Just started Topamax, need advice on breathing issue

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Aprillynn
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/16/2007 2:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Let me give you a quick history. This year has been a bad year for rain. I started getting migraines whenever we had a weather system change. I went to the doctor thinking I had a sinus infection, but I also had a migraine. She put me on Axert, which worked, to stop them until I had my first migraine with an aura. I possibly took it to late, but this migraine lasted for three days in May. I went back to the doctor. She placed me on Topamax because of the frequency of them. Well, she told me I needed to up it to 25 mg at bedtime. It worked, I wasn't having problems. She said I would need to drink a lot of water with this medicine, which I do. A week later, I started 50 mg. Once I started this I started having problems with my breathing, I do not have asthma. I started having hyperventilating attacks. I have called my doctor, but she says I need to keep taking Topamax, but if it gets to bad to go to the ER. I am at my wits end, I don't know what to do. I started drinking a 32 oz. bottle of Gatorade or Powerade a day to replace the dehydration of this drug. I am now having a headache all the time. I am having problems with my memory. My stomach is always upset. But, this breathing issues is really scarying me. Is this a side effect?
Thanks,
April

CRANKY 1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 6/17/2007 1:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Aprillynn,
 
Welcome to the Migraine Board.  I am right there with you on the weather induced Migraines.  I get hit every time a front rolls through.  You are currently on a very low dosage of Topamax.  That's good.  For me, it was poison, and various doctors/neurologists kept raising my dosage.  I was up to 400mg, and one doctor thought I should go to 800mg!!!  It gave me permanent brain damage.  It messed up my short -term memory, the ability to speak well in full sentances, my ability to spell, basically it messed up all my cognitive abilities, probably for good.  I've been off the drug for two years and still suffer the mental disfunctions. 
 
As far as your side effects, the breathing problem is probably not caused by the medication.  Hyperventilating is usually cause by stress or a panic attack.  It would make perfect sense that you are having these spells, in anticipation or worry of getting a migraine.  If you were actually allergic to the medication, you would go into anaphylatic shock immediately, which isn't the case here.   I don't think you are on a high enough dosage to be getting dehydration problems yet.  You need to stop drinking all that Gatorade, as is has acids in it, which help you think it is quenching your thirst.  Just drink straight water.  Your stomach irritation should go away.  If not, discuss starting Nexium with your doctor.
 
If your migraines aren't significantly reduced in a short period of time, let your doctor know you want to taper off the medication.  It works for some people, but does awful things to other people.  Frankly, I don't think it's worth the risk of the side effects.
 
Let us know how you are doing.
 
Leigh Ann cool
 

Basic info:
  • On Disablility for: Chronic Migraines, serious Back and Knee problems (will need surgery eventually), moderate Depression, Anxiety/Panic disorder, TMJ 
  • Divorced, 42, no children
  • Surgeries: Gastric Bypass, Gallbladder Removed (followed by a week in the hospital for a Blood Clot), Kidney Stone Removed, Broken Ankle, Major Dental work(four molars pulled, multiple cavities, root canals) 
  • Current Meds: Lexapro, Klonopin, Wellbutrin, Migranol, Trazadone, Buspar, Nexium, Skelaxin,  Phenergan, Chantix,  Iron Pills
 
"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful."
                                             - Jimmy Buffett
 
 


nhkat
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 6/18/2007 9:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Topamax can cause sinus issues it is listed in the side effects and I had severe ones .... the whole year I was on it I had a chronic sinus infection.

mshurtsalot
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/20/2007 12:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had none of the side affects any of you all have indicated with Topamax. I have been on it for 3 years.   It may be causing the side affects because of a reaction with other drugs you are taking.  I am not taking any other prescriptions except the Topamax (200 mg each night) and Imitrex when i do get a headache which is very seldom and very minor since i have been on Topamax.  I am one of the lucky ones i guess.  Keep trying.  There is bound to be a good combination out there for each person.  It took me almost 40 years to get the right one to work for me!

Julia H
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 6/21/2007 7:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I hear the word Topomax and cringe. I tried that... I couldn't think (very bad for a then pre-med student) and I had terrible neuralgia. I already have a small fiber sensory neuropathy that makes my feet tingle... but this was aweful. I was also on neurtonin at the time which should have helped but didn't. I am just starting on Nortryptaline after being on amitryptaline (too much weight gain). If the topomax doesn't help (didn't for me) I would switch to something else because side effects sucked for me.
Lupus, Raynaud's, Chronic Urticaria, Thrombocytopenia 2003, Small Fiber Neuropathy 2005, Bartter's Disease (kidney disease) 2005 Hashimoto's 2006
Meds:
Plaquenil, Methotrexate, Folic Acid, Prednisone, Celebrex, Amitryptaline, Effexor XR, Amiloride, Alesse, DHE and Percocet for migraines


lacyloo101
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/22/2007 6:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi all, I'm new to the board but I came because I had a question about Topamax. 
 
First, I'd get a second opinion on your problem with Topamax.  My doctor didn't raise my dosage for a full month, he felt that a week was too short a turnover period to become accustomed to the side effects.  It really shouldn't be causing dehydration at the level you're at....or breathing problems.  It was my understanding that for headaches the dosage topped out at 100mg (obviously other doctors feel differently).   I was a little spacey the first week on the 25mg but after that, I haven't seen any of the side effects, except the weight loss/loss of appetite.  It has managed to seriously stop my headaches.  Try different calming techniques when you start to feel as though you're having trouble breathing.  See if that helps. 

CRANKY 1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 6/22/2007 9:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Lacyloo101,
 
First, let me welcome you to the Migraine Forum.  We value all new members.  However, you are clearly a "newbie", giving advise when you haven't had enough experience yourself with the medication(TOPAMAX) to give recommendations to other forum members. 
 
A second opinion on Topamax from a doctor is a waste of time.  Doctors like to push whatever is the hot medication of the hour.  They don't take it, so they rarely know how awful the side effects can be.  Often the patients are so affected by the drug, they can't adequately describe all the side effects they are experiencing.  If you go back and read my previous post in this string, it details the HORRORS I've had to deal with regarding this drug. 
 
Reading all the posts on this board regarding Topamax will give you all the information you know about this POISON.  There are probably dozens of strings on TOPAMAX.  Just keep going back into the archieves.  You may be one of the lucky few people that are not bothered by this medication.  You may even luckier to have it actually work for you.  If so, I envy you.  Many more of us TOPAMAX GUINEA PIGS have not been as lucky.
 
Let us know how you are doing, especially if you keep taking this med.
 
Leigh Ann cool

Basic info:
  • On Disablility for: Chronic Migraines, serious Back and Knee problems (will need surgery eventually), moderate Depression, Anxiety/Panic disorder, TMJ 
  • Divorced, 42, no children
  • Surgeries: Gastric Bypass, Gallbladder Removed (followed by a week in the hospital for a Blood Clot), Kidney Stone Removed, Broken Ankle, Major Dental work(four molars pulled, multiple cavities, root canals) 
  • Current Meds: Lexapro, Klonopin, Wellbutrin, Migranol, Trazadone, Buspar, Nexium, Skelaxin,  Phenergan, Chantix,  Iron Pills
 
"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful."
                                             - Jimmy Buffett
 
 


jko
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 6/24/2007 9:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I am new to this board, also. I have had migraines for more than 35 years. Have tried many, many, many medications, biofeedback, accupressure, and accupuncture, among other things. Found that foods, sensitivities to perfume, second hand smoke, and many other things will trigger a migraine.

Just about two weeks ago, I spent a 8 days in bed with one migraine after another, 2 total, Sunday to Sunday. Finally on Thursday, I could not take the pain anymore and made a trip to the ER.

My doctor prescribed Topamax. My experience was horrible! My blood pressure spiked to 160/100, had dizziness, and rebound headaches. I stopped after one dosage. I was leery about this med but thought maybe it would help. It didn't.

I appreciate the opportunity to be here and hopefully will learn some things about controlling migraines.

Thanks.
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