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High Uric Acid Levels Seen in Topamax Patients

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Topamax (topiramate) study has found that people taking the drug for migraines have higher levels of uric acid in their blood, which may increase their risk for heart problems. It is known that excess uric acid in the body can create oxidative stress, which damages body cells and contributes to diseases, including the buildup of artery-clogging plaques.

For this new Topamax study, researchers from  Duzce University in Turkey measured blood uric acid, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in 53 patients with migraine who were receiving Topamax, as well as in 44 matched control subjects not treated with the drug.

In the Topamax patients for whom pretreatment uric acid levels were known, average uric acid levels were significantly higher after initiation of treatment than in the pretreatment measurements. Among the patients, average uric acid levels were significantly higher in the migraine patients receiving Topamax.   Average serum triglyceride and total cholesterol levels were also higher in the migraine group, but the researchers said the differences were not statistically significant.

Topamax use has been linked to decreases in body weight and kidney stones, but no studies have looked at its affect on uric acid levels until now. Considering the potential link between abnormally high uric acid levels and cardiovascular complications, “more emphasis should be put on the topiramate-related complications” such as high uric acid levels, the study authors wrote.

Topamax, made by Ortho-McNeil Neurologics, a division of Johnson & Johnson, was originally approved to treat epilepsy in adults and children.   In 2004, the approved uses of Topamax were expanded to include the prevention of migraine headaches.  Generic versions of Topamax were approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006. Topamax is also used off-label to treat bipolar disorder.

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