Topamax - I do not want to take this drug

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 3014
   Posted 11/28/2010 11:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I have Ulcerative Colitis and that in combination with dehydration late September resulted in a week long hospitalization for Sagittal Sinus Thrombosis or Stroke.

Every day after working on the computer for long periods I get nasty headaches yet not quite as bad as the one that had me drive to the hospital ER. Vicodin seems to work ok and actually seems to help my UC but the last doctor I saw was freaked out I wanted to refill my prescription, I told him I have Topamax from the Neurologist but do not like what I read people saying about memory loss, searching for words etc so I have never even opened my bottle of Topamax and do not intend to.

Does anyone think this drug helped them eliminate headaches without downside ? Thanks.

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/7/2010 10:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a bad reaction after taking Topamax.  Only two days after taking it, I was tripping down stairs that weren't there, giggling uncontrollably.  I wouldn't recommend it, but everyone is different.  It might work for you.

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 12/12/2010 10:41 PM (GMT -6)   
In clinical studies of Topomax 50 mg/day was no more effective than placebo. 100 mg/day was very effective for treating migraine. Larger doses have not been studied but many doctors over-prescribe. I'm a reasonably sized guy (5'10" 190 lbs) and I get side effects (fog brain, exhaustion) on 100 mg of Topomax. However on 75/mg a day I get headache relief and no side effects. Other people can tolerate 100-200 mg but I've not known anyone who could tolerate more than that.

Start at 50 mg/day just to see if you can tolerate the side-effects. Work up to 75/mg to see if you get relief and keep increasing the dose in 25 mg increments as long as you can tolerate the side effects. Also don't be too impatient - some of the side-effects like metalic taste, wear off after a week or two.

It really is good medicine, just taper on slowly to see if you can tolerate it. It's helped a lot of people.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 197
   Posted 12/13/2010 3:42 AM (GMT -6)   
I am on 125mg per day and have no majorside effects to speak of - I'm 5'3" and my weight is fine for my height and bone frame. For me, it has been a miracle drug and my current dose is what is needed to control my migraines. It is true that there is a huge amount of negative out there on the internet about it and to read it, you would think that anyone who takes topamax is destined to turn into some kind of drooling idiot who couldn't recite the alphabet if they tried. I think that is because most people with a positive experience don't bother to post about it.

Everyone is different. Some people can't tolerate it at all, others tolerate it very well if they can find the correct dose. Many of the side effects go away after your system adjusts. The only one that has really lingered for me is that I can't drink soda - I can't sense carbonation at all and it tastes funny. Not a big loss there. I don't feel particularly tired, any more than any other busy mom of 2 kids does and I don't notice any memory problems. When my dose changed, I did have some fatigue for a few days, but it went away after my body adjusted. I had a little of the tingling hands/feet thing but certainly nothing that could ever be termed more than a minor annoyance. I also lost some weight, pretty much dead on the 10% of body weight that is the average. I've been at this dose since July.

I was started at 25mg at night for a week. Then add 25mg in the morning for a week. Then add 25mg at night so that you are taking 50mg at night and 25mg in the morning for a week. At the beginning of the 4th week, add 25mg to the morning dose. By the 4th week, you will be at 100mg per day - 50mg am and pm, which is the average dose for migraine treatment.
Fibromyalgia, High BP, Migraines, anxiety, Non Celiac Gluten Intolerant
Current medications: Topamax, Maxalt, Lotrel, Wellbutrin

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 12/13/2010 4:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a really bad allergic reaction to topamax but I have heard many say it works great for them.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 1/15/2011 1:10 AM (GMT -6)   
I have taken this drug since November. That is not a very long time, since it takes a while to begin to work anyways. I have quite the life of side effects lately. I do not enjoy the side effects, but I do enjoy the freedom from the daily chronic migraine pain I did have. I used to have daily headache coupled with a debilitating migraine 3 times a week. Going to the hospital to get IV treatment for me is not easy. I have Raynauds, and very bad veins. The last time I gave blood they had to bring in ultrasound to find a vein. So, finding a vein to start an IV to get some meds in me is not easy. Getting on some really good preventive medications, that are really going to work for me is most important. They have to try and prevent any medical emergency with me cause, it will be too late if they don't. The side effects suck, but my head doesn't hurt anymore. I can go outside and go feed my farm animals in the day light!

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/25/2011 7:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I started at 25mg around Halloween and went to 50 a week or so later because it felt like the the migraines had caught up to me. The side effects aren't terrible, but they are sometimes annoying (like the zero short term memory), sometimes disturbing (the brain sliding in my head feeling). I've mostly either become accustomed to them, or they have subsided. A neurologist tried to bump me up to 75mg and within 3 days I was suicidal, so I went back down to 50. Here's the thing, though. I still get headaches sometimes. Less often, but anything can trigger them and it seems as if the topamax has made the other things I use after the pain has started work better. But if I miss a dose, I will DEFINITELY get a headache for 12-24 hours. So there's that.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 1/25/2011 7:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I was on this med. for 2 months and all I had was bad side effects. I began to forget where and who i was for short spans of time. I became very forgetfull. This med didnt even help with my headaces. Its kind of a horror story but the effects are different for everyone. If i were you i would look out for any side effects.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 1/26/2011 6:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Guys and girsl, please try melatonin, safe hormonto rpomote healthy sleep and get rid of yoiur migrain, I had migrains EVERY day AND NIGHT, basicallky no life without a pain killer, which sometimes wouldnt work too, since taking 3mg of melatonin before sleep, i sleep great and didnt have one mgrain since. I know what drugs, antidepressants can do, they are horrible, please dont take them

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/1/2011 3:48 AM (GMT -6)   
I have taken Topamax for about 5-6 months now. I've stayed at 25mg as when they took me 75-100mg it made me more fatigued, loss of memory, my days started to blend together, and my dizziness was increased. However I was on 25mg pills and they wanted me to increase within a 3-4 week time spand after being on Topamax for 2-3 months. Also keep in mind I'm a person who's underweight to begin with. I've been sick for over a year and my migraines suddenly increased 2 months after being severely sick with abdominal and digestive issues. I used to only have migraines with hormone cycles ever since I was 13. Now I have multiple kinds of migraines and in general have migraine symptoms or migraines every day. I was also on Verapamil 240mg to treat migraines. Between the two medications it did decrease the massive migraines from 4-5 times a week down to 2-3 times a week, and the everyday symptoms started to be less effective towards daily living. So I can say for me Topamax was helpful and did prevent some of my migraines. But first its important to diagnose what kind of migraines your having, and consider your daily eating habits and weight with this drug. For most people it can cause them to gain weight. The side effects weren't too bad as long as I didn't increase the dose too much. I prefer no side effects but almost every new medication seems to have them foe me at least. For me I have a hard time gaining weight and it actually caused me to be less hungry and lose weight at times. It can be a good preventative, but I am all for other resources and checking into other treatment. Chiropractic is also another treatment method that has been very helpful for me! For other resources and suggestions on migraines... Check out

They have great resources and tons of good info on migraines. They also have great information about food triggers of migraines. For me I'm pretty sure I've done most everything medical wise a person can do for migraines. Pretty sure it might be more too it than just the migraines. Also encourage ya to be careful about increasing doses of medications, seems to be a doctor's best solution or adding another medication to help. Didn't quite work for me especially when I got fired and no longer could afford the medication.

Also stay away from Tylenol. Can cause severe rebound headaches in migraines.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 3/15/2011 3:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I take 400 mg Topamax. Hit me with the hard questions, please. What downsides am I to be noticing other than pop sometimes tastes like deodorant. No joke, sometimes it does, so I drink diet pop. Sometimes I do get brain fog, but I figure I'm not getting enough sleep as I don't ever get enough sleep so I get migraines if I am not getting enough sleep. My body loves to go to bed at night around 10pm and I'd love to wake up around 9am and that is normal for me, even before I was on Topamax. I maybe 33 years old going to be 34, but my body is still my body. I love sleep ha ha, but granted I have had a lot of stress recently and it could be depression too. As for giggling, I love to laugh and I am silly by nature, so I couldn't help you there. Oh I noticed that Topamax has killed my love for sweets, as anything too sweet and I'm not liking it too well. I could honestly tell you if something is too sweet and what was in the food that may have been too sweet. Blah. As for memory changes, well I have memory changes anyway. I'm lucky if I remember what I did last week. If I didn't write anything down I wouldn't know my own recipes and families addresses to mail off Christmas cards. Heck, I certainly won't be grocery shopping if I didn't have stuff written down ha ha. Life is complicated enough having to remember stuff, so there goes memory changes for me hee hee. My family has Alzehimers anyway, so I already take preventatve measures to write stuff down, so I have that down for memory changes and I do know about the risks in Topamax. It's just another reason for me to write stuff down as I get older and to not forget anything like special memories and dates that I want to remember, ya know the little things that are important to me.

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 4/6/2011 6:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I've taken small doses of Topomax and large doses of Topomax. It's not until you get to the really high doses like around 400mg that I noticed why the nickname is "Stupidmax." At that dose it does change the flavor of food a little, too. It is often prescribed as a weight loss drug. Currently, I'm taking 100mg. No stupidity, no flavor change. Can't say it's killing off my migraines, but who knows how bad they'd be without it. Why keep taking? It's also an antidepressant and I'm feeling like I'm pretty well-balanced mood wise, so don't want to rock the boat.
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