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Can topiramate help treat alcoholism?

Howard J. Shaffer, PhD
Addiction Medicine
Topiramate (Topamax) is an antiseizure drug used to treat epilepsy as well as certain psychiatric conditions, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. It has been studied as a potential treatment for alcoholism; however, it is not currently Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved for that purpose. Several studies have shown that topiramate helps to promote fewer heavy-drinking days and more abstinent days. One study found the drug can be effective for people who are drinking at the time they start the medication; follow-up research with the same participants linked the drug to improvements in physical health, such as reductions in cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight.

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