Topamax Side Effects
Topamax (generic name, Topiramate) is an anti-epileptic drug that
is prescribed to control both the mild attacks (known as partial seizures)
and the severe tonic-clonic convulsions (known as grand mal seizures). It
is typically added to the patient's treatment regimen when other drugs fail
to fully control their attacks. Topamax is also approved (by the FDA) for
migraine prevention in adults only.
Topamax Side Effects
Some Topamax side effects (such as fatigue) are more likely to occur where
the patient is taking a high dosage of Topamax. Meanwhile, some other side
effects are likely to occur regardless of dosage. While many of these side
effects tend to disappear after the first eight weeks of therapy, it's still
important to report all side effects of taking Topamax to a doctor. Only a
doctor can determine if it is safe for an individual to continue taking this
Common Topamax Side Effects
These include loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, tingling in arms and legs,
taste change and weight loss.
Potentially Serious Topamax Side Effects
Serious risks associated with this prescription drug may include increased
body temperature, increased eye pressure (glaucoma), decreased sweating, kidney
stones, dizziness, sleepiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating.
It is quite possible for side effects other than those listed here to occur.
If this happens and/or if any seem particularly strange or bothersome, contact
a doctor immediately.
Special Topamax Precautions
Because it sometimes causes confusion, dizziness, fatigue, and problems with
coordination and concentration, you should not drive, operate machinery, or
participate in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness
until you are certain how Topamax may affect you.
Topamax has been known to trigger severe nearsightedness along with increased
pressure inside the eye. The problem usually occurs within a month of starting
treatment. If you develop blurred vision or eye pain, let your doctor know
immediately. Discontinuation of the drug may be necessary to prevent permanent
Let your doctor know if you have kidney problems or if you are on hemodialysis.
If this is so, your dosage of Topamax may need to be adjusted. Additionally,
ensure that the prescribing doctor is aware of any liver disorder you may
have. Topamax must be used cautiously by individuals with impaired liver function.
In animal studies, Topamax has actually caused harm to the developing fetus,
and its safety has not yet been verified in pregnant humans. It is recommended
for use during pregnancy only if the doctor feels that its potential benefit
outweighs the potential risk to the infant. Topamax may also appear in breast
milk, and its possible effect on the nursing infant remains unknown. Check
with your doctor if you plan to breastfeed the baby.
Topamax can depress the central nervous system. Be extremely cautious about
combining it with alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, and other central nervous
Additionally, if Topamax is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of
either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important
to check with your doctor before combining Topamax with any of the following
drugs - Acetazolamide (Diamox); Carbamazepine (Tegretol); Dichlorphenamide
(Daranide); Digoxin (Lanoxin); Metformin (Glucophage); Phenytoin (Dilantin);
Oral contraceptives; Valproic acid (Depakene).
Warning: This information is intended to
supplement, not be a substitute for the expertise and judgment of
a doctor. Please consult a doctor for final and more detailed information
about the possible side effects of this prescription medication.