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I have heard of some studies done in which Topamax has been investigated for the efficacy in treating alcohol dependence, cocaine dependence, etc.  (I don't have any citations off the top of my head, but after college I worked in an addiction research center, and one of the psychiatrists was running a study on using Topamax for treatment of alcohol abuse.  I have also separately heard that Topamax can help with "impulsive behaviors" in general (binge/purge, self-harm, etc).

 

Has anyone ever used it for purposes of reducing substance cravings and/or specifically to target impulsive behaviors?  I have been struggling with substance abuse (DXM/"robotripping") with increasing lengths of abstinent time, but still using impulsively and having cravings.  I also struggle with self-harm and binging behaviors with very rare purging (hx of full blown bulimia-- I'm afraid with increasing sobriety (12 days clean) that my ED and self-harm behaviors will exacerbate.  

 

I was on Topamax before for about 10 months, and it seemed to have a positive impact on my binge eating, at the very least.  I was not having substance use problems then, so I can't comment with that.  It probably helped with mood stability to an extent.  (I'm not bipolar, more like borderline personality traits or full blown BPD, depending on which provider you ask, so a mood stabilizer is not imperative nor are medications the cure-all).  And to top it off, I had less frequent headaches (working with gdoc to figure out if the chronic headaches are migraine, tension, or combined).  And the Lamictal headache had not seemed to truly go away-- I always have at least a dull headache to an extent.

 

My current pdoc doesn't have much experience with Topamax, so that was part of the reason for the switch from Topamax to Lamictal.  (The other reason was I wanted to go on the BC pill, but boy was that a disaster!)  I was thinking about talking to her about Topamax again and seeing if we can trade out the Lamictal for the Topamax.  But I wanted to get some feedback about whether anyone here has used it for addiction, self-harm, binge eating/EDNOS, PTSD and BPD symptoms, etc.  Thanks!

 

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Hi there, I have tried Topomax for a few months on two occasions.  I took it to treat my binge eating--I didn't notice any effect on my alcohol problem but I wasn't specifically tracking that.  I took 200 mg.  It worked fairly well, but both times I discontinued it due to the cognitive side effects.  It really made me fuzzy-brained.  I wish you the best if you make the switch again!

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Hi Seashells, thanks for your response.  That's interesting-- I know that Topamax is generally associated with cognitive effects (hence the nickname "Dopamax"), but I don't recall really experiencing that side effect much, if at all beyond the first few days.  I was on 150mg as my max dose.  I have noticed the cognitive side effect more from Lamictal, which is somewhat present now but really kicks into gear whenever we've ever attempted to go above 100mg.  

 

Did the Topamax help you with the binge eating?

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