Topamax (topiramate) is a medication that is used to treat seizures and prevent migraines. Topamax alone is typically prescribed to children and adults but children who are prescribed this medication must be at least ten years old. When combined with other medications, Topamax can be used to treat seizures in adults and children that are at least 2 years of age. Topamax can also be used to prevent migraines in adult patients. Topamax cannot treat a migraine headache that has already started but can be used to prevent them.

Common Side Effects

If a patient is allergic to Topamax, the patient will most likely experience trouble breathing, as well as swelling of the face, mouth, or throat. Any patient that exhibits an allergic reaction to the medication should speak with their medical professional immediately. This medication, like every medication, has the possibility of causing some side effects. In the event that any of these side effects occur, a patient should seek medical assistance immediately. These side effects include mood changes, panic attacks, troubles sleeping (insomnia), severe anxiety, feeling irritable, angry, and aggressive, feeling depressed, having suicidal thoughts or feelings of death, vision loss, and problems remembering things. If a patient is having troubles speaking, feels confused, is having irregular heartbeats, severe vomiting, and severe body pain, they should seek the aid of a medical professional right away. Other side effects of Topamax that are less severe include some dizziness, feeling dumb, slight diarrhea, major weight loss, having feelings of nervousness, change in taste, or cold symptoms (sneezing, runny nose, coughing).

Additional Side Effects

There are many other side effects that may occur while using Topamax. While most patients are able to take Topamax without experiencing any side effects, there is always the possibility of experiencing some sort of side effect when taking any kind of medication. If there are any unusual side effects occurring, even if they do not seem troublesome, the patient should still contact the doctor for professional medical advice.

If a patient is using a cold medication, allergy medication, muscle relaxers, or medicine that is prescribed for depression or anxiety, he/she should speak with their doctor about these medications. Taking Topamax while taking these specific medications can cause increased sleepiness.

Patients taking Topamax should avoid becoming dehydrated in warmer weather. Since Topamax may increase sweating, there is a higher chance of suffering from heat stroke. In order to prevent heat stroke, a patient taking Topamax should stay hydrated in the warmer weather and while exercising.

Topamax During Pregnancy

Topamax (topiramate) should be prescribed to women who are pregnant only if there are no other alternatives and only under the circumstances in which the benefits of taking the medication will outweigh the risks that taking the medication may have. Studies performed on pregnant animals have revealed that taking Topamax while pregnant has shown evidence of maternal toxicity, embryotoxicity, and teratogenicity. As of right now, there is no specific data on Topamax and human pregnancy. Pregnant rats were tested with Topamax and showed signs of increased malformations and maternal toxicity. Both rabbits and mice that were tested also showed signs of fetal malformations when Topamax was administered.