I'm a fellow Topamax user, new to the HW forums. I take Topamax for Migraines (firstly), Occipital Neuralgia (ON) & Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN). It wasn't until the Topamax got my Migraines (Status Migraine) under control that we (the doctors and I) realized there was something else going on.
*I was still having severe head pain that was not Migraine pain, the pain starts at the back of my head and ends coming down right above my eyebrows. It actually triggers Migraines if I don't treat it; and ignoring it is impossible since the pain is so bad it brings me to my knees, bawling, screaming in agony.
A wacko Neurologist started me at 50mg of Topamax the first night, then 100mg every night there-after for the first month. Needless to say, I was a vegetable, unable to sleep at all! I was basically incoherent, I could not remember my kids' names, my own address or phone number. I walked into walls, stumbled when I took steps and sat at my desk all day staring at nothing at all. I had NO motivation, ambition or interest in life...and during that time I was dealing with the AGONY of having a Migraine for 6 weeks straight. I was on high dose steroids and oral Demerol and Phenergan to break the cycle. **Thank Goodness**I've been taking an antidepressant for several years...I can't imagine what would have happened had I not been taking one since Topamax is known to mess with your head when first adjusting to it.
I'm now at 300mg of Topamax a day, split into two doses of 150mg once in the morning, and once around 2pm. Unlike others, I need to take Topamax during the day because it WIRES me. I still get 9-25 Migraines a month, but they're SO much more tolerable. I can function and do housework with one, it's mostly the Aura that bothers me then I just get a dull ache which I have abortives to treat that with.
I've lost 30 lbs in 5 months. I went from a tight size 14 to a size 8 (I'm 5'10").
I can't complain about any ill side-effects. The only complaint I have about Topamax isn't really about the Topamax--it's about the way it was initially prescribed for me. Hence, the reason I no longer see that Neurologist who didn't have the patience to start me on the medication properly.
The MOST IMPORTANT item when being prescribed Topamax is remembering to drink WATER WATER WATER! (Divide your body weight in half, then drink that many ounces in water each day--for instace: I weigh 140lbs so 140/2=70 so I need to drink 70 ounces of water a day. So, I drink 3 24 oz water bottles with the sports caps each day). Topamax is processed through your Kidneys (as the other posters have also stated) and make sure you keep your electrolytes in balance. I keep Propel (from the makers of Gatorade) stocked in our refrigerataor and drink at least 1 20 oz bottle a day. This ensures I get plenty of fluids, plus some!
Anyhow, sorry for the long intro and book I've just typed.
Great site ya'll have here! Hope to see more of you around, Here's to more Migraine free days for all!