Posted 6/16/2011 4:11 AM (GMT -6)
My neurologist wants me to take Topamax longterm to reverse my 24/7 "headache." I have doubts that this will happen, let alone that it will provide any relief. But I have often heard that chronic migraine conditions are often reversed in people who have taken Topamax long enough, and that they don't even need to take medication anymore. So, what exactly has Topamax done to their brain, in order to produce a kind of longterm (if not permanent) change?
Apparently the simplified version of how Topamax works is it calms "overexcitable" nerve cells in the brain, thereby preventing migraines from starting. Judging by the fact that it can reverse chronic migraine conditions, I wonder if longterm use of Topamax could "downgrade" the sensitivity of one's brain. But wouldn't other things--besides susceptibility to headaches--also change? Could a typically emotional/passionate person become more "indifferent", due to this longterm "blocking" of neuro-excitation? We know two things that potentially could support this idea:
1) Topamax is also used for bipolar disorder, therefore it does produce a kind of mood-flattening, apathetic effect of its own--many people, myself included, have noticed this effect. Most people think the apathy is a temporary side effect. To the contrary, I think it might be tied-in with the "calming mechanism" central to the drug's main action
2) Topamax alters electrical activity in the brain, and it can change it longterm if used long enough (my neurologist even said so)
Certainly, I have no idea if there's anything to my theory. I've only been on Topamax for 6 weeks. Perhaps the best answers could be found from people who took Topamax for a few months or longer, and then quit. Did you feel "different" for a while afterwards; if so, please explain...