Weight reducing and metabolic effects of topiramate in patients with migraine - An observational study

M. Schütt*, J. Brinkhoff, M. Drenckhan, H. Lehnert, C. Sommer

*Corresponding author for this work
20 Citations (Scopus)


Topiramate is an anticonvulsant agent effective in the prophylaxis of migraine, which also induces weight reduction by an unknown mechanism. We investigated the effect of topiramate on metabolic and endocrine parameters in patients with migraine independently of any intention to lose body weight. Six patients (26-61 years old, body mass indices [BMI] 20.9-32.1kg/m2) with migraine were treated with an average dose of 100mg topiramate/day over a period of 20 weeks. The following parameters were measured every 4-8 weeks: BMI, body fat proportion, waist and hip circumference, HOMA insulin resistance, fasting serum-/plasma concentrations of adiponectin, leptin, ghrelin, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), cortisol, interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. Profound metabolic changes were observed for the whole treatment period. Compared with the baseline value, 20 weeks of treatment reduced the BMI by 7.2±1.4%, body fat proportion by 11.6±3.6%, waist circumference by 4.2±1.2%, leptin by 39.2±6.5% and HOMA insulin resistance by 37.3±5%, while adiponectin was increased by 69.9±17.3% (P<0.05, respectively). VEGF concentrations increased during the week 2-4 by 177.4±39.4% (P<0.05) followed by a continuous decrease. There were trends for a reduction in ghrelin concentration, whereas cortisol, interleukin-6 and TNF-α values were unchanged. In summary, in this small sample of migraine patients topiramate treatment was associated with increased insulin sensitivity, increased adiponectin concentration and a reduction of body fat in all treated patients. The role of increased VEGF concentrations prior to these metabolic changes is not clear and might, hypothetically, involve a centrally mediated effect of topiramate on body weight regulation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExperimental and Clinical Endocrinology and Diabetes
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)449-452
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2010

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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