Antiseizure Drug Also Can Lower BP
A Norwegian study showed signs that a drug commonlyused 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 epilepticpatients whose seizures are uncontrolled by other antiseizuremedications.
The study involved 531 obese patients who were given eithera placebo, one dose of topiramate, or 2 doses. The patients wereinstructed to follow a standardized diet along with an exerciseplan and behavioral modification. At the end of 28 weeks, theaverage weight loss for the placebo group, the lower-dose topiramategroup, and the higher-dose topiramate group was 1.9%,5.9%, and 6.5%, respectively.
Decreases in BP readings also were significantly higher forthe topiramate groups. Researchers noted that the number ofpatients who lost at least 5% of their total body weight was significantlyhigher in the 2 topiramate groups than in the placebogroup. No difference in results was noted between the controlled-release formulation of the drug and the immediate-releaseformulation.