providers.
Cognitive/Neuropsychiatric Adverse Reactions
Adverse reactions most often associated with the use of TOPAMAX® were related to the central nervous system and were observed in both the epilepsy and migraine populations. In adults, the most frequent of these can be classified into three general categories: 1) Cognitive-related dysfunction (e.g., confusion, psychomotor slowing, difficulty with concentration/attention, difficulty with memory, speech or language problems, particularly word-finding difficulties); 2) Psychiatric/behavioral disturbances (e.g., depression or mood problems); and 3) Somnolence or fatigue.
The majority of cognitive-related adverse reactions were mild to moderate in severity, and they frequently occurred in isolation. Rapid titration rate and higher initial dose were associated with higher incidences of these reactions. Many of these reactions contributed to withdrawal from treatment [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
In the add-on epilepsy controlled trials (using rapid titration such as 100-200 mg/day weekly increments), the proportion of patients who experienced one or more cognitive-related adverse reactions was 42% for 200 mg/day, 41% for 400 mg/day, 52% for 600 mg/day, 56% for 800 and 1,000 mg/day, and 14% for placebo. These dose-related adverse reactions began with a similar frequency in the titration or in the maintenance phase, although in some patients the events began during titration and persisted into the maintenance phase. Some patients who experienced one or more cognitive-related adverse reactions in the titration phase had a dose-related recurrence of these reactions in the maintenance phase.
In the monotherapy epilepsy controlled trial, the proportion of patients who experienced one or more cognitive-related adverse reactions was 19% for TOPAMAX® 50 mg/day and 26% for 400 mg/day.
In the 6-month migraine prophylaxis controlled trials using a slower titration regimen (25 mg/day weekly increments), the proportion of patients who experienced one or more cognitive-related adverse reactions was 19% for TOPAMAX® 50 mg/day, 22% for 100 mg/day (the recommended dose), 28% for 200 mg/day, and 10% for placebo. These dose-related adverse reactions typically began in the titration phase and often persisted into the maintenance phase, but infrequently began in the maintenance phase. Some patients experienced a recurrence of one or more of these cognitive adverse reactions and this recurrence was typically in the titration phase. A relatively small proportion of topiramate-treated patients experienced more than one concurrent cognitive adverse reaction. The most common cognitive adverse reactions occurring together included difficulty with memory along with difficulty with concentration/attention, difficulty with memory along with language problems, and difficulty with concentration/attention along with language problems. Rarely, topiramate-treated patients experienced three concurrent cognitive reactions.
Psychiatric/behavioral disturbances (depression or mood) were dose-related for both the epilepsy and migraine populations.
Somnolence and fatigue were the adverse reactions most frequently reported during clinical trials of TOPAMAX® for adjunctive epilepsy. For the adjunctive epilepsy population, the incidence of somnolence did not differ substantially between 200 mg/day and 1,000 mg/day, but the incidence of fatigue was dose-related and increased at dosages above 400 mg/day. For the monotherapy epilepsy population in the 50 mg/day and 400 mg/day groups, the incidence of somnolence was dose-related (9% for the 50 mg/day group and 15% for the 400 mg/day group) and the incidence of fatigue was comparable in both treatment groups (14% each). For the migraine population, fatigue and somnolence were dose-related and more common in the titration phase.
Additional nonspecific CNS events commonly observed with topiramate in the add-on epilepsy population included dizziness or ataxia.
In double-blind adjunctive therapy and monotherapy epilepsy clinical studies, the incidences of cognitive/neuropsychiatric adverse reactions in pediatric patients were generally lower than observed in adults. These reactions included psychomotor slowing, difficulty with concentration/attention, speech disorders/related speech problems, and language problems. The most frequently reported neuropsychiatric reactions in pediatric patients during adjunctive therapy double-blind studies were somnolence and fatigue. The most frequently reported neuropsychiatric reactions in pediatric patients in the 50 mg/day and 400 mg/day groups during the monotherapy double-blind study were headache, dizziness, anorexia, and somnolence.
No patients discontinued treatment due to any adverse reactions in the adjunctive epilepsy double-blind trials. In the monotherapy epilepsy double-blind trial, 1 pediatric patient (2%) in the 50 mg/day group and 7 pediatric patients (12%) in the 400 mg/day group discontinued treatment due to any adverse reactions. The most common adverse reaction associated with discontinuation of therapy was difficulty with concentration/attention; all occurred in the 400 mg/day group.
TOPAMAX® can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Data from pregnancy registries indicate that infants exposed to topiramate in utero have an increased risk for cleft lip and/or cleft palate (oral clefts). When multiple species of pregnant animals received topiramate at clinically relevant doses, structural malformations, including craniofacial defects, and reduced fetal weights occurred in offspring [see Use In Specific Populations].
Consider the benefits and the risks of TOPAMAX® when administering this drug in women of childbearing potential, particularly when TOPAMAX® is considered for a condition not usually associated with permanent injury or death [see Use in Specific Populations and PATIENT INFORMATION]. TOPAMAX® should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to a fetus [see Use In Specific Populations].
Withdrawal Of Antiepileptic Drugs (AEDs)
In patients with or without a history of seizures or epilepsy, antiepileptic drugs, including TOPAMAX®, should be gradually withdrawn to minimize the potential for seizures or increased seizure frequency [see Clinical Studies]. In situations where rapid withdrawal of TOPAMAX® is medically required, appropriate monitoring is recommended.
Sudden Unexplained Death In Epilepsy (SUDEP)
During the course of premarketing development of topiramate tablets, 10 sudden and unexplained deaths were recorded among a cohort of treated patients (2796 subject years of exposure). This represents an incidence of 0.0035 deaths per patient year. Although this rate exceeds that expected in a healthy population matched for age and sex, it is within the range of estimates for the incidence of sudden unexplained deaths in patients with epilepsy not receiving TOPAMAX® (ranging from 0.0005 for the general population of patients with epilepsy, to 0.003 for a clinical trial population similar to that in the TOPAMAX® program, to 0.005 for patients with refractory epilepsy).
Hyperammonemia And Encephalopathy (Without And With Concomitant Valproic Acid [VPA] Use)
Hyperammonemia/Encephalopathy Without Concomitant Valproic Acid (VPA)
Topiramate treatment has produced hyperammonemia (in some instances dose-related) in clinical investigational programs of adolescents (12-16 years) who were treated with topiramate monotherapy for migraine prophylaxis (incidence above the upper limit of normal, 22% for placebo, 26% for 50 mg/day, 41% for 100 mg/day) and in very young pediatric patients (1-24 months) who were treated with adjunctive topiramate for partial onset epilepsy (8% for placebo, 10% for 5 mg/kg/day, 0% for 15 mg/kg/day, 9% for 25 mg/kg/day). TOPAMAX® is not approved as monotherapy for migraine prophylaxis in adolescent patients or as adjunctive treatment of partial onset seizures in pediatric patients less than 2 years old. In some patients, ammonia was markedly increased ( > 50% above upper limit of normal). In adolescent patients, the incidence of markedly increased hyperammonemia was 6% for placebo, 6% for 50 mg, and 12% for 100 mg topiramate daily. The hyperammonemia associated with topiramate treatment occurred with and without encephalopathy in placebo-controlled trials and in an open-label, extension trial. Dose-related hyperammonemia was also observed in the extension trial in pediatric patients up to 2 years old. Clinical symptoms of hyperammonemic encephalopathy often include acute alterations in level of consciousness and/or cognitive function with lethargy or vomiting.
Hyperammonemia with and without encephalopathy has also been observed in post-marketing reports in patients who were taking topiramate without concomitant valproic acid (VPA).
Hyperammonemia/Encephalopathy With Concomitant Valproic Acid (VPA)
Concomitant administration of topiramate and valproic acid (VPA) has been associated with hyperammonemia with or without encephalopathy in patients who have tolerated either drug alone based upon post-marketing reports. Although hyperammonemia may be asymptomatic, clinical symptoms of hyperammonemic encephalopathy often include acute alterations in level of consciousness and/or cognitive function with lethargy or vomiting. In most cases, symptoms and signs abated with discontinuation of either drug. This adverse reaction is not due to a pharmacokinetic interaction.
Although TOPAMAX® is not indicated for use in infants/toddlers (1-24 months), TOPAMAX® with concomitant VPA clearly produced a dose-related increase in the incidence of treatment-emergent hyperammonemia (above the upper limit of normal, 0% for placebo, 12% for 5 mg/kg/day, 7% for 15 mg/kg/day, 17% for 25 mg/kg/day) in an investigational program. Markedly increased, dose-related hyperammonemia (0% for placebo and 5 mg/kg/day, 7% for 15 mg/kg/day, 8% for 25 mg/kg/day) also occurred in these infants/toddlers. Dose-related hyperammonemia was similarly observed in a long-term extension trial in these very young, pediatric patients [see Use in Specific Populations].
Hyperammonemia with and without encephalopathy has also been observed in post-marketing reports in patients taking topiramate with VPA.
The hyperammonemia associated with topiramate treatment appears to be more common when topiramate is used concomitantly with VPA.
Monitoring for Hyperammonemia
Patients with inborn errors of metabolism or reduced hepatic mitochondrial activity may be at an increased risk for hyperammonemia with or without encephalopathy. Although not studied, topiramate treatment or an interaction of concomitant topiramate and valproic acid treatment may exacerbate existing defects or unmask deficiencies in susceptible persons.
In patients who develop unexplained lethargy, vomiting, or changes in mental status associated with any topiramate treatment, hyperammonemic encephalopathy should be considered and an ammonia level should be measured.
A total of 32/2086 (1.5%) of adults exposed to topiramate during its adjunctive epilepsy therapy development reported the occurrence of kidney stones, an incidence about 2 to 4 times greater than expected in a similar, untreated population. In the double-blind monotherapy epilepsy study, a total of 4/319 (1.3%) of adults exposed to topiramate reported the occurrence of kidney stones. As in the general population, the incidence of stone formation among topiramate-treated patients was higher in men. Kidney stones have also been reported in pediatric patients. During long-term (up to 1 year) topiramate treatment in an open-label extension study of 284 pediatric patients 1-24 months old with epilepsy, 7% developed kidney or bladder stones that were diagnosed clinically or by sonogram. TOPAMAX® is not approved for pediatric patients less than 2 years old [see Use in Specific Populations].
An explanation for the association of TOPAMAX® and kidney stones may lie in the fact that topiramate is a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor. Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (e.g., zonisamide, acetazolamide, or dichlorphenamide) can promote stone formation by reducing urinary citrate excretion and by increasing urinary pH. The concomitant use of TOPAMAX® with any other drug producing metabolic acidosis, or potentially in patients on a ketogenic diet, may create a physiological environment that increases the risk of kidney stone formation, and should therefore be avoided.
Increased fluid intake increases the urinary output, lowering the concentration of substances involved in stone formation. Hydration is recommended to reduce new stone formation.
Hypothermia With Concomitant Valproic Acid (VPA) Use
Hypothermia, defined as an unintentional drop in body core temperature to < 35°C (95°F), has been reported in association with topiramate use with concomitant valproic acid (VPA) both in conjunction with hyperammonemia and in the absence of hyperammonemia. This adverse reaction in patients using concomitant topiramate and valproate can occur after starting topiramate treatment or after increasing the daily dose of topiramate [see DRUG INTERACTIONS]. Consideration should be given to stopping topiramate or valproate in patients who develop hypothermia, which may be manifested by a variety of clinical abnormalities including lethargy, confusion, coma, and significant alterations in other major organ systems such as the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Clinical management and assessment should include examination of blood ammonia levels.
Paresthesia (usually tingling of the extremities), an effect associated with the use of other carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, appears to be a common effect of TOPAMAX®. Paresthesia was more frequently reported in the monotherapy epilepsy trials and migraine prophylaxis trials than in the adjunctive therapy epilepsy trials. In the majority of instances, paresthesia did not lead to treatment discontinuation.
Adjustment Of Dose In Renal Failure
The major route of elimination of unchanged topiramate and its metabolites is via the kidney. Dosage adjustment may be required in patients with reduced renal function [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
Decreased Hepatic Function
In hepatically impaired patients, TOPAMAX® should be administered with caution as the clearance of topiramate may be decreased [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
Monitoring: Laboratory Tests
Topiramate treatment was associated with changes in several clinical laboratory analytes in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies.
Topiramate treatment causes non-anion gap, hyperchloremic metabolic acidosis manifested by a decrease in serum bicarbonate and an increase in serum chloride. Measurement of baseline and periodic serum bicarbonate during TOPAMAX® treatment is recommended.
Controlled trials of adjunctive topiramate treatment of adults for partial onset seizures showed an increased incidence of markedly decreased serum phosphorus (6% topiramate, 2% placebo), markedly increased serum alkaline phosphatase (3% topiramate, 1% placebo), and decreased serum potassium (0.4 % topiramate, 0.1 % placebo). The clinical significance of these abnormalities has not been clearly established.
Changes in several clinical laboratory values (i.e., increased creatinine, BUN, alkaline phosphatase, total protein, total eosinophil count, and decreased potassium) have been observed in a clinical investigational program in very young ( < 2 years) pediatric patients who were treated with adjunctive topiramate for partial onset seizures [see Use in Specific Populations].
Topiramate treatment produced a dose-related increased shift in serum creatinine from normal at baseline to an increased value at the end of 4 months treatment in adolescent patients (ages 12-16 years) who were treated for migraine prophylaxis in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
TOPAMAX® treatment with or without concomitant valproic acid (VPA) can cause hyperammonemia with or without encephalopathy.
Patient Counseling Information
Patients and their caregivers should be informed of the availability of a Medication Guide, and they should be instructed to read the Medication Guide prior to taking TOPAMAX®. Patients should be instructed to take TOPAMAX® only as prescribed. See FDA-approved Medication Guide.
Patients taking TOPAMAX® should be told to seek immediate medical attention if they experience blurred vision, visual disturbances, or periorbital pain [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Oligohidrosis and Hyperthermia
Patients, especially pediatric patients, treated with TOPAMAX® should be monitored closely for evidence of decreased sweating and increased body temperature, especially in hot weather. Patients should be counseled to contact their healthcare professionals immediately if they develop a high or persistent fever, or decreased sweating [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Patients should be warned about the potential significant risk for metabolic acidosis that may be asymptomatic and may be associated with adverse effects on kidneys (e.g., kidney stones, nephrocalcinosis), bones (e.g., osteoporosis, osteomalacia, and/or rickets in children), and growth (e.g., growth delay/retardation) in pediatric patients, and on the fetus [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and Use In Specific Populations].
Suicidal Behavior and Ideation
Patients, their caregivers, and families should be counseled that AEDs, including TOPAMAX®, may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of the signs and symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, or behavior or thoughts about self-harm. Behaviors of concern should be reported immediately to healthcare providers [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Interference with Cognitive and Motor Performance
Patients should be warned about the potential for somnolence, dizziness, confusion, difficulty concentrating, or visual effects and should be advised not to drive or operate machinery until they have gained sufficient experience on TOPAMAX® to gauge whether it adversely affects their mental performance, motor performance, and/or vision [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Even when taking TOPAMAX® or other anticonvulsants, some patients with epilepsy will continue to have unpredictable seizures. Therefore, all patients taking TOPAMAX® for epilepsy should be told to exercise appropriate caution when engaging in any activities where loss of consciousness could result in serious danger to themselves or those around them (including swimming, driving a car, climbing in high places, etc.). Some patients with refractory epilepsy will need to avoid such activities altogether. Physicians should discuss the appropriate level of caution with their patients, before patients with epilepsy engage in such activities.
Inform pregnant women and women of childbearing potential that use of TOPAMAX® during pregnancy can cause fetal harm, including an increased risk for cleft lip and/or cleft palate (oral clefts), which occur early in pregnancy before many women know they are pregnant. There may also be risks to the fetus from chronic metabolic acidosis with use of TOPAMAX® during pregnancy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and Use In Specific Populations]. When appropriate, prescribers should counsel pregnant women and women of childbearing potential about alternative therapeutic options. This is particularly important when TOPAMAX® use is considered for a condition not usually associated with permanent injury or death.
Prescribers should advise women of childbearing potential who are not planning a pregnancy to use effective contraception while using TOPAMAX®, keeping in mind that there is a potential for decreased contraceptive efficacy when using estrogen-containing birth control with topiramate [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Encourage pregnant women using TOPAMAX®, to enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug (NAAED) Pregnancy Registry. The registry is collecting information about the safety of antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy. To enroll, patients can call the toll-free number, 1-888-233-2334. Information about the North American Drug Pregnancy Registry can be found at http://www.massgeneral.org/aed/ [see Use in Specific Populations].
Hyperammonemia and Encephalopathy
Patients should be warned about the possible development of hyperammonemia with or without encephalopathy. Although hyperammonemia may be asymptomatic, clinical symptoms of hyperammonemic encephalopathy often include acute alterations in level of consciousness and/or cognitive function with lethargy or vomiting. This hyperammonemia and encephalopathy can develop with TOPAMAX® treatment alone or with TOPAMAX® treatment with concomitant valproic acid (VPA).
Patients should be instructed to contact their physician if they develop unexplained lethargy, vomiting, or changes in mental status [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Patients, particularly those with predisposing factors, should be instructed to maintain an adequate fluid intake in order to minimize the risk of kidney stone formation [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, And Impairment Of Fertility
An increase in urinary bladder tumors was observed in mice given topiramate (20, 75, and 300 mg/kg) in the diet for 21 months. The elevated bladder tumor incidence, which was statistically significant in males and females receiving 300 mg/kg, was primarily due to the increased occurrence of a smooth muscle tumor considered histomorphologically unique to mice. Plasma exposures in mice receiving 300 mg/kg were approximately 0.5 to 1 times steady-state exposures measured in patients receiving topiramate monotherapy at the recommended human dose (RHD) of 400 mg, and 1.5 to 2 times steady-state topiramate exposures in patients receiving 400 mg of topiramate plus phenytoin. The relevance of this finding to human carcinogenic risk is uncertain. No evidence of carcinogenicity was seen in rats following oral administration of topiramate for 2 years at doses up to 120 mg/kg (approximately 3 times the RHD on a mg/m² basis).
Topiramate did not demonstrate genotoxic potential when tested in a battery of in vitro and in vivo assays. Topiramate was not mutagenic in the Ames test or the in vitro mouse lymphoma assay; it did not increase unscheduled DNA synthesis in rat hepatocytes in vitro; and it did not increase chromosomal aberrations in human lymphocytes in vitro or in rat bone marrow in vivo.
Impairment of Fertility
No adverse effects on male or female fertility were observed in rats at doses up to 100 mg/kg (2.5 times the RHD on a mg/m² basis).
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category D
[see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
TOPAMAX® (topiramate) can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Data from pregnancy registries indicate that infants exposed to topiramate in utero have an increased risk for cleft lip and/or cleft palate (oral clefts). When multiple species of pregnant animals received topiramate at clinically relevant doses, structural malformations, including craniofacial defects, and reduced fetal weights occurred in offspring. TOPAMAX® should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to a fetus [see Use In Specific Populations].
Patients should be encouraged to enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug (NAAED) Pregnancy Registry if they become pregnant. This registry is collecting information about the safety of antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy. To enroll, patients can call the toll-free number 1-888-233-2334. Information about the North American Drug Pregnancy Registry can be found at http://www.massgeneral.org/aed/.
Data from the NAAED Pregnancy Registry indicate an increased risk of oral clefts in infants exposed to topiramate monotherapy during the first trimester of pregnancy. The prevalence of oral clefts was 1.2% compared to a prevalence of 0.39% - 0.46% in infants exposed to other AEDs, and a prevalence of 0.12% in infants of mothers without epilepsy or treatment with other AEDs. For comparison, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reviewed available data on oral clefts in the United States and found a similar background rate of 0.17%. The relative risk of oral clefts in topiramate-exposed pregnancies in the NAAED Pregnancy Registry was 9.6 (95% Confidence Interval = CI 3.6 – 25.7) as compared to the risk in a background population of untreated women. The UK Epilepsy and Pregnancy Register reported a similarly increased prevalence of oral clefts of 3.2% among infants exposed to topiramate monotherapy. The observed rate of oral clefts was 16 times higher than the background rate in the UK, which is approximately 0.2%.
TOPAMAX® treatment can cause metabolic acidosis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. The effect of topiramate-induced metabolic acidosis has not been studied in pregnancy; however, metabolic acidosis in pregnancy (due to other causes) can cause decreased fetal growth, decreased fetal oxygenation, and fetal death, and may affect the fetus' ability to tolerate labor. Pregnant patients should be monitored for metabolic acidosis and treated as in the nonpregnant state [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Newborns of mothers treated with TOPAMAX® should be monitored for metabolic acidosis because of transfer of topiramate to the fetus and possible occurrence of transient metabolic acidosis following birth.
Topiramate has demonstrated selective developmental toxicity, including teratogenicity, in multiple animal species at clinically relevant doses. When oral doses of 20, 100, or 500 mg/kg were administered to pregnant mice during the period of organogenesis, the incidence of fetal malformations (primarily craniofacial defects) was increased at all doses. The low dose is approximately 0.2 times the recommended human dose (RHD) 400 mg/day on a mg/m² basis. Fetal body weights and skeletal ossification were reduced at 500 mg/kg in conjunction with decreased maternal body weight gain.
In rat studies (oral doses of 20, 100, and 500 mg/kg or 0.2, 2.5, 30, and 400 mg/kg), the frequency of limb malformations (ectrodactyly, micromelia, and amelia) was increased among the offspring of dams treated with 400 mg/kg (10 times the RHD on a mg/m² basis) or greater during the organogenesis period of pregnancy. Embryotoxicity (reduced fetal body weights, increased incidence of structural variations) was observed at doses as low as 20 mg/kg (0.5 times the RHD on a mg/m² basis). Clinical signs of maternal toxicity were seen at 400 mg/kg and above, and maternal body weight gain was reduced during treatment with 100 mg/kg or greater.
In rabbit studies (20, 60, and 180 mg/kg or 10, 35, and 120 mg/kg orally during organogenesis), embryo/fetal mortality was increased at 35 mg/kg (2 times the RHD on a mg/m² basis) or greater, and teratogenic effects (primarily rib and vertebral malformations) were observed at 120 mg/kg (6 times the RHD on a mg/m² basis). Evidence of maternal toxicity (decreased body weight gain, clinical signs, and/or mortality) was seen at 35 mg/kg and above.
When female rats were treated during the latter part of gestation and throughout lactation (0.2, 4, 20, and 100 mg/kg or 2, 20, and 200 mg/kg), offspring exhibited decreased viability and delayed physical development at 200 mg/kg (5 times the RHD on a mg/m² basis) and reductions in preand/or postweaning body weight gain at 2 mg/kg (0.05 times the RHD on a mg/m² basis) and above. Maternal toxicity (decreased body weight gain, clinical signs) was evident at 100 mg/kg or greater.
In a rat embryo/fetal development study with a postnatal component (0.2, 2.5, 30, or 400 mg/kg during organogenesis; noted above), pups exhibited delayed physical development at 400 mg/kg (10 times the RHD on a mg/m² basis) and persistent reductions in body weight gain at 30 mg/kg (1 times the RHD on a mg/m² basis) and higher.
Labor And Delivery
Although the effect of TOPAMAX® on labor and delivery in humans has not been established, the development of topiramate-induced metabolic acidosis in the mother and/or in the fetus might affect the fetus' ability to tolerate labor.
Limited data on 5 breastfeeding infants exposed to topiramate showed infant plasma topiramate levels equal to 10-20% of the maternal plasma level. The effects of this exposure on infants are unknown. Caution should be exercised when administered to a nursing woman.
Adjunctive Treatment for Partial Onset Epilepsy in Infants and Toddlers (1 to 24 months)
Safety and effectiveness in patients below the age of 2 years have not been established for the adjunctive therapy treatment of partial onset seizures, primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures, or seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. In a single randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled investigational trial, the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of topiramate oral liquid and sprinkle formulations as an adjunct to concurrent antiepileptic drug therapy in infants 1 to 24 months of age with refractory partial onset seizures were assessed. After 20 days of double-blind treatment, topiramate (at fixed doses of 5, 15, and 25 mg/kg/day) did not demonstrate efficacy compared with placebo in controlling seizures.
In general, the adverse reaction profile in this population was similar to that of older pediatric patients, although results from the above controlled study and an open-label, long-term extension study in these infants/toddlers (1 to 24 months old) suggested some adverse reactions/toxicities (not previously observed in older pediatric patients and adults; i.e., growth/length retardation, certain clinical laboratory abnormalities, and other adverse reactions/toxicities that occurred with a greater frequency and/or greater severity than had been recognized previously from studies in older pediatric patients or adults for various indications.
These very young pediatric patients appeared to experience an increased risk for infections (any topiramate dose 12%, placebo 0%) and of respiratory disorders (any topiramate dose 40%, placebo 16%). The following adverse reactions were observed in at least 3% of patients on topiramate and were 3% to 7% more frequent than in patients on placebo: viral infection, bronchitis, pharyngitis, rhinitis, otitis media, upper respiratory infection, cough, and bronchospasm. A generally similar profile was observed in older children [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Topiramate resulted in an increased incidence of patients with increased creatinine (any topiramate dose 5%, placebo 0%), BUN (any topiramate dose 3%, placebo 0%), and protein (any topiramate dose 34%, placebo 6%), and an increased incidence of decreased potassium (any topiramate dose 7%, placebo 0%). This increased frequency of abnormal values was not dose related. Creatinine was the only analyte showing a noteworthy increased incidence (topiramate 25 mg/kg/day 5%, placebo 0%) of a markedly abnormal increase [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. The significance of these findings is uncertain.
Topiramate treatment also produced a dose-related increase in the percentage of patients who had a shift from normal at baseline to high/increased (above the normal reference range) in total eosinophil count at the end of treatment. The incidence of these abnormal shifts was 6 % for placebo, 10% for 5 mg/kg/day, 9% for 15 mg/kg/day, 14% for 25 mg/kg/day, and 11% for any topiramate dose [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. There was a mean dose-related increase in alkaline phosphatase. The significance of these findings is uncertain.
Topiramate produced a dose-related increased incidence of treatment-emergent hyperammonemia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Treatment with topiramate for up to 1 year was associated with reductions in Z SCORES for length, weight, and head circumference [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and ADVERSE REACTIONS].
In open-label, uncontrolled experience, increasing impairment of adaptive behavior was documented in behavioral testing over time in this population. There was a suggestion that this effect was dose-related. However, because of the absence of an appropriate control group, it is not known if this decrement in function was treatment-related or reflects the patient's underlying disease (e.g., patients who received higher doses may have more severe underlying disease) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
In this open-label, uncontrolled study, the mortality was 37 deaths/1000 patient years. It is not possible to know whether this mortality rate is related to topiramate treatment, because the background mortality rate for a similar, significantly refractory, young pediatric population (1-24 months) with partial epilepsy is not known.
Monotherapy Treatment in Partial Onset Epilepsy in Patients < 2 Years Old
Safety and effectiveness in patients below the age of 2 years have not been established for the monotherapy treatment of epilepsy.
Migraine Prophylaxis in Pediatrics
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established for the prophylaxis treatment of migraine headache.
Topiramate treatment produced a dose-related increased shift in serum creatinine from normal at baseline to an increased value at the end of 4 months treatment in adolescent patients (ages 12-16 years) who were treated for migraine prophylaxis in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. The incidence of these abnormal shifts was 4% for placebo, 4% for 50 mg, and 18% for 100 mg [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Juvenile Animal Studies
When topiramate (30, 90, or 300 mg/kg/day) was administered orally to rats during the juvenile period of development (postnatal days 12 to 50), bone growth plate thickness was reduced in males at the highest dose, which is approximately 5-8 times the maximum recommended pediatric dose (9 mg/kg/day) on a body surface area (mg/m²) basis.
In clinical trials, 3% of patients were over 60. No age-related differences in effectiveness or adverse effects were evident. However, clinical studies of topiramate did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently than younger subjects. Dosage adjustment may be necessary for elderly with impaired renal function (creatinine clearance rate < 70 mL/min/1.73 m²) due to reduced clearance of topiramate [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
Race and Gender Effects
Evaluation of effectiveness and safety in clinical trials has shown no race- or gender-related effects.
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). One-half the usual starting and maintenance dose is recommended in patients with moderate or severe renal impairment [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis
Topiramate is cleared by hemodialysis at a rate that is 4 to 6 times greater than in a normal individual. Accordingly, a prolonged period of dialysis may cause topiramate concentration to fall below that required to maintain an anti-seizure effect. To avoid rapid drops in topiramate plasma concentration during hemodialysis, a supplemental dose of TOPAMAX® may be required.
The actual adjustment should take into account the duration of dialysis period, the clearance rate of the dialysis system being used, and the effective renal clearance of topiramate in the patient being dialyzed [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Women Of Childbearing Potential
Data from pregnancy registries indicate that infants exposed to TOPAMAX® in utero have an increased risk for cleft lip and/or cleft palate (oral clefts) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and Use in Specific Populations]. Consider the benefits and the risks of TOPAMAX® when prescribing this drug to women of childbearing potential, particularly when TOPAMAX® is considered for a condition not usually associated with permanent injury or death. Because of the risk of oral clefts to the fetus, which occur in the first trimester of pregnancy before many women know they are pregnant, all women of childbearing potential should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus from exposure to TOPAMAX®. If the decision is made to use TOPAMAX®, women who are not planning a pregnancy should use effective contraception [see DRUG INTERACTIONS]. Women who are planning a pregnancy should be counseled regarding the relative risks and benefits of TOPAMAX® use during pregnancy, and alternative therapeutic options should be considered for these patients [see PATIENT INFORMATION].
Last reviewed on RxList: 2/28/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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