Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

Topamax for headaches. Thoughts and experiences


Recommended Posts

Hey all, I've dealt with chronic headaches the last few years and have gotten serious about trying to get them treated before I destroy my stomach and kidneys with all the ibuprofen ive been taking. I tried out Neurontin and while it did help with the headaches I'm one of the rare folks it just fucked with hardcore. Had a completely paradoxical reaction in that it gave me severe insomnia, anxiety and brief intense periods of hopelessness. So anyway, I've seen Topamax has a great rep for helping with headaches.  I think my doc is leaning on something like Elavil or Cymbalta next. The hardcore sedation(nice sleep is def a plus but I don't want to feel zombified the rest of the day either) and other potential effects of Elavil don't sound too appealing to me. I've been on Cymbalta before and have mixed feelings about it. Thought about asking my doc about Topamax when I go back. I'm assuming the dosages are usually lower for headaches than as use for AC and mood stabilizer? If so I'm assuming the side effects might also be less? A little bit of weight loss doesn't sound too bad, either. I could stand to lose 10-15 pounds.

 

Does Topamax help  with all types of headaches or is it just migraines? I don't think you would classify the type of headaches I get as classical migraines. They are more at the back of head. I know the first thing you think of is tension but I don't think they are tension and my doc doesn't think so, either. I know there's all kinds of different headaches that don't fit neatly into the classic three of migraine, cluster and tension. So maybe they are some kind of other type migraine, NOS.

 

Another thing about Topamax is the depression I see in the PI sheet that it can cause. A rather large side effect relatively speaking. Enough to be listed as a common side effect. Especially after just dealing with this nightmare on Neurontin, I don't want to have to deal with a second consecutive drug screwing with my head.

 

Any thoughts on top and my situation would be appreciated!

Edited by quiet storm
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally, I've never had topamax, but my wife was on it for quite some time, and it did seem to have an effect. She gets pretty bad migraines, and the topamax mostly kept them at ease. No real side effects for her, and she only was taken off of it because of a possible interaction with another medicine she had to take.

 

Can you describe some of the symptoms when you have a headache? Light or sound sensitivity? Nausea? Stays for a prolonged period of time?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I take topamax 125mg for migraines but I suffer from hemiplegic migraines that are pretty severe, enough that I also take depakote for migraines too (but I also take it as a mood stabilizer). I see a neurologist who has ordered cat scans and several mris to determine the cause of my headaches and which kinds. I get headaches all the time and different kinds too. Topamax has helped to reduce the number of headaches and migraines I get per month as well as the severity. But I still have about 4-5 migraines a month that are pretty severe. You need to consider diet sleep and aerobic exercise to help with headaches. Other medicines like verapamil can help as well.

in terms of side effects and what not I just lost weight and that's about it. It curbs my hunger a lot

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used Zonegran, which is a metabolite of Topamax. First, let me say my sister uses Topamax for migraine, and it has been a silver bullet. She is the head of the Classics dept. at a small school in NY (this is relevant, hang on), and also is raising a 5 year old daughter on her own.

 

One of the side effects you hear about with Topa a lot is that it affects you cognitively, and it has the nickname "Dopamax." Word finding was horrible for me on Zonegran, but the really fuzzy stupid stuff got better over a couple of months.

 

My sister, on the other hand, has had absolutely no cognitive effect, is teaching 4 courses, publishing papers, and taking care of my niece.

 

I had to stop Zonegran because it was giving me kidney damage (a concern with Topa, but not a prominent one). I don't think it worked that well, but my ndoc did.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ive had a CT in the past that didn't turn up anything. I don't get light or sound sensitivity. They seem to happen in the afternoons but I do occasionally wake up in early morning hours with one. They range from manageable to downright disabling. I would describe the pain as a sharp throb. When they are really bad all I can pretty much do is take 800mg of ibruprofen and lay down and literally not move until it subsides to the point I can function or goes away. They do respond to ibuprofen fairly well which makes me wonder if its more of an inflammatory component and maybe Topamax wouldn't really help for. But Neurontin did help and it is an AC as well so maybe the Topamax would help. I don't know, I'm just really hesitant to go back to the AD route and all the side effects they bring unless I actually need them for depression.

Edited by quiet storm
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ive had a CT in the past that didn't turn up anything. I don't get light or sound sensitivity. They seem to happen in the afternoons but I do occasionally wake up in early morning hours with one. They range from manageable to downright disabling. I would describe the pain as a sharp throb. When they are really bad all I can pretty much do is take 800mg of ibruprofen and lay down and literally not move until it subsides to the point I can function or goes away. They do respond to ibuprofen fairly well which makes me wonder if its more of an inflammatory component and maybe Topamax wouldn't really help for. But Neurontin did help and it is an AC as well so maybe the Topamax would help. I don't know, I'm just really hesitant to go back to the AD route and all the side effects they bring unless I actually need them for depression.

 

Id definitely consult a neuro for more options if the headaches are disabling, especially if you have more than two or so per week. It seems promising that they respond to ibuprofen, but it would be nice to prevent headaches and topamax has been good at that in my experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Just found this thread.  I was put on Topamax two weeks ago to help curb the appetite and weight gain from the Depakote I went on about 3 months ago.  In general, I do get migraines, but the propranolol has been good about preventing those in the past.

 

 I spent a week at 25mg on Topamax and have been a week at 50mg.  My thoughts on this drug so far.

 

Anything that has carbonation in it doesn't taste very good. Either it tastes flat or it just tastes gross.

 

When I moved up to 50mg, I acquired a dull headache (not a migraine) for a few days.  Yesterday it was there most of the day.... bleh.

 

I have felt down and depressed, but have also been dealing with some family issues.  However, those issues were there 2 weeks ago and I was in a fairly happy mood.

I went to the pharmacy today to pick one of my scripts and I couldn't figure out what I wanted to say.

 

So all-in-all, I would say that the drug is living up to what it claims so far.

 

I really don't like it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...