Yeah, speech problems are very common among people taking Topamax, as well as other forms of cognitive dysfunction. The first time that I tried Topamax I had to stop cashiering at work because I couldn't make change--even with the register telling me the amount. I was always incredibly good at mental math but it just didn't work. The second time (I think), I recall sitting on a couch at my parents' house for about
10-15 minutes before I suddenly thought to myself that I had been sitting still for some time and not a single thought had crossed my mind. I was just staring at the wall with my head blank. That was particularly strange for me because I've typically had difficulties with an overactive
mind. I even recall at one point (during college) sitting to take an exam and not writing anything for several minutes until I finally decided to skip the first question and come back to it--the "question" being my name.
Anyhow, changes in tactile sensation as well as taste and smell are very common as well. And sleep problems are very much to be expected--the only question really being whether you'll have trouble sleeping or have trouble not
While pretty much all of the issues you listed are common side effects of Topamax, it's also likely that your migraines play a significant role as well. Many times drug side effects are exacerbated during migraine flare-ups. Also, experiencing cognitive difficulties simply as a result of a headache is quite common. Just as many migraineurs have visual or auditory auras before and/or during an attack, "cognitive auras" are widely reported--often in the form of lightheadedness, concentration/memory problems, word recall difficulties, etc.
One thing you may want to keep in mind is how long you've been taking Topamax. According to studies and anecdotal accounts these side effects typically become a lot more manageable after your body has had a few months to acclimate. So it takes 4-6 weeks of taking Topamax to build up an effective dose that will provide headache relief and then many more weeks before the side effects decrease. I believe that side effects are the most common reason that people stop taking Topamax. And a large portion of those who stop do so after having taken it for no more than a few months. I don't mention this as a criticism--I know how hard it can be to get through even a week with these side effects. But if you can find a dose that manages your headaches without unbearable side effects (and finding this dose can take a few tries), it could be worth your while to give the medication some time. Oh, and I've also had those problems with depth perception Sara. Though it was worse when I switched to Zonegran (which is very similar to Topamax) I had significant problems with depth perception and, to screw up my motor control even worse, my vestibular system was on the fritz. This usually added up to having significant trouble walking. Frequently when walking down hallways their length would appear to telescope and they'd even sometimes seem rather uneven (I don't know if this was a visual problem or vestibular), much like something out of Dr. Seuss. I'd often fall walking down a straight hall and climbing stairs was an absolute nightmare. However, I was also taking a good 8-10 other strong medications each day that added to the effect.
DX: NDPH, Recovered(?) CRPS
RX: Lamictal, Namenda, Wellbutrin XL, Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Concerta (Methylphenidate), Clonazepam, Rozerem, Magnesium (1200 mg/d), Riboflavin (400 mg/d).
PRN: Ketamine nasal spray
, Toradol IM, Celebrex, Haloperidol, Lodine, Zofran, Phenergan, Ambien CR
rarely: Migranal, Thorazine, DHE IM, Droperidol IM, Reglan, Provigil, triptans (Imitrex, Maxalt, Relpax, Zomig, Axert, Amerge)I can be contacted personally via email at korbnep:email@example.com.