topamax and stomach problems

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dee37
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 12/13/2006 10:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I have a question about Topamax. I've been on it now for about 2 years and have done well. I've been taking 75mg but my migraines have been getting worse due to stress and other stuff so I went back up to me original starting dose, 100mg.

I've done this before and it seems that everytime I start to have some stomache issues. Bad cramps, and everything I eat runs right through. I did loose weight when I started but it leveled off, but it just seems when I try to increase it my stomach really acts up pretty bad. But the migraines get better. Just can't get past 75mg's anymore and I don't know why.

Does anyone else ever had any stomach problems on Topamax?

Thanks for any info-

Donna

SaraM
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/14/2006 1:42 PM (GMT -6)   

Dee,

I'm not going to mince words here.  I experienced major constipation while on Topamax, but I am not sure, and neither is my doctor, that Topamax caused it.  I ended up going off of it because I could not find anything, even prescription med, to make me go to the bathroom.  It scared me.  Finally found Benefiber, which was great, but not sure if it was the Benefiber or going off the Topamax or a little of both that really worked.  But I'm about to go back on Topamax today because of reading on these forums that the side effects eventually go away, and my migraines are getting worse again and lasting longer than a day.  Concerning the stomach issues as a side effect of Topamax, you don't read many people having this.  If you look at the side effects in the insert, stomach issues are rare but possible.  I guess we might be in the rare category.  Good luck.  Perhaps if you stick with it, the side effects will go away.

 


mommyto3
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 12/14/2006 4:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Dee,

I've been on Topomax for almost 6 weeks now. Some constipation like Sara said, but I am taking another med that is constipating too for my headache problems...so I can't really blame it on Topomax for sure!! However, it is manageable and like I said I can't directly link it with the topomax and that wasn't my initial medication connection until reading this post it was one of my other headache meds...I have never had the diarrhea side of it--I would see what your doctor says---or maybe there is something they could do to help with it?

Take care and I hope you find some relief with a combo that works!!

dee37
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 12/14/2006 10:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the replys. I kinda wish I had that problem, I have the very opposite. I did forget to mention also that I have diverticulitis, but I do watch what I eat and I really don't think that's it. It only seems to happen once I go up to 100mg of Topamax. Kinda weird. It's tough because back on the 100mg, I feel a difference, a better control with the migraines, but then I get the stomach issues. I've been very stressed out too and I have a very "nervous stomach" so that doesn't help either. Time to go back to the doctor I guess.
Thanks again-

Dee

mommyto3
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 12/15/2006 8:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Is there any chance that there is any thing else going on like IBS-Irritable Bowel Syndrome? I have this and my normal patterns of IBS are cramping and diarrhea, but thanks to the side effects of the meds have gone the other way!! But, for many many years I was on medication.

But, then I don't know if IBS make sense only happening when there is a medication increase to 100mg-hmmm--(definently more than I know about IBS---I know there are triggers to it)....

Stress always brought out the worse in my tummy and certain other odd things(mostly food)...Not sure about the Topamax thing though...Like you said it's time for a trip back to the doctor to work it out!! We all react soo differently to things..

Take Care!

kymark
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 12/15/2006 10:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Donna,

I had similar stomach problems when I went from 150mg to 200mg. I stuck it out for over a month, then dropped back to 150mg when I wasn't getting any additional headache relief and the side effects weren't going away.

Another thing you might try discussing with your doc is combining Topamax with other meds. I'm also on amitryptyline, which my doc suggested I wean myself off of since I started on the Topamax. When I did, the headaches got worse, so I started it back up and the headaches got better. By combining smaller doses of several different meds, I'm hoping to get some relief with minimal side effects. It's all a process of experimentation with headache meds!!

KYMark

dee37
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 12/15/2006 7:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Kymark, It's funny the same thing happened to me. I too was on Amitriptyline for a long long time. I'm gonna say about 15 years. I stayed with about 75mg's of that drug, but when I started Topamax my neurologist said the same thing. I had to wean myself off the Amitriptyline before I was to start the Topamax, so I did. But I didn't go back on it, to be honest I didn't think I could. I really miss that drug too. It helped me sleep and made me relax at night, plus helped with some mild depression. Thanks for mentioning that, I will talk to my doctor about maybe adding that back in at a small dose.

Do you mind telling me what dose of the Amitriptyline you are on?
Thanks!

Dee

kymark
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 12/16/2006 12:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Dee,

25mg nightly. I was as high as 75mg, if I remember correctly, but mostly 50mg for many years (10 or so). I, too, have gotten very reliant on it for sleeping and found it much harder to get to sleep at night when I stopped taking it for a month or so.

When I first went on amitriptyline, I put on 40 pounds (in about the first 6 months) and then couldn't lose it. Then, as soon as I started on the Topamax, I started losing weight -- I've dropped 30 of the pounds, despite continuing on low levels of amitryptiline for most of that time! Between the weight and the sleep, I feel sort of like a puppet being manipulated by the side effects of medications at times!!!

Mark

Mandalynn210
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 12/18/2006 5:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I've only been on 25mg in the evening for about 6 days but I do have the stomach problems already. Everytime I eat I can't eat as much as I used to and I also have diarrhea and nausea. It has been helping out with the migraines so far... although I'm verryyy sleepy. Only problem with this is, I'm sleepy a couple hours after I take the topamax but wake up about 5 hours later and can't go back to sleep for at least an hour! Not too fun, especially if my boyfriend doesn't want to get up and talk with me. Luckily, last night we couldn't sleep together. But thats, beyond the point. Topamax is pretty tricky. With these side effects already happening, people speak of the tingling in their hands and feet and I haven't felt any of that yet so far. I expect the cognitive thing but so far not any of that. Hope it works out for you. Talk with your doctor if the stomach problems become too much. He may be able to help you out with that. Sounds pretty common.
 
Mandy

dee37
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 12/18/2006 11:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I backed off on the Topamax, back down to 75mg's and my stomach seems to be back to normal. I don't know why just a simple increase of 25mg's more would do that to me. I think I need to add something else to it like you said, because the migraines are getting worse. When I started it 2 years ago, I had the side effect of weight loss too. I lost about 30lbs, but after that my weight has been staying the same but I don't eat at all like I used to. But my tastes did change for alot of things which I hear can happen to people.
I wish it would make me sleep. I take Ativan for that, which doesn't seem to be doing it's job lately either.
As far as the tingling, that did happen to me, drove me nuts for a few weeks, but it did go away, but it doesn't happen to everybody.
At least for now my Imitrex still helps, actually I'm off to take one right now.
I hope the Topamax works for you, best of luck.

Dee

Mandalynn210
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 12/19/2006 2:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Dee... I like Topamax so far. I was scared at first, but the side-effects may start tomorrow when I go up to 50mg. So we'll see... sad
 
Hope things are going better!!!
 

Mandy

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Polichinelle
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/21/2006 4:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Donna,
 
I have the same issues since taking Topamax for the last two years. When I increase the dosage, I get diarrhea especially the first thing in the morning if I eat something high in carbohydrates. Cramps and overall unrest are a problem as well. I had problems sleeping well, which my neurologist opted to treat with amitryptiline 10 mg. at night, a small dose that has allowed me to sleep well and also helped with the diarrhea since this drug tends to have a constipating effect. I think the amitryptiline tones down some of the side effects of the topamax, which so far, has been the only drug to successfully modify my migraines. I think that since topamax is a newer drug, these side effects are manifesting themselves gradually in the real world despite what you may read or hear from your Dr.'s experience. Se  what your Dr. thinks about this idea.
 
Shauna

Denda
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 329
   Posted 12/24/2006 9:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Mandalynn210 -
I don't know if this will help, I have only been on the Topamax for almost a month. I'm suppose to be taking 100 mg/day for migraine + minor seizure activity, however at the 50 mg/day, my headaches have decreased significantly and I'm holding my own, so we are going to play the wait and see game. When I split my dosage 25 mg in the morning, 25 mg at bedtime, I got the best full nights sleep of my life, BUT I felt dopey all day. My dr told me to take the full dosage at night before bed (50mg at this time), once I started doing that, I'm not so dopey in the day, but I get about 5 1/2 - 6 hours of sleep at night and that's it. I can function on 6 hours of sleep, so it's not so bad at this time, but I'll take it so I'm a tad more functional during the day. If you're taking the full dosage at night maybe try splitting it up, just thought I would throw that at you. Make sure and ask your dr if it's ok first though.

Hope you have a nice painfree holiday!

carolyn2344
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 12/25/2006 5:42 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi and Merry Christmas

I have had a lot of problems but maybe not all because of the Topamax first I was told it was IBS when I started taking the topamax blame it on that after taking it for a year ot so I started getting nausea, upset stomach had to be the topamax or seizers test came back neg. ultasound of the stomach neg. blood test of the pancreas high of new side effect of topamax  hida scan shows gallblader low functioning blame it on topamax or not but iam still taking it gall bladder comes out the 28th i can live with out it I can live with migraines everything has its evils devil you have to deside what is best for you for me life is much happier with it

 take care                                                                                                                   Carolyn tongue

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