Topamax is the name of topiramate, an anticonvulsant used to prevent seizures and reduce the frequency of migraine.
Although its precise mechanism of action is not known, studies show that Topamax can alter the production or action of neurotransmitters in the brain by suppressing abnormal nerve activity in the brain that causes seizures or prevent the spread of abnormal activity to other nerves. Other studies have shown that it can suppress nerves directly, thereby making them less likely.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Topamax for the treatment of seizures in 1996.
In 2004, Topamax received FDA approval for migraine prevention. ManufacturedJanssen Pharmaceuticals, Topamax is now the number one drug for migraine prevention in the United States.
It is used to stop migraine headaches that occur at the age of 12 years and older. It can not be used to treat a headache that has already begun, but the drug can help reduce the amount of painful migraine.
Topamax and weight loss
Doctors sometimes prescribe Topamax because they help reduce weight in people with eating disorders, such as bulimia nervosa and eating disorders.
It is unclear why Topamax is effective for these purposes; but it is believed that the same properties that allow him to control migraines and seizures are also aimed at blocking the brain network that cause appetite.
Although there have been several studies confirming the effectiveness of Topamax for weight loss, there remain some concerns about its long-term safety. In addition, the drug has anxious, sometimes serious side effects.
As a result, this is not the best option for weight loss in patients with eating disorders.
According to the recommendations published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), Topamax is recommended only when other methods of treatment were ineffective.
Topamax should only be used for the intended purpose and under the supervision of a medical professional. If you have an eating disorder, ask your doctor if Topamax is right for you.
Topamax can lead to serious eye problems, which, if left untreated, can cause permanent loss of vision. These include a sudden drop in vision, which can be accompanied by pain in the eyes and redness, and can also lead to glaucoma.
Topamax can reduce sweating and increase body temperature, leading to fever. Some people may require hospitalization if this happens.
The use of this drug can increase the level of acid in the blood, causing metabolic acidosis. Symptoms may include loss of appetite, a feeling of fatigue, changes in the heartbeat, or problems with clear thinking.
If metabolic acidosis is not treated, it can cause brittle bones leading to osteoporosis or other conditions. It can also lead to kidney stones or slow the rate of growth in children.
In a small number of people, Topamax is known to cause suicidal thoughts or actions, anxiety, irritability and depression, as well as feelings of anxiety, aggression, panic attacks, mania and insomnia.
This medication can also cause drowsiness and affect your ability to think, causing confusion and problems with concentration of attention, memory and speech.
Do not stop taking Topamax without first talking to your doctor. Sudden withdrawal can lead to serious health problems.
To help your doctor decide if he should prescribe Topamax, you must disclose all of your medical conditions and determine if you are allergic to the drug. Tell your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- Kidney disease
- You have severe breathing problems
- Glaucoma or other eye conditions
- Osteomalacia, growth disorder and liver disease
- History of mood disorders, such as depression or suicidal thoughts and actions
Pregnancy and Topamax
If you use birth control pills, you should know that Topamax can make them less effective. Use condoms to prevent pregnancy.
Taking Topamaz during pregnancy can increase the risk of developing health problems in your child. It is important to tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking the drug. You should not stop taking Topamax unless your doctor advises you to do so.
Be sure to tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, as Topamax can get into your milk and harm your baby.
Common side effects
Some side effects may disappear after your body becomes accustomed to the drug. If they do not disappear or worsen, tell your doctor. More common complaints in this category are tremor and chest pain in women.
Some of the less common side effects may include pain in the legs, chest and back, as well as constipation, heartburn, increased sweating and hot flashes.
Side effects that require that you immediately talk with your doctor:
- Blurred or rapidly diminishing vision
- Dvoitsya in the eyes
- Pain in the eyes and redness
- Increased eye pressure
- Tingling sensations
- Awkwardness / shakiness
Other symptoms that require attention:
- Continuous, uncontrolled movement backward and forward or eye movement
- Problems with memory
- Menstrual pain and cycle change
- Slowing of mental and physical activity
- Concentration on problems
- Unusual weakness or fatigue
- Speech / language problems
Serious side effects
- Mood changes, such as aggression, apathy and depression
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Fever, chills, or sore throat
- Decreased sensation or perception
- Red, irritated or bleeding gums
Rare side effects:
- Blood in the urine
- Frequent, severe or painful urination
- Loss of control of the bladder
- Decreased sexual activity / desire
- Pinging or buzzing in the ears
- Hearing Loss
- Skin rash
- Labored breathing
- Pale skin
- Red or irritated eyes
- Back pain
Topomax and its interactions with drugs
Before you start working with Topamax, always give your doctor a list of all the drugs that you use.
The use of carbamazepine (Tegretol) or phenytoin (Dilantin) can increase the output ofTopamax from your body, which makes it less effective.
The following drugs may increase the risk of kidney stones and metabolic acidosis:
- Acetazolamide (diamox)
- Dorzolamide (Trusopt)
- Metazolamide (Neptazan)
- Dichlorophenamide (Daranide)
If you combine Topamax with valproic acid (Depakote, Depakote ER, Depakene, Depacon, Stavzor), it can raise the level of ammonia in the blood, causing hypothermia.
In addition, Topamax at higher doses can increase the levels of lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid).
Topamax and alcohol
Never mix alcohol and Topamax together, as this can cause side effects such as drowsiness and dizziness. In addition, Topamax can slow down your mental and motor skills and / or affect your vision, so do not drive until you know how this drug affects you.
Topamax is available in tablets (25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg and 200 mg), sustained-release capsules (25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg) and irrigation capsules (15 mg and 25 mg), which can be taken orally or sprinkled on soft food.
Those who take Topamax usually start with a low dose of 25 or 50 mg per day (divided into two doses), slowly increasing it by 25-50 mg per week until an effective daily dose is reached.
In the case of adults and children aged 10 years and older, the dose may be increased to 100 mg. The final recommended dose for adults is 400 mg, taken in two divided doses per day.
Children should start up to 25 mg taken every night during the first week, with the dose increasing at intervals of 1 or 2 weeks. The maximum maintenance dose is based on weight.
Patients with migraine usually receive 25 mg every night for the first week, with a dose increased by 25 mg per week. The maximum dose is 100 mg, which should be taken in two doses.
Be sure to drink enough liquid to help minimize the risk of kidney stones.
If you think you have taken too much of Topamax, call for emergency help or consult a doctor immediately.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- Decreased awareness or responsiveness
- Severe or unusual drowsiness
- Dizziness when suddenly rising from a lying or sitting position
Missing dose of Topamax
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if you took the drug within the last 6 hours, skip it and continue your regular schedule. Never take an extra dose to make up for lost time. If you miss more than one dose, consult a doctor.