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What is Topamax?
Topiramate (Topamax) is a prescription anticonvulsant medication used in the treatment of epilepsy, migraine headaches and cluster headaches. Topamax also often is abused as an off-label medication used to treat a wide range of mood issues, eating disorders, and as an aid in substance abuse therapy.
While the mechanism of Topamax in the body is unclear, it is known that the drug is used to block sodium channels in the body that deliver electrical impulses to excitatory cells (such as brain cells, nerve cells, muscle cells). In doing so, Topamax seems to enhance the activity of chemical messengers (neurotransmitter) known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
Topamax has indictated and off-label uses. In the United States, this medication is legally and officially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Treat partial-onset seizures in adults and children two and older
- Treat primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures in adults and children two and older
- Prevent migraines in adults and adolescents 12 and older
Topamax can also be combined with other substances to treat partial-onset seizures, primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures, and seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (a severe form of childhood epilepsy).
Regarding its off-label uses, Topamax is sometimes prescribed to treat
- Alcohol dependency
- Bipolar disorder
- Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
- Cocaine and methamphetamine addiction
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Weight loss (specifically to control binge-eating and purging)
Topamax is ready and deliviered in capsule and tablet formulas. The tablet is offered in a 25-, 50-, 100-, and 200-milligram (mg) dose. Capsules are available in 15-mg or 25-mg dose.
Though dosage varies by the condition and the user´s age.
At the start of the treatment, the dosage is typically tapered up to reduce the risk of potential side effects. Also it should slowly be tapered down if the decision is made to stop the treatment. An rapid and apbrupt stop can cause a rebound onset of disease symptoms (like seizures, hot flashes, compulsions in people with epilepsy or abnormal moods in patients with bipolar disorder).
When prescribed for minors and children below the age of 12 , the Topamax capsule often is broken and sprinkled over food.
Topamax Common Side Effects
Topamax comes with a number of side effects that seem to be transient and fade to lower significancy as the body adapts to the treatment. The Side effects range from mild to heavy in severity.
Common side effects include:
- Kidney failure
- Double vision
- Loss of appetite
- Mood changes
- Liver Failure
- Stomach upset
- Taste changes
- Tingling or prickly skin sensations
- Weight loss
If these side effects don´t fade it is advised to immediately see a doctor. Though most side effects seem moderate in nature especially the strain on Liver and Kidney is a huge red flag for everyone who considers it´s off-label use as an weight loss program.
“Before abusing prescription medication for off-label use to lose weight, we recommend going the legal and natural way using this safe and potent combination for Weight Loss ->>> The Custom Keto Diet altogether with natural but potent weight loss supplements like Trimtone or Zotrim.”
In some instances, Topamax may cause serious side-effects that require you to immediately stop and avoid this treatment.
- Using Topamax while in Pregnancy only after discussed with your Doctor. Topamax a classified Category D Drug may cause cleft palate in the new born. While Topamax is not 100% contraindicated in pregnancy or breastfeeding, you must weigh the consequences and benefits of a treatment if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant.
- Topamax can cause a metabolic acidosis. Known as a potentially major build-up of acid in the blood, most often seen in children 16 and under. Symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, nausea, and shortness of breath. Left untreated, metabolic acidosis can lead to coma and death.
- Topamax sometimes causes glaucoma. These Symptoms usually appear within 4 weeks of starting this treatment and may be recognized by a sudden blurring of vision, pain in the eyes, redness, and abnormally dilated pupils.
- Kidney and Liver damage are also a possible side-effect. This most often is an issue for people over 65 who suffer from an underlying kidney disorder and/or . Kidney function tests should be routinely performed to monitor for any abnormalities. Kidney stones have also been known to develop in Topamax users, the risk of which may be reduced by drinking plenty of water.
Topamax Drug Interactions
There are drugs that are known to interact with Topamax, either by lowering or highten the bio-availability of Topamax or the significant co-administered drug. This is especially the truth when combined with other anticonvulsants such as Tegretol (carbamazepine) and Lamictal (lamotrigine). Adjustments of the dose may be required to compensate for this effect.
Other utilized drugs that seem to require dose adjustments are diuretics like Microzide (hydrochlorothiazide) and the diabetes medications Actos (pioglitazone) and metformin.
Among other drugs which should be avoided are those in carboanhydrase inhibitors class, including:
- Diuretics such as Keveyis (dichlorphenamide)
- Epilepsy drugs such as Diamox (acetazolamide) and Zonegran (zonisamide)
- Glaucoma medications such as Azopt (brinzolamide), Neptazane (methazolamide), and Trusopt (dorzolamide)
Estrogen-based contraceptives may also be compromised if taking Topamax, increasing the risk of pregnancy, miscariage and breakthrough bleeding.
Should I consider Topamax for Weight Loss?
Absolutely NOT. Topamax is a strong drug which requires supervision and should NOT be taken without being monitored by a specialist or a doctor. The Side Effects outweigh the desired effects. There are reports on the Internet where people had severe liver and kidney issues by using Topamax for off-label weight loss.
The reports of people who were lucky enough to get away with minor side effects reported an average weight loss of 4 pounds a week. That isn´t nearly enough to outweigh the dangers this drug comes with.
Topamax is still taken by people who want to lose weight because of a lack of awareness for the availabilty of potent natural fat burner and a distrust in the supplement industry. Out of the many gurus who sell false claims and self proclaimed wonder pills for weight loss, there are only a few which stand the test.
You see weight-loss is a hard task for some of us to achieve, I am totally with you BUT please, prescription off-label drugs like Topamax are not the end and the all of weight loss products. Stick to the natural and legal way before you are messing with your precious body. Kidney and Liver issues are not to be taken lightly.
Also there are many fake pharmacies out there in the internet which claim to sell you Topamax but sell you in essence (at best) sugar pills or at worst rat poison.
Also check out our article about how to lose thigh fat .
Hello, My Name is Cassie Jones and I am the Main Content Author for Weight Loss Journal.