Overview of Topiramate
for Cats and Dogs
Topiramate, also known as Topamax® and Topiragen®, is a drug used in veterinary medicine to treat seizures disorders in dogs and cats. A partial seizure involves only a portion of the body whereas a generalized (grand mal) seizure involves the entire body. Many dogs are affected with chronic seizures and require treatment to control these events. For many years topiramate was not commonly prescribed due to high cost, but the recent development of a generic formulation has made this drug affordable for use in dogs and cats.
- Topiramate is typically not given as the primary method of seizure control but used in conjunction with other anticonvulsive drugs. It is commonly used in dogs with cluster seizures (several seizures in a short period of time).
- This drug works by blocking repetitive nerve stimulations, thus reducing seizures.
- Topiramate is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
- This drug is not approved for use in animals by the Food and Drug Administration but it is prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label drug.
Brand Names and Other Names
- Human formulations: Topamax® (Jansesen), Topiragen® (Upsher-Smith) and various generic formulations
- Veterinary formulations: None
Uses of Topiramate
for Cats and Dogs
- This drug is used to treat seizure disorders in combination therapy with other anticonvulsant drugs.
Precautions and Side Effects with Topiramate
- While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, topiramate can cause side effects in some animals.
- This drug should not be used in animals with a known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug, or pets with impaired liver or kidney function. It should be used with caution in pregnant or nursing pets.
- Topiramate may interact with other medications such as amitriptyline, acetazolamide, dichlorphenamide, lamotrigine, phenytoin, and valproic acid. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with this drug.
- One of the most common side effects of Topiramate is sedation, which is typically transient. Additional side effects may include lack of appetite, vomiting, weight loss, and ataxia (stumbling).
How Topiramate is Supplied
- Topiramate (Topamax®) is available in 25, 50, and 100 mg tablets. It is also available in “sprinkle” capsules containing 15 or 25 mg of medication.
- This drug is available in generic formulations.
Dosing Information of Topiramate
for Cats and Dogs
- Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
- In dogs, treatment with topiramate is started at 2.5 to 5 mg per pound (5 to 10 mg/kg) every 12 hours.
- In cats, treatment with topiramate is started at 12.5 to 25 mg total dose can be used every 8 to 12 hours. However, topiramate is not commonly used in cats due to the possibility of side effects including appetite loss.
- Therapeutic blood monitoring is not routinely recommended. When performed, the suggested therapeutic range is 2-25 mg/L based on limited data.
- Do not stop administering the drug abruptly or rebound seizures may occur.
- The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication, and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse or the development of resistance.