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Avatar universal

Topamax and weight loss

I have digenerative disc disease and my neirologist just prescribed topamax,
he said it would help with the pain and tingling but could result in weight loss.
  I am wondering if prescribing topamax for ddd is common among neurologists? I can't seem to find any other information related to topamax as a pain med, only information I have is that it's a powerful drug with lots of side effects, most not so good.
The weight loss aspect is the only plus...also could this drug alter my brain function since I know it is used for bi-polar and seizure disorder... I'd like to know more about this med both from a neurologists view and from a weight loss specialists view. before I make a decision to take this medication
Thanks in advance for any/all responses
573 Responses
Avatar universal
I am not a specialist or a doctor of any kind but i am bi -polar,
and i have been on Topamax(200mg) for over 2 years now.I take it along with Wellbutrin.
I just wanted to tell you my experience with this drug.I have struggled with my weight all of my life . I am now 35,  3  children
and when i was diagnosed manic-depressive i was on prozac, wellbutrin and taking hi levels of prescription weight loss pills.
I was losing my mind but i wasn't losing any weight!
When my Psychatrist decided to try me on Topamax it was because of my anieity over my weight gain with the standard mood stabilizers.
Within these past two years I have lost 38 pounds taking this medicine. I will say that I have done low- carb about 8 of those months but ashamed to say no exercise.I have suffered with migrane headaches for about 10 years - they are gone . I think i have had one mild one .
Now I am not saying it is the greatest drug in the whole wide world
I have some trouble with word retrieval but not much.But other than that I am okay with it . I hope this helps.

Avatar universal
I was prescribed Topamax along with an appetite suppressant (Adipex) for weight loss a bit over a year ago and stopped taking them after two and a half months.  I did not lose all of the weight I had wanted to, but most of it.  I had gained 55 pounds while on Paxil over the course of two and a half years.  By taking a combination of the two medicines, I lost 22 pounds the first month, 10 pounds the second month, and 8 pounds the first half of the third month.  I did not like the other effects of taking the medicine, though.  The Adipex made my mouth extremely dry, which nothing helped, and the Topamax made me extremely high-strung and when it was getting close to the time for me to take more, I would get very agitated at anything.  Sometimes I feel weird in my head--I can't really describe it, but just odd and I wonder if it has anything to do with the Topamax, but I am not for sure.  I looked it up a month or so ago and it seems some people hear a radio-like voice in their head after taking it and it seems to get better after they are off for some people, but not everyone.

As long as you have a good doctor though, they are probably prescribing what you need, maybe medicines won't have the same affect on you as it does some people.  There are probably many people who take it and have no problems.  Good luck whatever you decide with your health issues!
Avatar universal
Oops!  I forgot to mention that I do have a friend that took Topamax for migraines.  She said it helped her immensely, but she did lose weight with it.  I don't think she had any of the bad side effects, but I am not for sure.
Avatar universal
My name is Lianne and I am 18 years old. I have suffered from migranes for years, and couln't find the source. I was put on depakote, but it made me sleep all the time (literally) so my doctor put me on topamax. I haven't had any migranes, I'm not dreadfully tired and as an added bonus, it is already helping me to lose weight. I have struggled with weight all of my life, so knowing that this can help is wonderful. I eat smart and exercise, but before, I slept all the time. Now I don't eat as much and I have more energy. It is great hope for anyone with epilepsy, migranes, maia, but I don't think it should be prescribed for people as a weight loss pill. Their are other not so wonderful side  effects, such as mind blocks, tingly hands and dry mouth. Plus, I don't think people should be given a pill just for weight loss. It is a good benefit, but exercise and diet are a better way. It's fair to us because we need the medication to aid other needs.
Avatar universal
Hi I just wanted to tell my story, I went back to the doctor today and they have to wean me off the Topamax I was on it for Migraines. I am also on Wellbutrin for depression and have been for years. They put me on the Topamax about 3 weeks ago I have notice some weight lost however I went "crazy" lol. The doctor said that with doing what it was supposed to by getting rid of the headaches It also had a adverse reaction on me that that sent me into the worst bout of depression I have every had. It almost seemed liked a bi-polar episode and I have never been diagnosed with that. I just wanted to share my story cause I truly thought I was going "crazy" and it was just one of the side effects.
Avatar universal
I went to my doctor for a weight issue and he prescribed me Topamax. The first time I didnt really think it was working I took it for the first four weeks and lost about 20lbs. The problem is I was taking it with a few other medication for a nerve disorder due to  nerve damage during a surgery i had. The one thing I did notice Is that I started these meds at the same time. Peculiar side effect of one of these meds was that it made sodas taste horrible, now it was hard to tell which one it was. I wasnt giving up my sodas so i struggled through the bad taste when i would drink on. The thing is I very seldom drank one because of that. So I attributed that to one of my reasons for loosing the weight. I was so busy with doctors that I didnt think about eating was another excuse I made up for not finding time to eat. But what I didnt realize until I stopped taking the Topamax after the 4th week was that the Topamax had not only been the cause of the nasty tasting soda, which was the only true negative side effect i have had, lol, It took away that need for me to be putting things in my mouth, not necessarily the hunger, because I was never really hungry. I never had a chance to be hungry. I was always eating something, and topomax took away that habit.

Im on my second try with Topamax. By itself 5th week, minus 25lbs. I havent had a soda in 5 weeks, and as far as the side effects go. Remember the side effects are possible side effects. The could happen to some, all or none. Its the chance we all take to get well. Good Luck, and God Bless You
Avatar universal
Julie101301 -- You could have written my comment.  I thought I was going nuts.  My poor husband.  I was put on Topamax four weeks ago and have been building up to 100mg.  I have been suicidal this week and that is so unlike me.  We got a puppy six weeks ago and there have been times that I could drop kick her out the door.  My mood swings have been horrendous.  My husband said that I've been like Jeckyl and Hyde.  The first action at my follow up visit with my Neurosurgeon next week will be to wean me off this ****.  I can lose weight through Weightwatchers.  My brain is too important to fry through whatever this drug is doing to it!  I'll suffer thru the migraines.  Give me imitrex any day.
Avatar universal
My name is Suzzette. I am new to the web site.

I was prescribed Topamax about a year ago by my Pain Doctor. I stopped taking it because it made me feel confused.

I am about to try it again for the pain, but most of all... for me... THE WEIGHT GAIN.

I had a 3 level spinal cord decompression and loads of steroid injections for the bone graft and the pain. That translates into 50 pounds I gained.

I am so desperate to get this weight off, I'm just about willing to do anything. It is causing huge problems in my marriage. My hubby has pretty much said he isn't attracted to me any more.

Anyone out there have any feed back on Topamax... or anything that'll help me shed the pounds?

Avatar universal
I am a 28/female prescribed Topamax in June to help with meningitis headaches but have remained on Topamax for severe chronic headache treatment as well.  I also take Wellbutrin for depression so I was nervous when trying Topamax knowing it could effect my treatment for depression.  At first the depression seemed to get worse for a couple of weeks but my doctor encouraged me to try and stick out the side effects as most side effects subside after several weeks of introducing a new medication to your body. He also explained that Topamax is a mood stabalizer and I really needed to give it a fair chance before throwing in the towel.  He had a hunch it may help with my depression as well...  I am so happy I was able to be patient.  With the encouragement of family and friends I made it through the initial onset of the side effects and they've subsided. My headaches are minimal and my depression is under control and I haven't been able to say that in 3 years!  I too have struggled with my weight due to all of the anti-depressants I've been on and off, and on again.... but this combination works for me.  Each time I increased my dosage I experienced tingling in my hands and a little fatigue but now I take my medication before I go to bed and I feel great during the day.  The tingling has also stopped.  I've gone from 142lbs to 115lbs without changing my habits.  I have less of an appetite now so I make sure I'm eating enough so I don't lose anymore.  In my experience/opinion, Topamax is worth trying.  Give it a fair chance. There were times when the side effects tested my patience, but I would do it over and over again even if it were only a 50/50 chance I'd have the same result!  If you are one of us suffering from and living with a condition that is life altering, it's a crappy hand to have been delt.  But it is managable and there is a better way to live!!.  If Topamax ISN'T your solution, please please don't give up.  Keep pushing on.  There is a solution for you too!
Avatar universal
I am trying Topamax for the 3rd time for my occipital neuralgia.  I have been on Neurontin for many years and am now piggy backed with 100mg of Topamax.  I quit before because of nausea and a very upset stomach with constant burning, loud burping (sorry) and over all queezy feeling.  I really want the weight loss benefit but can't take this too long.  The only reason I am able to make it this time is I stopped a few other meds-Previcid,Zocor and Celebrex. That makes it easier.  I also have difficulty with soda or any carbonated drink.  They all taste yucky and taste flat.  Some foods feel odd to chew.  Has anyone else had gastric problems?  Will this pass or should I give it up before I further tear up my stomach?  Thanks if you have any tips for me.
Avatar universal
I was in a car accident nearly a year ago that had left me suffering from excruciating backpain and headaches. Only frequent visits to the chiropractor (3 x week) or Darvocet seemed to help. 3 days ago I saw a neurologist after a headache that had lasted for 2 whole days. He recognized the headaches I'd been having as being migrains and prescribed Topamax. He told me to be careful, that weightloss was a side effect. I took the first dose the day of my appointment, and the next day I woke up thankfully without a migrain, but to my suprise without any backpain. I had researched the drug before taking it and didn't see anything about pain, so I went on the internet and finally found some information regarding Topamax being used for neuropathic pain, simularly to Neurontin. Well needless to say I'm thrilled. I haven't been without pain in a year:) The only thing bad I have to say about Topamax so far, you all have seemed to experience, it makes carbonated drinks taste terrible!
Avatar universal
I just started taking topamax 2 days ago! I was pleased to hear that most of you have had a good experience with it!  This is the 4th seizure med that I have tried since finding out that I was epileptic a few years ago!  I tried Lamictal but it made me literally stupid and gave me horrible acne, then I tried Depakote but it made me like the living dead I was miserable and tired and I gained 20lbs and started losing my hair (i didnt appreciate that), currently I'm on trileptal which is great because my hair came back and my depakote weight went away but i dont think it is getting rid of my seizures so its basically useless, so now I am slowly adding topamax to my regime! This week i'm starting 25mg at bedtime and working my way up week my week til i'm at 100mg twice a day.  It should take about 2 months to get to that dosage but I'm getting kinda excited hearing about the benefit of weight loss especially since it was weight loss pills (metabolife and xenedrine) that caused me to find out that I was epileptic in the first place! The doctor told me that i might get tingling in my fingers and i might feel a little dopy but happy dopy he described it as, so I figure i can deal with that!  If I start losing weight at a rapid pace i'll definitely post again! And I'm gonna just give up soda now even though im kinda curious to see how bad its gonna taste! Thats all for now! Keep posting I find this soooo interesting!
Avatar universal
I am worried and want some other opinions before I start taking topomax.  I have been on Buspar for several months now.  When the Dr. increased my buspar to 1/2 a tablet each day I experiences sleeplessness, and a really bad headache.  Now the Dr. wants me to start topomax with the buspar.  I have read all the different things I can find on Topomax and wonder if anyone has taken both Buspar and topomax.  I would appreciate anyone would tell me of the experiences.

Avatar universal
I was on Topamax 100 mg previously and lost 20 lbs.  I went off it due to the cost, but would like to go back on again, as my migraines are back with a vengeance.  I also gained back about 10 lbs.  Did anyone who went back on it continue to lose weight?  I was told it didn't work the second time around for weight loss.  Also, if I am refilling my prescription after being off it for 2 months, should I titrate up?  Thanks.
Avatar universal
Hello all,
I visited the Dr. again today and brought up the topic of weight loss.  I have been eating better the last 2 years than I ever had in my life.  I work out 3 times a week and have a crazy busy schedule.  I am 38 and extremely healthy except for occasional headaches, but I am depressed daily about these extra pounds I just can't lose.  I love my Dr. and trust her completely, but would love to hear your comments.  I have taken most all prescription wieght lose drugs with little or no real results, and am considering her suggestion to use Topamax.  Please send any comments to aid me in my decision.
Avatar universal
Greetings all!
I had headaches for over a year, went through sinus surgery, Imitrex, Relapax, and every acendingly agressive treatment my super primary care doc and I negotiated.  Finally, I gave in to him, and tried Topomax.  I started with 5omg a day (and at a weight of 198 pound).  I was already on Wellbutrin 150 mg twice a day and a diet, by the way,and struggling with depression over my weight.  

Two years later, I am at 200 mg per day of Topomax, headache free with no change in the flavor that I can apprciate.  I am also wearing a size 6 working to a size 4.  

One caution.  If you have anorexic tendencies, as I do, be very careful.  I forget to eat, don't want to eat, strive for that smaller size, although everyone tells me that that is enough weight loss.  I will be 50 years old next year, and look all of .... well, lets say no one guesses I am 50.  I did an extremem makeover on myself without surgery, I tell everyone (hair, makeup, body and attitude...)

Topomax works for many things.  Just be careful.  I am dropping the WElbutrin to see if that picks my appetite back up a little so I can maintain a size 4.  Size 22 to size 4 in 3 years...  Ya gotta love it...

Oh, even my EX-husband doesn't recognize me... :-)

Live well, all....
Avatar universal
Somehow I managed to booger up some of my sentences there.  There is no change in the flavor of my beloved DIET COKE!
Avatar universal
I have DDS and Fybromyalgia and have been chronically depressed and in pain for many years. 3 months ago I was diagnosed with bipolar which now makes complete sense to me although I am quite angry as enough is enough already. well the mood stabilizer put 12 lbs on in 3 months partly beause I spent most of the time in bed not wanting to move because i couldn't believe the confirmed diagnosis. I am relieved and angry . My neurologist has me on neurontin for pain and it works like magic. I begged her for topamax after researching it for 2 minutes lol. at this pont in time I am not afraid of anything. Possible side effects don't scare me any more. weight gain does lol slight BDD going on also along with OCD and all the other initials out there. Talk to your Dr. but try anything once If it doesn't help you you can stop!
Avatar universal

I am wondering if someone could answer a question for me. I am about 200 pounds....50 years old...5 foot 7. I have struggled with weight for the past 10 years. My doctor suggested that I take a low dose of Topamax. I resisted as i was concerned about the side effects. However, I started taking 25 milligrams and was thrilled by my immediate lack of interest in food. It was miraculous...as though an addiction was suddenly broken. However, after 2 months---it suddenly stopped working! So..my question...does one build up a tolerance or do I need to increase the dosage? Can anyone tell me what dosages they are on when the Topamax is sole for weight loss in conjunction with depression? (I also take Wellbutrin). Thankyou for any information you might give me.

Avatar universal
Hi again!
Well its been 2 weeks and I dont think I've lost any weight yet but I kinda feel thinner so it might be all in my head which is fine! Tonight I up my dosage again to 50mg at bedtime so i'll be 25 in the morning and 50 at night this week and then 50 and 50 and so on so we will see how it goes!  So far I noticed that I do seem to be having less seizures so I guess thats the part that really matters but I am also very queasy, I lose my train of thought (i did that a lot before thought too), and slightly at a loss for words a lot of the time.  For example the other day I was trying to tell my friend something about six flags but all I could get out was "you know...that fun place..." luckily he knew what I meant or I'd go mental!  and I was with my boyfriend a week or so ago and we had been hangin out for about an hour and I said "you haven't even kissed me yet tonight" and he was like...."uhhh yeah I did" I was like oops! so my memory is going but I have read that once your dosage stabalizes that goes away so I'm gonna push through it.  So other than mild nausea and memory issues it seems to be going alright! I can't even imagine what my memory is going to be like when I get up to 200mg a day! I think the fact that we are moving up slowly is agood though because it gives u a whole week to settle into the dose.  We'll see what happens!
Avatar universal
Hi I was told by the neurologist to take 50 mg. at night and it has only been 3 weeks. I haven't noticed any appetite suppression and thank god my hair is falling out so I can get off the depakote. Maybe the appetite will go away too. wow I didn't feel like doing anything except eating. it's no wonder 10 lbs. flew onto me out of nowhere. I'm hoping for Trileptal in place of the depakote. I have a hat on and I will be wearing it until spring lol p.s. my hair was thin to begin with and losing 10 hairs would have been too many and I probably lost 10 a day for 3 months shoot! Good luck :-)
Avatar universal
I just started taking Topamax 4 days ago for migraines, 25 mg once a day, then I'll start another 25 mg in 3 days,  I read alot about it being used for weight loss but I'm starving.  I laid in bed all night last night with a burning hunger.  About an hour after I eat I want to eat again.  Has anyone else experienced this?  I don't want to gain weight but at this rate I will.  It also says it caused drowsiness - I couldn't sleep at all.  I don't take anything for depression or anything like that - I just have migraines.
Avatar universal
Hi I have Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Sjogren's, Hypothyroid, Raynaud's, Migrains, all of which have caused me to gain extreme amounts of weight from being confined to a bed for several years and being put on medications such as steroids and Paxil to treat the pain.  I am a 35 year old woman who is 5' 8" who was always very thin until I got sick and then went from 145 lbs to 313 lbs in one year!  I lost 50 pounds on my own when I got better and was no longer confined to bed and a wheelchair but since my metabolism has turned off I am now seeing a Dr. who speacializes in treating patients with Topamax for weight loss.  He started me at 25mg for the first week then 50mg the second week and now I am on 100 mg.  I have been doing this for 10 weeks and have lost 36 pounds.  The first week I started the Topamax my brain was really foggy but my body adjusted.  I have the dry mouth and the occasional tingling in the hands but if you drink water the tingling goes away.  Some of my hair is getting thinner but that is also a symptom of the Lupus and the thyroid.  All in all dry mouth, tingling once in a while and a little thinner hair so far is worth it and absolutely no more migraines not even so much as a hint of a headache.
Avatar universal
Hi,I have found the Topamax works very well for me.I have suffered with migrains for 35 yrs,I have just turned 50 . I take 50 mg.2 x a day @ 100mg .This is the second time I am trying the med. I have lost 20 pounds in two months ,but my activity has increased . I work with special needs kid's, Don't give up ,side effects will go away energy will increase. Good Luck To All.  Diane.
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