Antiepilepsy drug not to be used for weight loss: TGA

THE TGA has warned clinicians not to prescribe topiramate to treat obesity, because of potentially serious side effects.

Topiramate has only been authorised for treatment of epilepsy in adults and children aged two years or older, and for the prevention of migraine headaches in adults, the TGA said in a statement.

Weight loss was a common side effect of topiramate as it suppresses appetite, leading some to argue for its use as an anti-obesity drug despite side effects including cognitive impairment, numbness, taste distortion, fatigue and dizziness.

“The TGA has not approved the use of topiramate to assist with weight loss and is advising health professionals and consumers that its use for this indication is associated with serious adverse events,” the regulator said in a post on its website.