Intravenous topiramate: Safety and pharmacokinetics following a single dose in patients with epilepsy or migraines taking oral topiramate

Anne M. Clark, Robert L. Kriel, Ilo E. Leppik, James R. White, Thomas R. Henry, Richard C. Brundage, James C. Cloyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Summary Purpose Although topiramate is widely prescribed for epilepsy and migraine, there is no intravenous product. We have developed an injectable topiramate formulation in which the drug is solubilized in a cyclodextrin matrix, Captisol® (Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Inc., La Jolla, CA). Our long-term goal is to evaluate intravenous topiramate for the treatment of neonatal seizures. Prior to studies in newborns, we carried out an investigation of injectable topiramate's safety and pharmacokinetics in adult patients. Methods Twenty adult volunteers with epilepsy or migraine on stable, on maintenance topiramate therapy were given 25 mg of a stable-labeled intravenous topiramate over 10 min, followed by their usual oral doses. Vital signs were taken, electrocardiography studies (ECGs) were recorded, and the infusion sites were periodically examined prior to and up to 24 h after dosing. Blood samples were collected prior to administration and serially for 96 h thereafter. Plasma concentrations of both stable-labeled and regular topiramate were measured using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Concentration-time data were analyzed using a noncompartmental approach with WinNonlin 5.2 (Pharsight Corporation, Mountain View, CA, U.S.A.). Key Findings Seven patients experienced one or more of the following minor adverse events including nausea and vomiting (1), tingling around the lips (1), paresthesia in the arms and legs (1), and a mild vasovagal response with intravenous catheter placement (1). Included in the adverse events were four patients with epilepsy who had seizures consistent with their histories. There were no changes in heart rate, blood pressure, or ECG results, and there were no infusion site reactions. Pharmacokinetic parameters (mean ± standard deviation [SD]) determined following the intravenous dose included absolute bioavailability: 110 ± 16%, distribution volume: 0.79 ± 0.22 L/kg, clearance: 2.03 ± 1.07 L/h, and elimination half-life: 27.6 ± 9.7 h. Distribution volume, half-life, and clearance were significantly altered by enzyme-inducing drugs. Significance A single 25-mg dose of intravenous topiramate caused minimal infusion site or systemic adverse effects in patients taking oral topiramate. Pharmacokinetic results show that oral topiramate is completely absorbed and that its steady-state elimination half-life is longer than previously assumed, which permits once or twice daily dosing even in the presence of enzyme-inducing drugs. The information from this study can inform the design of subsequent studies in adults, older children, and newborns, including controlled clinical trials intended to determine the efficacy and safety of intravenous topiramate for neonatal seizures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1106-1111
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Antiepileptic drug
  • Intravenous
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Topiramate


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