Headache

26 February 2008

Migraine drug jumbles words

Migraine patients taking topiramate, a drug used to stave off the debilitating headaches, may experience disturbances in language, according to a recent report.

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Migraine patients taking topiramate, a drug used to stave off the debilitating headaches, may experience disturbances in language, according to a recent report.

Thinking difficulties have been reported in patients taking topiramate, the authors explain, but they have never been defined and assessed with the aid of standardised tests.

Dr Francesca Coppola from the University of Perugia, Italy and associates investigated the occurrence of language disturbances in 30 migraine patients treated with topiramate, sold under the trade name Topamax, compared with patients treated with other drugs or untreated patients.

Problems tied to pill
Eight patients in the topiramate group experienced language problems compared with none of the patients in the other groups.

Language disturbances generally occurred within the first month of treatment, were of mild severity, and did not require further adjustment of dosages or discontinuation of topiramate.

The disturbances included difficulty finding words, slowing of verbal expression, changes of one word with another with the same meaning, need to search for the right word, production of nonexistent words deriving from the fusion of two words, or occasional difficulty in naming objects.

The presence of anxiety or depression worsened performance on some of the tests, the report indicates.

In light of these findings, the researchers call for further studies comparing topiramate with similar drugs.

SOURCE: Headache, January 2008. – (Reuters Health)

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Headache and migraine Centre

February 2008

 

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Dr Elliot Shevel is a South African migraine surgery pioneer and the founder and medical director of The Headache Clinic in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, South Africa. The Headache Clinic is a multidisciplinary practice dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of Primary Headaches and Migraines. Dr Shevel is also the main author of all scientific publications generated by his team. He recently won a high level science debate in which he was able to prove that the current migraine diagnosis and classification is not based on data. Tertiary Education - Dr Shevel holds both Dental and Medical degrees, and practises as a specialist Maxillo-facial and Oral Surgeon. Follow the Headache Clinic on Twitter@HeadacheClinic.

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