Biochemical and Stone-Risk Profiles With Topiramate Treatment

Brian J. Welch, Dion Graybeal, Orson W. Moe, Naim M. Maalouf, Khashayar Sakhaee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Background: Topiramate is a novel neuromodulatory agent commonly prescribed for the treatment of seizure disorders and for migraine headache prophylaxis. Calcium phosphate kidney stones have been observed with topiramate treatment, but a comprehensive elucidation of stone-risk profile was not reported previously. This study explores the relationship between topiramate treatment and propensity for kidney stone formation. Methods: Thirty-two topiramate-treated subjects and 50 healthy volunteers participated in a cross-sectional study in which serum chemistry test and 24-hour urine collection results were evaluated for stone risk. Furthermore, a short-term longitudinal study was conducted in 7 patients to assess stone risk before and 3 months after topiramate treatment. Results: Serum bicarbonate levels were lower with topiramate treatment. Urinary pH, urinary bicarbonate excretion, and fractional excretion of bicarbonate increased, whereas urinary citrate excretion was significantly lower (737 ± 329 versus 278 ± 226 mg/d; P < 0.001). Net acid excretion did not change. The relative saturation ratio for brushite increased with topiramate treatment (3.14 ± 1.69 versus 1.27 ± 1.26; P < 0.001) because of urinary alkalinization and decreased urinary citrate levels. Urinary saturation of undissociated uric acid decreased (41 ± 52 versus 76 ± 60 mg/d; P < 0.001). Conclusion: Treatment with topiramate causes systemic metabolic acidosis, markedly lower urinary citrate excretion, and increased urinary pH. These changes increase the propensity to form calcium phosphate stones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-563
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • Topiramate
  • kidney stones
  • nephrolithiasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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