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About topiramate

Topiramate is a medicine used to treat epilepsy. These are also called anti-epileptic medicines.

It can also be taken to help prevent migraine.

Topiramate works by reducing bursts of electrical activity in your brain and restoring the normal balance of nerve activity.

This medicine is only available on prescription. It comes as tablets, capsules and a liquid you swallow.

Key facts

  • If you're taking topiramate for epilepsy, it can take 2 to 4 weeks to work fully. If you're taking it to prevent migraines, it can take up to 3 months for it to work fully.
  • You'll usually take topiramate twice a day. You can take it with or without food.
  • Common side effects of topiramate include feeling sleepy, feeling dizzy, diarrhoea and feeling sick. These are usually mild and go away by themselves. Do not drive, cycle or use machinery if you're feeling sleepy or dizzy.
  • If you want to switch from topiramate to another medicine, it's very important to follow your doctor's advice. You'll need to start taking the new one at a low dose and slowly build up the dose while you're still taking topiramate.
  • If you have epilepsy, you're entitled to free prescriptions for all of your medicines, not just your epilepsy ones.

Page last reviewed: 4 April 2022
Next review due: 4 April 2025