What is Topamax used for?
TOPIRAMATE is effective in helping to control seizures (convulsions) for adults or children with various forms of epilepsy. Topiramate may also be prescribed for the other conditions, such as prevention of migraine headaches.
What should I discuss with my physician prior to taking Topamax?
Please do tell your physician if you have any of the following conditions:
- cirrhosis of the liver or other liver disease
- kidney stones
- kidney disease
- lung disease
- metabolic acidosis
- on a ketogenic diet
- suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt; a previous suicide attempt by you or a family member
- an unusual or allergic reaction to topiramate, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How is Topamax should be taken?
Take topiramate tablets and capsules orally, swallowing them as a whole with a drink of water. The capsules should never be crushed or chewed. It is possible to swallow them as a whole or open carefully and have contents sprinkled on a small amount of soft food, such as applesauce, pudding, ice cream, oatmeal, or yogurt. This mixture must be swallowed immediately; do not chew or store the sprinkles on the food for later use. Ensure that you are taking the entire dose. You may take topiramate with meals. Your doses should be taken at the regular intervals. You should never take this medicine more often than prescribed.
Topiramate should be taken on a daily basis as prescribed by your health care professional for the prevention of migraine headaches. Topiramate should not be used to 'abort' or stop the migraine once it has started.
Inquire with your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine by children. Special care might be necessary. Topiramate has been used by children for the treatment of the various seizure disorders.
What to do if I missed a dose of Topamax?
If you missed a dose, it should be taken as soon as possible. If the time has almost come for the next dose, only that one should be taken. You should never take double or extra doses; a single doze is sufficient for the purposes.
What are the possible interactions of Topamax with the other medicine/food/etc?
- birth control pills or other hormones for birth control, including implants or injections
- medications for pain, sleep, or muscle relaxation
- phenobarbital or primidone
- valproic acid
Provide your physician with a list of all the medicine, including herbs and non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements that you are using. Do let them know if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use any of the illegal drugs or drinks with caffeine or alcohol. Some of those items may also interact with your medicine, causing undesired consequenses. Please always consult with your health care professional prior to stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What should I watch for while taking Topamax?
Pay regular visits to your prescriber or health care professional for check-ups on your progress. You should never stop taking this medicine abruptly. This increases the risk of seizures if you are using this medicine to control epilepsy. Wear a Medic Alert bracelet or necklace. Carry an identification card with information about your condition, medications, and prescriber or health care professional on you.
You should drink plenty of fluids during the treatment course with this medicine. If you have had kidney stones in the past, this will help to reduce the chances of them forming again.
If you have stomach pains with nausea or vomiting and yellowing of your eyes or skin, call your health care provider immediately.
You may get drowsy, dizzy, or have blurred vision. You shouldn’t drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how exactly this medicine affects you. To reduce dizziness, do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol can increase drowsiness and dizziness. Refrain from using alcohol at all costs.
If you take birth control pills, this medicine may reduce their effectiveness at preventing pregnancy. Notify your prescriber or health care professional if you notice changes in your monthly cycles or bleeding patterns. You may want to discuss birth control options with your health care provider.
The use of this medicine may increase the chance of suicidal thoughts or actions. Pay special attention to how you are responding while on this medicine. Any worsening of mood, or thoughts of suicide or dying should be reported to your health care professional right away.
If you notice blurred vision, eye pain, or other eye problems, seek medical attention right away for an eye exam.
If you are going to have a surgery, tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are taking this medicine.
Does Topamax have any possible side effects?
The following side effects should be reported to your doctor or health care professional as soon as they are noticed:
- agitation, restlessness, irritability, or other changes in mood
- decreased sweating and/or rise in body temperature
- difficulty breathing
- difficulty speaking
- difficulty walking or controlling muscle movements
- eye pain, redness or swelling
- hearing impairment
- kidney stones (severe pain in the side or back, or on urination)
- nose bleeds
- redness, blistering, skin peeling or loosening, including inside the mouth
- skin rash, itching
- stomach pain with nausea or vomiting
- swelling of the face, lips or tongue
- tingling, pain or numbness in the hands or feet
- unusual weakness or tiredness
- vision problems, like blurred vision
- worsening of mood, thoughts or actions of suicide or dying
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
The side effects listed below usually do not necessarily require any medical attention (please do report them to your physician if they are recurrent or bothersome):
- back pain, joint aches and pains
- breast pain
- diarrhea, or constipation
- difficulty sleeping
- dizziness, drowsiness
- dry mouth
- heartburn or stomach acid reflux
- hot flashes
- loss of appetite
- menstrual disorder
- muscle aches or pains
- swelling of the gums
- stomach upset, indigestion
- stuffy, runny nose
- tiredness or weakness
- taste altered
Other side effects are also possible, the above list is not all inclusive.
Where should I store Topamax?
Keep this medicine out of the children’s reach. in a container that they cannot open.
This medicine should be stored at room temperatures between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F) in a tightly closed container. Keep away from moisture. Dispose of any unused medicine after the expiry date is reached.