Review of the use of topiramate for treatment of psychiatric disorders

Danilo Arnone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Topiramate is a new antiepileptic drug, originally designed as an oral hypoglycaemic subsequently approved as anticonvulsant. It has increasingly been used in the treatment of numerous psychiatric conditions and it has also been associated with weight loss potentially relevant in reversing weight gain induced by psychotropic medications. This article reviews pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profile of topiramate, its biological putative role in treating psychiatric disorders and its relevance in clinical practice. Methods: A comprehensive search from a range of databases was conducted and papers addressing the topic were selected. Results: Thirty-two published reports met criteria for inclusion, 4 controlled and 28 uncontrolled studies. Five unpublished controlled studies were also identified in the treatment of acute mania. Conclusions: Topiramate lacks efficacy in the treatment of acute mania. Increasing evidence, based on controlled studies, supports the use of topiramate in binge eating disorders, bulimia nervosa, alcohol dependence and possibly in bipolar disorders in depressive phase. In the treatment of rapid cycling bipolar disorders, as adjunctive treatment in refractory bipolar disorder in adults and children, schizophrenia, posttraumatic stress disorder, unipolar depression, emotionally unstable personality disorder and Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome the evidence is entirely based on open label studies, case reports and case series. Regarding weight loss, findings are encouraging and have potential implications in reversing increased body weight, normalisation of glycemic control and blood pressure. Topiramate was generally well tolerated and serious adverse events were rare.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of General Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 16 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Mood stabilisers
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Psychotropic medications
  • Topiramate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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