How does Topamax treat obesity?


Quick Answer

Topamax causes taste impairment, loss of appetite, increased energy expenditure and reduction in leptin, corticosteroid, and neuropeptide-Y concentrations, all of which are effective in reducing body weight. It also improves insulin sensitivity and reduces blood glucose levels, which may also assist with weight loss, notes HealthyStock.

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Full Answer

Doctors sometimes prescribe Topamax to control binging and purging and help with weight loss in people with eating disorders, such as bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder. The drug is an alternative when treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors has not been effective, states Everyday Health.

Topiramate, the generic name for Topamax, is actually an anticonvulsant drug used to reduce the frequency of migraines and prevent seizures. The FDA has not approved it for weight loss, but clinical studies have shown its potential to reduce weight, explains HealthyStock.

While Topamax is effective in reducing weight, it does have some serious side effects. As a result, it is not the first choice weight loss treatment for patients with eating disorders. Some of these side effects include mood changes, such as aggression and agitation; reduced sensation; and red, irritated or bleeding gums. Some rare side effects include blood in urine, loss of bladder control, trouble with breathing and hearing loss, notes Everyday Health.

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