The precise mechanism of action of topiramate is not known. However, studies have shown that topiramate blocks the action potentials elicited repetitively by a sustained depolarization of the neurons in a time-dependent manner, suggesting a state-dependent sodium channel blocking action. Topiramate also augments the activity of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyrate (GABA) at some subtypes of the GABAA receptor (controls an integral chloride channel), indicating a possible mechanism through potentiation of the activity of GABA. Topiramate also demonstrates antagonism of the AMPA/kainate subtype of the glutamate excitatory amino acid receptor. It also inhibits carbonic anhydrase (particularly isozymes II and IV), but this action is weak and unlikely to be related to its anticonvulsant actions.
Topiramate is an anticonvulsant indicated in the treatment of epilepsy and migraine. Topiramate enhances GABA-activated chloride channels. In addition, topiramate inhibits excitatory neurotransmission, through actions on kainate and AMPA receptors. There is evidence that topiramate has a specific effect on GluR5 kainate receptors. It is also an inhibitor of carbonic anhydrase, particular subtypes II and IV, but this action is weak and unlikely to be related to its anticonvulsant actions, but may account for the bad taste and the development of renal stones seen during treatment. Its possible effect as a mood stabilizer seems to occur before anticonvulsant qualities at lower dosages. Topiramate inhibits maximal electroshock and pentylenetetrazol-induced seizures as well as partial and secundarily generalized tonic-clonic seizures in the kindling model, findings predective of a broad spectrum of antiseizure activities clinically.
Not extensively metabolized, 70% of the dose is eliminated unchanged in the urine. The other 30% is metabolized hepatically to six metabolites (formed by hydroxylation, hydrolysis, and glucuronidation), none of which constitute more than 5% of an administered dose.
Symptoms of overdose include abdominal pain, agitation, blurred vision, convulsions, depression, dizziness, double vision, drowsiness, impaired coordination, impaired mental activity, low blood pressure, reduced consciousness, severe diarrhea, sluggishness, and speech problems.