Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

My doc just called in a prescription for Topamax for me..


Recommended Posts

Hey guys..

I finally worked up the courage to speak to my PC Doc regarding the starting of Topamax. Part of the reason I wanted to try it was to help me with my migraines that seem to be coming on more frequently. I also heard it was helpful for anxiety, and weight loss. I have gained an OBSCENE amount of weight on Lexapro (which I am still taking, don't feel comfortable going off yet) and needed to do something about it. I know you aren't supposed to take it for this side effect, but I am so desperate for anything that will help with this because I just can't even stand to look at myself anymore. Even a 10-15 pound weight loss would be a miracle for me at this point..

Anyway, can anyone tell me what I should expect upon starting this? I read through the thread, but I am needing some support right now.

I really appreciate any advice.. Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jen

I've been on Topamax for several months. Happy to talk about my experience on it. I take it for several reasons.

First, I'm a rapid cycling BP I and it is supposed to help with that. And it has. I've stopped the rapid cycling. I've more or less stabilized since Topamax came on board.

Second, I have anxiety issues galore. I won't go into the details, don't want to steal your thread, but if you've got anxiety, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by Topamax's calming effects. I have been able to do some social things since starting on Topamax that have amazed family, friends and self. Yeah, I even went to a big fundraising dinner extravaganza thing. Without getting sick or dizzy or freaked out.

Third, weight. Yep. I gained weight on Seroquel. Lost about twenty pounds in about four weeks or so...is that right?....well, something like that...but twenty pounds anyway. Topamax does double duty. It zaps the appetite by controlling impulses...so it will help with things like drinking probs and drugs and whatnot, too, but appetite control...AND it also makes the body go into that ketosis thing like on a low-carb diet but without the low-carb diet so you lose weight that way, too.

Now, side effects.

I get tingles. In the feet, mostly, but also the hands and sometimes in the face. Sometimes, I can't feel my nose. Not that I need to, but still. These tingles have faded over time. They are way worse when you first start the Topamax and when you increase doses. I promise. Sometimes the tingles can actually kind of hurt, but mostly they're just weird.

I get dumb. I forget words. Sometimes I say the wrong word. For example, at Macy's, I once pulled out my driver's license for ID during a credit card purchase and said, cheerily, "Do you need to see my remote control?" Ah, special times. Now, again, these dumb moments have faded over time for me. Some people say they never fade for them. But I really have gotten smarter again as I've been on the Topamax awhile.

That's it, Jen. Oh, wait, no. Constipation. Bummer. But I deal with it. Other than that, it's a pretty easy drug to take for me. I like it.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask me any questions if you want more info. Good luck.

~Cat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What dose are you on? If it helps with your migraines, great. Be aware that can make you feel pretty damn stupid for the first month to six weeks but this seems to go away for most people if they wait it out.

There's an increased risk of kidney stones so drink lots of water.

Have you tried lots of Ads and Lexi is the only one that works or something? Topa can be pretty hardcore and it might not be worth it for weight loss alone if it doesn't help your migraines.

I'm on 100mgs for (very) recurrent depression. It seems to have evened things out somewhat. Seroquel and cymbalta do enough for the anxiety that i'm not sure if it's helping any more or not. It did make most of my tourette's go away and that always got worse when my anxiety was bad so there is some connection there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chershirecat - I had to LOL at your story re: the drivers license "incident".. That is too funny! The word problem thing worries me a bit because I work in a law firm so I kind of have to be "on my toes"..Can't go into my boss calling a file a pony..LMAO!! Well, I guess I will see how it goes..I was very happy to read that it helped with your anxiety. Anxiety is a HUGE problem for me, that is the reason I started the Lexapro over a year ago, and it has helped, but the side effects (in particular, the weight gain) have really sucked.

Elvis - I have tried Cymbalta before the Lex and was deathly ill from it...Felt like I was going to die. So, needless to say, I am hesitant to try any other antidepressants, especially since learning most of them have a worse side effect profile than Lex does...That's why I figured the Topamax might kind of kill two birds with one stone for me, helping with the anxiety and weight loss.. Maybe then I can finally quit taking Xanax..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wholeheartedly agree with the slow titration.

I'd recommend vitamin supplements if you're not already on them. Topamax gave me a slight iron deficiency. Biotin or a combo hair/nail supplement will probably be essential. A lot of people have hair loss so maybe you'll be able to head it off at the pass.

Every time I titrated up, for the first four or five days, my side effects would start anew. Deja vu was bad - jamais vu as *worse*. Word finding - not so fun. I do tech support so my verbal skills are generally pretty good but I had to fudge a lot - it's a good thing I'm generally informal and my clients are regulars so they are familar with my style.

Personally, if I could do my first six to eight weeks over? I wouldn't have left the house too much except for essentials. I wrecked my car twice because I was like a gangly colt. I just wasn't functioning well.

Having said all that, Topamax helped me quit smoking like it was nothing. A breeeeeze! It's been fair to moderately successful with my binge eating problem but I think that has been impacted by my other meds. I don't get headaches anymore and I used to be a daily headache person. I can't remember the last time I had one. I think I've had one in the last three or four months. ONE! That is just unreal.

I'm still tweaking my cocktail as I'm a bit of a mess at the moment but all in all it has had some very good benefits. The smoking alone - priceless. Two years of Wellbutrin couldn't do it.

Ruins

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was on it for about three years. I stopped recently because it wasn't stopping my rapid cycling into depression, and I wasn't willing to go up on my dose due to side effects (I was on 300mg twice a day).

When I started it, my pdoc at the time titrated me up very fast to 400mg twice a day. I had terrible short term memory loss and distinctly remember locking my keys in my car while it was still running at least 3 times in the first couple of months. The memory loss was what eventually led me to decrease the dose. I couldn't work (I'm a nurse) safely.

Word finding remained a problem throughout the entire time I was on it. It decreased quite a bit over time, though. I had one bout with kidney stones, which was my own damn fault, because I hated drinking water.

Weight loss was not really an issue. I take 600mg a day of seroquel, which pretty much counteracted any effect from the topa in that department.

With all this, you might wonder why I stayed on the stuff so long...

Until recently, it kept my rapid cycling under complete control. It was a good drug for me for quite a while. I guess it just pooped out.

Good luck taking it, and like others have said--titrate up SLOWLY.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I took Dope-A-Max for about a month before I threw in the towel. I took 2 hours to find the highway right by my house that I took to work daily, couldn't remember words, and literally had to consult my cell phone for my own phone number.

My pdoc wanted to augment Lamictal, because I was having break-through episodes. We ditched the T and waited awhile. Finally, after another ER visit, we went to Z, and since I have not had any weird feelings. When I feel myself starting to have weird feelings, I take 5mg Z (15mg is my daily dose), and it zaps whatever was going to come up.

Anyway, sorry, my ADD acts up sometimes...

About that Dope ;) , I'd just say go up slow and keep a log of your side effects, and of the water you drink. I did lose weight, but I can't say if it was stress from a new job, running around so much at work, WB, or the Dope.

I'd say give it a go. For some people it is a miracle.

best of luck

loon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was Dope-A-Max for me as well. I just posted in the new Topomax thread in this forum about how tired it made me.

I don't think it made me lose weight. I was down to 78 pounds shortly after I started taking it, but 1) I hadn't been too well physically because this was shortly after a serious suicide attempt, 2) I was practicing a bit of eating-disordered behaviour, and 3) I'm only 5 feet tall.

It certainly didn't make me quit smoking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just wanted to thank everyone for their responses...I haven't started it yet, I plan to start it tomorrow so that way, if I become really spaced out, it won't matter so much because I don't have to work the next day..I will post again to let you guys know what happens..

I am only starting on 25mg..so I don't know how much (if any) weight might come off, but I am keeping my fingers crossed! ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jen,

I took Topamax to maybe help with smoking -- an experimental use, certainly. It did not help me quit smoking, but it did make me dumb as a bag of hammers and made carbonated beverages very distasteful. If your only purpose is weight loss, then I'd say, hey, give it a shot, but be prepared to drop it. It's not saving your life. There are other ways. On the other hand, I'm sure it's helped some people for just that purpose with no ill effects. So basically this post is for nothing. Just wasting your time.

Kisses,

Boo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi everyone!

Well, I took my first dose last night. I think I worked myself up into a panic of what COULD happen, so I started to feel things that weren't really there..LOL. Anyway, I noticed some tingling in my feet and about 1/2 hour after that, I had a really happy feeling come over me...I was watching television with this dopey grin on my face and my boyfriend was giving me strange looks.. ;)

So, that's it for now, no dopiness yet, but I will update!!

Love on ya,

Jen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey there, Topa. queen here. Been taking it since March '06. Started on it as an add-on to Lamictal to help with Epilepsy. Everyone reacts differently. Some people think it's a nitemare, others find it to be a Godsend.

You will get the occasional brainfart. (word loss.)

You will get the occasional tinglies.

You will feel like a big dummy sometimes.

BUT! Many, if not all of these side effects can be allieviated if you drink a shit ton of water. I mean, a Shit ton.

I drink the equivalent of Niagra Falls daily. I'd say I've gone down about two waist sizes. I don't believe in scales (a thing of eeeevil)...I just go by how my clothes fit. Weight has never really been an issue cuz I'm 5'10", so I kinda distribute the fat everywhere. But I DO feel a bit lighter.

I think the water drinking helps in that dept. cuz all you do is piss.

Also, a warning...watch out in this heat. Topa. takers don't like to spend too much time in the heat and sun. And if you do spend a lot of time outdoors, you've gotta stay hydrated but hood. Not just water, either. Sports drinks. Gotta have those electrolytes.

All in all, I like Topa. Anything to keep these freakin seizures under control (somewhat.)

Good luck...any questions...just ask!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey there dum dum!

Thanks for the info...

Just wondering what dose you were on...I am only on 25mg for now..and how long did it take for the weight to start coming off..

I defintley have the tingles, yesterday I was sitting at work typing and couldn't feel my nose (Chershirecat - I know you can relate! LOL).. and this morning getting my coffee, totally could not feel my hand!!

But you know what is weird, I haven't noticed any appetite suppression at all. I thought I would feel less hungry but I don't. Is this normal?

Also, yesterday I had a migraine.. UGH!

So, I think I am going to call my doc and ask him to raise me to 50mg and see what happens..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey there dum dum!

Thanks for the info...

Just wondering what dose you were on...I am only on 25mg for now..and how long did it take for the weight to start coming off..

I defintley have the tingles, yesterday I was sitting at work typing and couldn't feel my nose (Chershirecat - I know you can relate! LOL).. and this morning getting my coffee, totally could not feel my hand!!

But you know what is weird, I haven't noticed any appetite suppression at all. I thought I would feel less hungry but I don't. Is this normal?

Also, yesterday I had a migraine.. UGH!

So, I think I am going to call my doc and ask him to raise me to 50mg and see what happens..

A few people already said it, but I'll mention it again: slow titration.

SLOW.

This means if you can not feel your hand, you may want to wait to increase the dosage. You shouldn't base your titration for this med on your appetite or on whether or not you are losing weight- you will end up a mess. Particularly if it's making you feel loopy or giving you a 'false sense of wellbeing' or whatever that term is.

You are worried about being "on your toes" at work, you need to put a little more thought into what side effects you are willing to risk and how quickly. Also, ask people around you what they think of how you are acting- speech, memory, things like that. You don't always notice it until it becomes a large problem.

This really is a powerful med. The heat is really kicking my ass more this summer [i haven't been able to just sit in airconditioning] and I'm pretty sure Topamax is to blame for that. I don't sweat very much right now and my body probably needs to.

My eyes have also been more messed up the past year+ and Topamax seems to be the only med to blame it on.

Going slow is the best way to know if the med is really for you- least likely that the temporary side effects will get in the way.

But, on the plus side, I am way less crazier and the migraine situation is improved somewhat from before I started taking it.

I don't suggest waiting until every single little tingle goes away, but waiting until it improves is a good idea. You won't explode if you don't, but your body and brain might be extremely confused.

It's sucky in the mean time while you are waiting for an effective med, but probably better than wandering around your office trying to remember where the restroom is.

Water. Lots of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi...re; the dosage.

You just started taking Topa. so it takes a looooooong time to titrate up. Did your doc give you the starter pack? Week one you're on 25mg. Week 2, 50, Week 3, 75 mgs, Week 4, 100 mgs... You get the picture!

I am currently on 300 mgs. I take 100 in the am, 100 in afternoon and 100 in the pm. I was just taking it 2x a day but neuro. and I discussed it--2x a day was stretching it a little to thin for me. It took about 7 weeks for me to get up to this level.

I'm also on 300 mgs. Lamictal.

Topa. will also help GREATLY for your migraines. It is a wonderdrug in that it works for seizures/migraines/weightloss and more. I never had a migraine in my life until Lamictal, that's why my doc prescribed Topa.

Weight didn't start coming off til I really committed to my water intake. Which, as I've mentioned, really REALLY helps with the side effects...brain fog and tinglies. I mean, really helps. In the beginning, if my toes started tingling, I would chug some water and the feeling would return almost immediately. I kid you not.

Appetite surpression kicked in as my dose was titrated up. Right now I just looked at the clock. It's 2:14 and I haven't eaten a thing. I work from home, so I don't have co-workers around me going to lunch. So I have no reminders that, "Whoa, must be lunch hour." So...as you titrate up, you'll probably notice your appetite going away.

That's really not a healthy thing tho'. Should eat.

You can call your doc, but I would doubt that he'd raise your dosage so soon. At least, he shouldn't. As others have mentioned, Topa. is a powerful drug and you have to titrate very slowly.

Sorry this is so long...but Topa. is a complicated drug. I wish you luck...a drink WATER woman! ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm thinking of asking Pdoc about putting me on Topomax and taking me off Wellbutrin, which is making me manic-dysphoric-sucks ass! I am currently on 300 mg. Lamictal, 1.5 mg Klonopin(except while the Wellbutrin is making me manic, i have been instructed to take more Klonopin by my substitute pdoc-reg pdoc on vacation for a month-making me have very bad depression, along w/ my dyshoric mania. )

:oh and 250-300 mg. Seroquel-which caused me to gain 20 pounds in a year. I am a very good water drinker- lots of water-I lvive in Fla. and Its hot. So Im use to drinking lots of water. I love drinking water. I have regular migraines that last for days. So, I'm thinking Topo. may be a good option for me. Any opinions until I can see my pdoc??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK:

I skipped over all the responses. Not out of disrespect, but I have no time these days.

Took Topamax for a couple years for (OK I'll say it) weight loss. I had gained weight and our family has a history of heart disease. Weight gain was due to remeron. I asked p-doc of I could? She said yes.

I lost 30 pounds - BUT - I did a low carb diet, and if you know me at all, you know I exercise a lot. Swimming thirty minutes of laps three days a week, walking the beach when my back allows, and now I'm doing yoga. You HAVE to do exercise and diet if you want to lose the weight. But Topamax will curb your appetite.

I did have word finding as a problem. I was on a low dose, but I can't handle a high dose of just about anything. I thought it was funny. Made up things when I couldn't think of the word I wanted, but that's me.

I had one bad side effect, this is not normal, but I became very depressed. My p-doc consulted with three p-docs on this. They all had patients on Topamax, only one reported a patient with the same reaction as me. I am weird and no longer on it. Damnit. I looked great.

But here is the strange thing: after sobbing daily for three months, she cut the dose in half and the following morning, I was perfectly happy again. I don't normally have depression. Seh felt really badly that it had taken so long to find the culprit of my "depression". It was so abnormal, that is took her awhile. But then on a hunch, she had me singin' and swingin' the following morning.

Breeze

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hiya-

The Z ended up not working out for a lot of reasons, so we decided to go back to Dope.

I'm up to 50 now.

Today I went to my treatment team's office. My tdoc took me back to his office, and it is only a turn and then down the hall, but I felt like I was in outer space. That is the exact way I want to describe it. Outer space. Like I was swimming in confusion. I had no idea where we were! I asked him if his office was moved! He just looked at me like ;) ? and led the way.

After I told him about my new med, he told me he hadn't noticed any problems with me being stupid or with finding what to say or with my vocabulary. We had an hour long session, so I made it that long. After my trip to Mars down the hallway that is.

The last time I took Dope I do recall that I had a car accident and tried to open my apartment door wtih the remote that opens the car door, and wondered why it didn't work! My neighbor from upstairs came in and found me doing that, and set me straight, with a :) look. I'm hoping this time to be more mindful and avoid that kind of stuff. I'm taking it slower- that's what I mean about being more mindful.

As you may have read in other threads, use the spell check, and the thesaurus (spelling?) too if you have to. Feel no shame in doing so. Sometimes I run my posts through spell check because I'm embarassed to post stuff with misspellings (obviously not this time)!

I have a job interview on Friday. I'm a help desk analyst. Let's hope that I make it through without any problems. It is two hours.

Loon!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...