The U.S. FDA has approved Topamax (topiramate) tablets and sprinkle capsules as an adjunctive (add-on) treatment for adults and children (age 2-16) suffering from seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) is one of the most severe forms of epilepsy.
Individuals who suffer from this illness experience dozens of seizures a day, many of which are resistant to most anti-epileptic drugs.
In some cases, LGS seizures are fatal.
The condition typically first occurs in early childhood and accounts for up to 10 percent of all cases of pediatric epilepsy.
“Lennox-Gastaut is a devastating form of epilepsy, particularly for children. Patients are often developmentally delayed and suffer seizures that are severe, very tough to control and may even lead to injuries,” says Tracy Glauser, MD, director of the Children’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Cincinnati Hospital Medical Center and a member of the professional advisory board of the Epilepsy Foundation of America.
“Until now, anti-epileptic drugs have either not been effective for Lennox-Gastaut, or have had significant side effects, so topiramate offers hope for children and adults with this disease. The results of the study of topiramate in Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome are impressive, given how difficult this condition can be to treat — particularly in young children,” says John Pellock, MD, chairman of child neurology at the Medical College of Virginia and one of the investigators in the study.
“The evidence suggests that topiramate will be a valuable addition to our arsenal against this serious condition.” Topamax was discovered and developed by the R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute, and is marketed in the United States by Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, a Johnson & Johnson company.
Based in Raritan, NJ, Ortho- McNeil markets pharmaceutical products in several therapeutic categories, including central nervous system disorders, infectious diseases, wound healing and women’s health.