What Is Topamax?


Quick Answer

WebMD describes Topamax as a anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug that is used alone or with other medications to treat seizures. Topamax is also used to treat migraines, but it is only effective in decreasing the frequency of migraine occurrences and does not treat a migraine once it comes about.

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Full Answer

WebMD states that Topamax tablets are taken whole with or without food usually twice daily. Topamax should be taken with a large amount of water to prevent kidney stones. Topamax dosage for children depends on their weight, and doctors generally gradually increase the dosage of the medicine for each patient to avoid severe side effects. The medicine must be taken regularly to receive its full benefits, and dosage is gradually decreased instead of stopped altogether to prevent adverse reactions.

Common Topamax side effects include drowsiness, loss of appetite, weight loss, confusion, trouble concentrating, memory problems and slowed thinking. Serious side effects such as kidney stones, depression, suicidal thoughts, rapid breathing, an altered heartbeat, loss of consciousness and bone pain require immediate medical attention, notes WebMD. Topamax can rarely cause severe eye problems within one month of taking it, and permanent blindness can occur if it is left untreated. Topamax can also rarely cause a high amount of ammonia in the blood if the patient is also taking valproic acid. Severe allergic reactions to Topamax are rare.

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