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Eyesight problems on Topamax

I have been on Topamax for a few months and have developed "after-images". My eyes will hang on to an image and it will stay in my vision for a few seconds until it fades even though I'm looking somewhere else.

I also have trailing images from moving objects. I've also got awful double vision (from about 10+ feet away) but my neurologist seemed to doubt that it was true double vision as it was still present when he covered one of my eyes. It made me feel as though I was making it up!

Anyone else got this problem? I'm presuming it is the Topamax causing this as it is constant so I know its not a seizure.

I hope I have explained the "after-image" thing ok, not an easy thing to explain.



I was put on 25 mg. years ago. was having blurred vision. thought my bifocals. didn't read carefully when ordered. when new presciption came in. saw it mentioned vision problems and report to doctor immediately. called and was taking off of it.

Nothing actually wrong with my eyes, I've had them checked out by the Opthalmology dept at the hospital so can only presume its a brain thing caused by the Topamax. Guess I'm stuck with it as apart from this its a very good drug compared to others I've been on so I don't want to change meds again.

 I just wondered if anyone else got the same thing....always comforting if someone does!

  Chilli, I thought I was also "stuck" on my meds that were not even working on me; I tried all anticonvulsants (including Topamax) since 1980 causing many side effects where doctors didn't pay much attention to the adverse effects of the drugs they prescribed me. All doctors do is take care of your symptoms --- not what is causing the problem. Obviously, if there is no problem, such as epilepsy, where is the symptom? Doctors don't tell you of Complementary Alternative Medicine for any health condition, which have helped me the most, yet because they want you to remain ill and when I tested herbal remedies in 2 weeks I was surprised noticing my double and blurred vision disappear, physically energized, and without weakness or sleeplessness. That experience gave me a great spiritual well-being; it's a fact, a person does not only learn by mistakes but by experience. After learning of more treatment options for epilepsy, such as meditation, aromatherapy,  additional herbal and ayuveric supplements, neurofeedback, body-talk, yoga, magnet therapy, minerals and vitamins that prescription drugs lower in someone's system such as folate (folic acid) and gammaminobutric acid (GABA; the most important inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain), I eliminated and lowered prescriptions drugs, becoming more active and driving without a single seizure. Believe it or not, you can control your seizures using your brainwaves. Ask a psychologist or psychotherapist for any of these treatments that can help you and I recommend you read on alternative medicine.   

Hi there. I would just like to share something about Topamax. Topamax is a seizure medication, also called an anticonvulsant. Topamax is used alone or in combination with other medications to
prevent seizures in adults and children who are at least 2 years old. Seek emergency medical attention if you have a sudden change in vision
and pain around or behind the eyes. These may be early signs of a
serious side effect of Topamax. Do not stop taking Topamax without
first talking to your doctor, even if you feel better.

Before taking Topamax, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • kidney disease or a history of kidney stones
  • liver disease
  • glaucoma

  • asthma, emphysema, or bronchitis

  • if you have recently had surgery.

Tempe Doctors


I have problems focusing and have been to the eye doc for it.  They put prisms in my glasses to correct the problem I was having ( eyes weren't focusing together).  This has corrected the problem.  However, this may not be due to the topamax (I take 200 mg 2x a day) but due to the traumatic brain injury I received 8 years ago due to a motor vehicle accident.  I regularly see the eye doc just because it is possible that this med could cause glaucoma and other problems due to the eye.  Make sure you are seeing an eye doctor regularly.  I hope this helps, and Merry Christmas!

Thanks for the helpful reply. See my post below re my eyes condition, had my eyes checked and they are fine....must be a brain thing but it is interesting to hear about your prism glasses correcting the problem. I'm due for another check in a couple of months so I will raise this to see if it could be something that could help me too.

I know this is an old thread but I am having the exact same thing happen on Topamax.  Its called Palinopsia and several case studies relate it to Topamax but it's rare. I just started having it happen, especially frequently in low light but in three occasions it was when I turned on the light very clearly. I was wondering if you ever resolved it, maybe by getting off Topamax. If not, it defiently is not your glasses. Mine were a bit off for by a degree for a bit but I got them fixed and the problem persists.

Hi, thanks for the reply.

Since writing my original post I have had just about every test possible to try to find out what was causing the sight problem....but it eventually came down to definately being caused by the Topamax. It got worse as the dose was raised.

I think I could have learned to live with the sight problem but I have eventually had to come off the Topamax due to other bad side-effects (cognitive and motor problems).

It did take a while for my sight to settle after stopping the Topamax but hopefully no permanent damage done.

I used to praise this drug but now I wouldn't recommend it to anyone - except as a last resort. It almost turned me into a zombie.

I hope you are one of the people who can cope with it, but by the sound of it your sight is suffering already.

Good luck.

I have vision problems as well because of Topiramate. When I move through a room or look around a low lit room I see tracers almost all of the time and when I googled the word "Palinopsia" it is DEFINTELY" what my eyes are doing. After I have a seizure this also increases about 30-40%, I know it is the drug that is affecting my eyes, as it only happened after I started taking it. I have seen an othamologist and they have said my eyes are fine. The doctor mentioned there is a term for it, but couldnt remember thr word, now I know what it is!

I've found others now that have had vision problems whilst on Topamax.

How come we aren't being warned about this more before we are started on the drug?

It would have saved me a lot of anguish and eye tests if I had known that it was likely to be the Topamax.

I was shocked to see that others were describing the exact symptoms I had been having for over a year on Topamax. I took the medication to prevent cluster migraine, and it was effective. At 75mg i began to see the "tracers" and after images. I went to the opthamalogist and was told i had healthy eyes , no problems, I was told the symptoms might be related to my blood sugar being too high (I'm Diabetic). I thought all was well, but the symptoms were annoying and i knew something was wrong. On 11/11/09, just a few days ago i woke up with pain in my left eye and it felt dry and irritated. I went to work where the Nurse said "the pupil of your left eye is dilated, but you right eye looks normal. I called my primary care doctor and was told to go to the ER immediately. I was sent to an emergency opthamalogist who diagnose ACUTE NARROW ANGLE GLAUCOMA. Untreated I could have been permanently blind in 24 hours. I had seen a opthamologst 3 months earlier for a dilated eye exam and no problems were found.  Please!!!!!! All of you who have the symptoms take heed, insist that your Doctors test your eye pressures FREQUENTLY, not every 6 months to a years. Print out all of these messages where others are repoting the same symptoms. I have 20/300 vision in my Left eye, and am told that some of my vision will come back, but.... what if it had been caught earlier? I am now weaning off topamax, down to 25mg and with the eye drops I use to treat the high pressure in the eyes, my symptoms of tracers and after images have completely disappeared. I hope that this message can save at least one persons eyesight if not more. Topamax should come with a warning that states that Narrow Angle Glaucoma is not a rare side effect, and lists the symptoms that we have all reported.


I also have been having "tracers" while on topamax. I've been on it for about 2 years and just within the past 6 months started noticing when I wake up in the morning (only), if I quickly jump out of bed, when I move my arms and legs these huge white traces will follow. It scared me the first time it happened because I thought i was going crazy! Then when I was able to walk around a bit and become fully aware it went away. I noticed horrible eye pain as if my eyes are going to just pop out of my head! I also experience blurred vision that goes in and out I don't know if Anyone has these symptoms. I've heared of people going blind from topamax I don't want to be one of those people it obviously has alot of side effects with the eyes so everyone be cautious!

I was taking Topamax for a long time and my vision was getting worse and worst. I was thinking maybe it was a desease like Presbyopia. I then went to the eye doctor and they told me the effect of Topamax and that there were only a few options to reverse the effects. Now I am stuck with the scary fact that I am young and partially blind and dont have enough money to fix it now. I can't drive at night very well and it has really changed my life. I can't believe this drug was sold to the public.

I'm really sorry this has happened to you. Have you been told exactly what damage has been done? Is it glaucoma?

I ask because my sight, although not as bad as your of course, is still not the same as it was before I was on Topamax and I wonder if permanent damage has been done.

You mention options to reverse the effect,what options have you been given? Operations?

Has your doctor said he will feedback to the drugs company about your damage?

It is a scary drug.

I hope you can find ways to cope with your problem. As if having epilepsy isn't enough eh? Then we get all the side-effects from the drugs too.

Your right that topamax may cause presumed (topamax) topiramate-induced bilateral acute angle-closure glaucoma. However, if your tests for glaucoma were negitive;than there is no consern for that eye disease. Your myopia (nearsightness) was no dought beginning before you even started topamax. Your need for glasses to correct that problem is not related to a side effect of topamax. Check with your oprometrist for regular follow up on your IOP (intra ocular pressure) tests for indications of increased pressure. The optometrist should also monitor your myopia as to why it may be changing.


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I've also had some eye issues on Topirimate. Some of which are almost like flashes of light out of the corners of my eyes and some of which are similar to yours where it almost seems as though the images are burnt into my eyes temporarily. I haven't been able to get ahold of my doctor to discuss them but it seems to mostly be problematic at night.

Hello, this is now 3 years on since I started this thread! I can report that I am still on Topiramate/Topamax and still getting the same sight problems. I've had numerous tests, and there is nothing wrong with the structure of my eyes. Its a brain thing.
Topiramate messes with the sight part of your brain. And the higher the dose, the worse it gets.
I've had to drop down to a lower dose now due to the scary side-effect so I've got minimal seizure control but it's better than nothing.
Is the sight thing permanent? Who knows! I get some wonderful light shows in the dark and some strange special effects but I've learned to live with them.

You're right about the dark...Stargazing is quite interesting, if not dizzying sometimes.

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