Antiseizure Drug Also Can Lower BP

OCTOBER 01, 2005

A Norwegian study showed signs that a drug commonly used to prevent seizures also can reduce blood pressure (BP) as well as body weight in obese patients with hypertension. The drug topiramate (Topamax) is usually given to epileptic patients whose seizures are uncontrolled by other antiseizure medications.

The study involved 531 obese patients who were given either a placebo, one dose of topiramate, or 2 doses. The patients were instructed to follow a standardized diet along with an exercise plan and behavioral modification. At the end of 28 weeks, the average weight loss for the placebo group, the lower-dose topiramate group, and the higher-dose topiramate group was 1.9%, 5.9%, and 6.5%, respectively.

Decreases in BP readings also were significantly higher for the topiramate groups. Researchers noted that the number of patients who lost at least 5% of their total body weight was significantly higher in the 2 topiramate groups than in the placebo group. No difference in results was noted between the controlled- release formulation of the drug and the immediate-release formulation.