Topamax is a prescription medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1997 for the treatment of complex and simple partial seizures, tonic-clonic seizures, and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. Topamax may be prescribed alone as a monotherapy or together with other drugs as an adjunctive medication. Topamax is also known by its drug name, Topiramate.
Topamax is an anticonvulsant, or drug that prevents seizures. It is believed that Topamax works in cases of epilepsy by inhibiting nerve signals.
How do I take it?
Topamax comes in tablets and sprinkle capsules. Topamax is usually taken twice a day with or without food. Whether you take it with or without food, take it consistently the same way each time. It is important to swallow the Topamax tablets whole without crushing or chewing them. Drink a full glass of water when taking Topamax. Your doctor will likely start you on a low dose of Topamax and gradually increase the dosage.
Avoid driving or operating machinery until you are certain you understand how Topamax affects you.
Do not stop taking Topamax suddenly. If you decide to stop taking Topamax, consult your physician for a plan to taper off gradually.
Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Topamax.
Common side effects of Topamax include sleepiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, bad taste in the mouth, weight loss, feeling unsteady on your feet, headache, confusion, speech problems, trouble remembering, and a tingling sensation in your hands or feet. Some of these side effects may fade as your body acclimates to Topamax.
Rarely, Topamax may cause kidney stones. Call your doctor if you experience extreme pain in your back, side, or groin, fever, frequent or painful urination, or blood in your urine while taking Topamax.
Rarely, some people experience neurological symptoms including depression or suicidal thoughts while taking Topamax. Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects.
Many drugs can cause allergic reactions that, in the most serious cases, can result in death. Seek immediate medical help if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing or swelling of the face, throat, eyes, lips or tongue.
For answers to frequently asked questions about exposure to Topiramate during pregnancy and breastfeeding, visit the experts at MothertoBaby.org.