Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Topamax Times

I had a doctor’s appointment by coincidence today and the doctor decided to double my Topamax prescription from 25mgs to 50mgs.

If you aren’t familiar with Topamax, it is an anti-seizure medicine that is also used in the prevention of migraines.

It is one of those medicines that has a list of side effects and warnings that is a mile long.

Just for medicines you should be careful with:

Be sure to mention any of the following: acetazolamide (Diamox); amitriptyline; antidepressants; antihistamines; dichlorphenamide (Daranide); digoxin (Lanoxin, Digitek); hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide, Oretic); ipratropium (Atrovent); iron; isoniazid (INH, Nydrazid); lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid); medications for anxiety, irritable bowel disease, mental illness, motion sickness, Parkinson's disease, ulcers, or urinary problems; metformin (Glucophage); methazolamide; hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, rings, implants, or injections); other medications for seizures such as carbamazepine (Tegretol) and phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek); pioglitazone (Actos); risperidone (Risperdal); salicylate pain relievers such as aspirin, choline magnesium trisalicylate (Trisalate), choline salicylate (Arthropan), diflunisal (Dolobid), magnesium salicylate (Doan's, others), and salsalate (Argesic, Disalcid, Salgesic); sedatives; sleeping pills; tranquilizers; valproic acid (Depakene, Depakote); and zonisamide (Zonegran). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.

The highlight ones are ones I take.

This side effect makes me a little nervous:

you should know that your mental health may change in unexpected ways and you may become suicidal (thinking about harming or killing yourself or planning or trying to do so) while you are taking topiramate for the treatment of epilepsy, mental illness, or other conditions.

Oh goody! Here’s some more wonderful side effects:

  • numbness, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet

  • slowed reactions

  • difficulty concentrating

  • speech problems, especially difficulty thinking of specific words

  • memory problems

  • lack of coordination

  • confusion

  • nervousness

  • aggressive behavior

  • irritability

  • mood swings

  • depression

  • headache

  • drowsiness

  • weakness

  • excessive movement

  • uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body

  • uncontrollable eye movements

  • extreme thirst

  • weight loss

  • constipation

  • diarrhea

  • gas

  • heartburn

  • change in ability to taste food

  • swelling of the tongue

  • overgrowth of the gums

  • dry mouth

  • increased saliva

  • trouble swallowing

  • nosebleed

  • teary or dry eyes

  • back, muscle, or bone pain

  • missed menstrual periods

  • excessive menstrual bleeding

  • skin problems or changes in skin color

  • dandruff

  • hair loss

  • growth of hair in unusual places

  • ringing in the ears

  • difficulty falling or staying asleep

  • swelling of the hands, arms, feet, ankles, or lower legs

  • difficulty urinating or pain when urinating

Ugh. I did not have many bad side effects with 25mgs. Let’s hope that it continues to be that way. I take it before bed. It fascinates me that all of this can come from 1 little pill.

All of my information came from the US National Library of Medicine’s page on topiramate.


  1. I just weaned off 200mg after two and a half years. If you have any questions or need commiseration, let me know.

  2. My goodness! What a list of side effects. I hope you don't have any problems with the extra dosage.

  3. That is a scary list of side effects. Be careful and take notice. I'm sure you will:)

  4. Hi Jen, still reading! I was on Topiramate for quite a while. I had no problems at all. In fact, it was fairly wonderful and I am now wondering why I came off it. It is not used quite so much over here, and I think I persuaded my chap to stick me on it. I wouldn't worry too much about all the side effects. If I read the list on any of my stuff they all say pretty much the same. But yes, the one I was not told about was the contraceptive pill. Had no idea that was the case, resumed as normal, and luckily nothing happened. For some reason that tends to be one they gloss over, at least in my experience. And one that was fairly vital, wouldn't you think?

    Good luck with the increase Jen, and I wouldn't worry. If you are on the stuff already then you would undoubtedly know about it if it didn't agree with you.

    xx P

    1. Good to see you!

      I have the Mirena IUD so yeah, it is sort of important, isn't it?

  5. Hey Jen! I was taking Topamax and I had the numbness in my hands and the inability to remember words.

    That was the one I couldn't deal with. Hope you don't have any of these *possible* side effects.

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  7. There needs to be more policy regarding the use of the medicine. This is to control its abuse.

  8. This is why it's important to check for the right medicine. It's about providing the treatment without harmful effects.

  9. Check the medicine before taking it. You have to be sure it won't have too much side effects.

  10. Thank you very much for sharing, it's very important to know what your taking.

  11. This is very surprising, now I know what are the side effects of this type of pain killer. Thanks.


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