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Avatar universal

TOPOMAX

I'm going to see my DR later this week.  He treats me for Chronic Daily Tension Headaches.  Unfortunately, the only thing he's treating me with right now is Darvocet.  He treated me w/Zoloft in the past, which, unfortunately made me gain at least 20lbs.  AND I've gained more since.  I now need to lose 40lbs, and have a bet going with my boyfriend to lose it (or most of it)by Christmas.  I hear a lot about Topomax helping migraines and weightloss.  I dont really get migraines, but daily tension headaches that are pretty painful.  Will this help my tension headaches???  And does this really help you lose weight?  I just need to lose 40lbs to hit my suggested weight.  Any advice???  Thanks!!!
27 Responses
Avatar universal
I don't know if it helps that kind of headache or not, and I guess the decision will be up to you and your doctor, but I just wanted to warn you that Topamax has a lot of side effects and if I could lose the weight some other way thats what I would choose. I take it to control seizures and it can make you very forgetful and scatterbrained. It can literally make you unable to say words that your brain wants to say. I have forgotten my phone number numerous times, had to think to remember my kids birthdays, and constantly forget an event that happened or something someone told me. I just recently talked to my doctor about it and she decreased my dosage just a little bit, so  hopefully it will improve some, but I just wanted you to be aware these things might happen. And its not just me, if thats what you're thinking, you can go to topamax.com and read about the side effects, they are very well known to be true. Some people even have coordination problems, dizziness, etc.

Avatar universal
Hi!  Thanks for your comment.  I appreciate you listing some of the side effects from Topamax, and I also went to the link you provided, topamax.com I actually have almost all of those side effects everyday now anyway, thanks to my Lyme Disease.  I'll definitly discuss it in detail w/my DR to see if this can help.  I'm just at a loss w/my daily tension headaches.  I have had one big long headache, 24/7, for almost 13 years.  I cant rely on pain pills, I dont want to do that.  AND I really really need to lose 40lbs asap!  Could this be my miracle drug?  Kill 2 birds with one stone, so to speak? I dont know.  Thanks!
Avatar universal
hey, I didn't know you were having the side effects anyway, I thought it would be a new ball game for you and I just wanted you to be aware. Unfortunately for me the one side effect I never got was the weight loss! But I have read a lot of people's stories on here that say it worked for them so hopefully it will for you too! good luck!
Avatar universal
Hi!

No, I know you didnt know that, of course, about my crazy Lyme symptoms.  Wow, if I had a dollar for every Lyme symptom I have, I could retire!!!  haha!  But I do wonder if it will worsen the absentmindedness, etc.  I'll seem like a total nut at work if that happens!!!  But, boy that weight loss side effect sure makes it inticing!!! ;)  Do you happen to know the percentage (round-a-bout) of people who do have the weight side effect?  I guess I should mainly be concerned about whether or not it will treat my headaches and not be so concerned about the weight, but I'm desperate!!!  Thanks for your advice!!!  I appreciate it!!!  Have a great week!!!!
Avatar universal
yes, I believe that percentage would be approximately like hmm, EVERYONE in the universe that's on it except for me! Even my doctor couldn't believe it didn't happen. I'm sure results vary from person to person as far as how much weight they lose, but I've heard a lot of people say they don't feel like eating anything at all while they're on it. And it makes soda taste really bad, so if that's one of your weaknesses, it will make it easier to give that up!

Did the website not say if it could help your type of headache? Well, I hope it can! Good luck!
151462 tn?1359172276
Hello to both of you! I have been on Topomax for approximately four years. I used to have migraine headaches for two years, and then my neurologist placed me on the "migraine cocktail" consisting of Topomax, Depakote and Inderal. I have not had a migraine since April of 2003 I realize that you have tensions headaches so I don't know if that would actually work for you. However since I have been on Topomax I have lost and gained the same 60 pounds over the course of the four years that I have been on Topomax. I wouldn't go on Topomax for just the weight loss issue. Maybe if your headaches are under control then the weight will come off in a more conventional manner (just a thought, not a suggestion). Also I have not had any of the side effects that are listed by Topomax. I personally think that  some people read info regarding side effects and then think that everything that they get or feel is a reflection of the medication. Goodluck with everything your headaches and your weight loss.
151462 tn?1359172276
I didn't mean to post a comment to upset you or anyone else in this section. I guess that I have been very lucky with my Topomax. I take 100mg of Topomax each day. If needed I can take 50mg more if a headaches creeps up that doesn't seem to want to go away. I don't have to take that too often.
I do just have one other questions. Are you ladies taking any other medications with this Topomax?
Goodluck with everything.
Avatar universal
hello, there. I know that you are mainly talking to "tiff" and that you are just trying to be helpful, but I certainly hope that you are not trying to suggest that I am only imagining or exaggerating the side effects that I mentioned in my comments above. I was a different person before I started taking this medicine, an organized, efficient person with a very good memory. I was the one people depended on to notice and remember small details. I have a large family and I always remembered everyone's birthday, even nieces, nephews, etc. what year they were born, everything. I could easily memorize phone numbers, credit card numbers, whatever I needed. Imagine going from that to having to concentrate to tell someone your own phone number or child's age or birthday. I don't even have the confidence to work anymore.

I'm glad you didn't experience these side efects but that doesn't mean other people don't. Medications work differently for different people.
Avatar universal
I took Topamax 3 weeks in March 2006 for migraines. At first, most foods, including diet sodas, tasted awful to me - since when does a hard-boiled egg taste greasy? When I titrated up to 75mg per day, it took only 2 doses for me to experience 2 days worth of severe panic attacks. I called my doctor and told him I was stopping the medication effective immediately.I don't know if anyone else has experienced these due to the medication. But, I feel a migraine is much less scary then panic attacks. For now, I'm sticking to Excedrine and trying to lose the 15 pounds I need to lose by watching what I eat.
Avatar universal
thanks

if you mean for headaches I can't help you much, I take it for seizures. But if you mean for weight loss, yes, I also take Bontril and weekly B-12/ Hcg injections. I have lost about 20 lbs since June 1.
108944 tn?1222277478
i have been on 200 mg of topamax for about 9 months now,for headaches. i have lost 45 lbs. that has been a plus . at first i had the side effects but they went away .every thing has been great untill about 3 weeks ago my hair has started to fall out bad,and the pins and needeles are back so is the cofusion,i have also had break threw headaches.i go back to the dr. next week. so good luck with the topamax it realy has worked for me  untill now.
Avatar universal
I guess this just goes to show that everyone is different and no one medicine will affect everyone the same. I have been on Topomax for about a year because of migraines. The only other med I take is Butalbital which is a painkiller when/if I do get a really bad headache. My doctor gave me a choice between Topomax and Depakote but since Depakote has a weight gain side effect I chose Topomax. The Topomax has been a miracle drug for my migraines, not my weight. My weight has stayed the same but I have not dieted. I have no side effects of Topomax, at all. I take 50mg in A.M. and 50mg at night. I was like you... I couldn't remember the last time I didn't have a headache until the Topomax. You will never know what works for YOU unless you try. I'm sure if you are already dieting and working on losing the weight the Topomax won't hurt. Good Luck.
Avatar universal
I have been taking Topomax for about a month now.  I started out at 25 mg. and it started working almost immediately.  Then after a few weeks the headaches returned so my doctor said to try 50 mg. When I did this I had trouble getting my breath couldn't stop coughing. The headaches seemed to get worse.  My mood was terrible  I was so short tempered.  I also notice I had trouble remembering thing. I did lose a little bit of weight on it. I was hoping this would be my miracle drug but so far it isn't.  I did just go off of it and will have to wait and see if the get really bad again.  Any suggestions let me know.  Thanks
Avatar universal
HELLO,I have been on Topamax for appox 18 months now for bipolar disorder, and I have not lost any weight at all on it. This could be, however, since I am also taking Seroquel, which is known to cause weight gain. I have actually gained 65 lbs in the same period of time. I have most definately experienced the brain fogginess, the forgetfullness, and most especially, the tingling in hands and feet. I know that it is a good drug, and does what it should...but I sure would not count on it for a diet quick fix.  I do know that when I first started taking Wellbutrin XL it made me so sick to my stomache that I'd lose my breakfast 3 times a week for 3 months and I lost 40 lbs that way; but I really would not recommend that.lol. Good Luck.
Avatar universal
My doctor prescribed Topamax to me for migranes, and also Amerge to take immediatley if one ever occured, about a month ago. I've had some side effects like the tingling, which is quite annoying, and EXTREME loss of appetite. I have noticed a some weight loss but I'm not big anyways. Just a little extra chub. I don't know if it's going away from the weight loss side effect or the loss of appetite side effect. Soda does taste awful now which is good because it has too much sugar anyways :) I have noticed my memory is becoming boggled. Not so much with remembering things like birthdays and stuff, more like what I was going to say or how I was going to say it. It isn't REALLY bad. It only happens every so often in a day. Does it get worse?
Avatar universal
Hello to all:  I am considering asking Doc to put me on Topamax for my headaches...migraines, mainly during "that time of the month", but more often than ever.  currently, I am on 10 mg Lexapro for my anxiety. After reading that Topamax helps with anxiety, I became more interested, but wanted others opinions on perhaps dropping Lexapro to go on Topamax?  Yes, I have gained some weight even on the low dose Lex..and the possible weight loss of Top. has peaked my interest...but it is the side effects I am worried about, i.e., hair loss, confusion, etc....If anybody has been on Lexapro and Topamax at the same time or at diff. times, I'd love to hear from you.  Anybody have any additional info I can "take" to my doctor, I'd also greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

Mel
Avatar universal
I took Topomax a few years ago for migrain headaches.  One of the bonuses was that I lost a lot of weight.  About a year after being on the drug, I got kidney stones (another side effect).  After this episode, I quit taking the drug.  You shoudl not just quit, you need to ween yourself off of it.  Ever since, I have gained all of the weight back and then some.  I think this medication triggers something in your brain that makes you stop doing obsessive behaviors.  (I also quit biting my nails)  All of my previous behaviors are back with avengence!  My headaches went away while taking this and they stayed away for two years.  Now they are back.  I am considering going on this again.  I completely forgot about the pins and needles thing as well.  I think it's an all right drug.  Just remember to drink an over average amount of water to prevent kindey stones.  It's painful and I do not wish that upon anyone!
Avatar universal
I have been taking Topomax 100 mg for about 2 1/2 years.  I have noticed that my hair, well it almost isn't hair anymore.  I have bald spots all over my head.  I am only 24 years old and I used to have very thick hair.  I am just wondering if anyone has heard that it makes your hair fall out.  I pull out clumps from my brush and the drain.
Avatar universal
Regarding your comment on Topamax and hairloss. Yes I have been on it for about 1 1/2yrs and for the past few months I have too noticed alot of my hair falling out. I am on 200mg/day. It has helped my headaches but at what cost. I have also experienced word finding difficulties just as they mention and I did lose 25 lbs and have remained the same for 1 year. I am now taking Biotin 600mcg/day as my physician ordered and also Minoxidil nightly beacause I can't see having it on my hair during the day. I hope it does work as it has only been 1 month. I also went off of the Topamax and have put on a few lbs which is not fun but you have to weigh the risk/benefit here!
I don't want to wear a wig if I can help it!
Let me know any comments.....please!
Avatar universal
I was browsing the web about topamax again because I have used it several times but always quit because of the memory loss, numbness and fatigue.  I was put on it in rehab for alcoholism.  It really cuts the craving for alcohol, which I think ties into it cutting overall appetite.  I too loss a great deal of weith, 25-30 pounds, but figured now drinking was making a big difference too, but each time I quit it my appetite came right back and so did the weight, so while I am tempted to use it again for wt loss, I dont want to have to be on it forever and the weight does come right back, at least for me.  Has anyone lost the weight and then kept it off after topomax use stopped?  Also my main concern was the burning and irritation I got in my eyes.  Anyone else had that?
Avatar universal
I've been using Topomax for 8 days... I can barely function at work. Yesterday, I was actually falling asleep at my desk. I am taking it for migrains, but I am wondering if it's worth it? I've had a mild headache non-stop since I've started taking it, and i'm SO tired. And now, I read someone's hair is falling out because of it? I'm freaked out, my doctor didn't tell me all about this.

Help.
Avatar universal
I took my first dose of topamax today after a month long internal debate. I find the whole thing scary. All the possible side effects, not to mention my pharmacist informed me that it totally wipes out the birth control pill, needless to say my husband and I are none too thrilled with that bit of news : ) I really hope it works. i appreciate that everyone on here shares their experiences with it, its given me much more info. Thank you.
Avatar universal
I have been on Topamax for nearly 4 months to prevent seizures following brain surgery to remove a tumor. Unfortunately my surgery did not get rid of my headches, but the Topamax has. I haven't had a headache for months - that's the first time in my adult life I can say that. I haven't lost weight, but I have lost quite a bit of hair - combine that with the hair that was shaved for my surgery and I'm very follicly challenged right now. But Topamax is still the right move for me - no seizures and no headaches. I can deal with the rest.
Avatar universal
I have been on Topamax for a year now and have had good luck with taking this medicine. I am 53 and have had migranes since I was a teenager and finally found something to help.. I have had some tingling in my feet and fingers but as far as hair loss not any that I have noticed and other side effects not been bothered with... some weight loss at first because you don't have the appetite like before but that seems to have leveled off too and my weight has stayed the same the last year..but the best thing is it is controling my headaches!  nothing like I used to have which I as thankful for....mayfimay
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