Community Forum

Topamax -- Good or Bad???

I am switching from Depakote to Topamax, and I have heard different stories of how people react to the drug. My Bro-in-law took it for migraines and HATED the side effects, but a lady who works with my hubby LOVES it. I usually don't have much of a reaction to meds, but we are trying something new because the Depakote was affecting my weight a little, but mostly it was because I feel a little foggy while I am on the Depakote. I would love to hear anyone else's Topamax stories, both good and bad. Thanks!


I have just swiched from Depakote to Topamax and I love the change. I was on Depakote for several years and put on a lot of weight and at the end was suffering from spasms in my hands and arms and was beginning to have increased seizure activity. With the Topamax I have so far, lost 20 pounds and the shaking stopped and so has the increased seizure activity. I am happy with it. I have also talked to people who have taken it who were not happy with it. It did not work for them. I am just glad it works for me. I don't miss the depakote at all. Good luck to you.

These meds, everyone is different right?> You do not know until YOU try it....I am on it and have been since April. Started it for constant headaches and migraines. Abnormal EEG in June so I guess I am on it for more than that now....

I love my topamax, no one will take it away.....NOW, My PCP put me on it and she did NOT know how to titrate and did it TOO fast...made me a bit of a zombie.....nuero had me go down.Pain came back....after 3 weeks I could NOT stand it, asked for a 25 mg increase helped a wee bit, month later asked for 25 zombie this slow is best.....

Sides for me were terrible insomnia which I guess is rare. Most are tired on it....not me, i slept 2 hours a night for weeks. could not nap!! I did have a TON of energy and got SO much done. Call me the energizer bunny!!!

tingling in hands and feet, but that eased in time! Soda tasted funny as did coffee but that did not last more than a month or so...I can live with that when after ONE week, My ODD feelings and PAIN were GONE.... I had been having seizures I did not know for over 12 years..
(dx was fibro and brain fog from that)

The One big side effect that I did not get rid of was an increase in anxiety and I did have to add a med to handle that....I already had this problem so it was not a new thing, it just increased with this med. Again, it was something I could live with treating. I had the migraines grow worse after a botched surgery almost 5 years ago. I have been in constant pain ever since. So the relief has been incredible!! NOthing has touched that pain in all these years until topamax!!

(can you tell I like this med)

Again, these meds are so different for each person. I hope it works for you/

My son needs a new one....I am thinking of it for him. I do have SOme issue with word finding at times. It has gotten better over time. Not gone. There is a new version in phase 4 trial that does NOT have this idea when it will be out.

Take care



I had to switch from Depakote because side effects were too bad. My hair fell out and was retaining major amounts of fluid. Neurologist started me on on 2000 mg Keppra alone. Keppra by itself is NOT good! 1st 2 weeks were ok but by 3rd week my brain was so wired I couldn't sleep at all and started getting headaches so bad that all I could do was lay on the couch and cry for hours. Also withdrawal from the Depakote caused me to have panic attacks. After 3 more weeks and several ER visits for some headache relief Neurologist finally added 150 mg topamax to my Keppra. Also had to add 75 mg Effexor to stop panic attacks. I currently consider topamax to be my savior! No more headaches, it has calmed the effects of the Keppra so I can sleep and I have lost the 25 lbs I gained on the Depakote. There are a couple effects of the Topamax I don't like, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth all the time so sweet stuff like soda tastes bad, want to brush my teeth a lot and I don't have much of an appetite, but that might not be all bad. Could stand to lose a few pounds anyway. Anyway, they all have side effects, it just comes down to which combination works best for you with the least amount of effects that you can live with that don't jepardize your health. Hope this helps and good luck!

Hi, Melissa

Both me and my mom where on Topamax. Its is a good med though the side effects can be a bit crazy. My mom had to come off if because she was having serious side effects. But as for me, I will tell u the only really bad side effects i have is, no appeite, wieght lost(this depends on doseage), trouble word finding(I have had people look at me like I am nuts because of this) , hair lost, tingling in my hands,especially in fingers and it effects my cycles sometimes. Also, topamax, makes soda, taste like crap. I hope u like water. Water tends to become ur best friend when u r on topamax at least it became mine.Which is probably another reason why people lose wieght on it. But take from someone who not only take topamax (I also take keppra and nortriptyline) I rather have the side effects then go through the sore muscles and embrassments of having serizures and headaches. The outcomes of not taking it totally out weight the side effects. I hope this helps u out. Best of luck. Amy

I have been taking Topamax for quite some time and I love it. Of course, everyone reacts differently to medication. The only side effect that I really notice is that I have a loss for words often.

I have some information I would ask you to definitely consider. Ok here goes I was on Depakote for 4 years, I had put on good amount of weight so I decided to change medications to Topamax. I had headaches, but I did lose a nice amount of weight. After a couple of months and the Depakote was out of my system, I started to get really depressed. So I was put on Zoloft, the Dr. started to add all sort of different medications. Basically I was on 6 different medications at one time. I have come back to the Depakote. I have been seizure free since I have been titrating back to a dosage of that and my memory is better. If you really want to be on the topomax, or the Depakote was that bad there is a possibility that you could take a smaller dosage of that and have good effects. I guess in the end it is up to you and your Neuro.

I have been on topamax for about 5 months now after being on tegretol XR for 4 years prior to it... I made the switch because I gained 60lbs while on tegretol and no matter what I tried I could not lose the weight... my doctor suggested I try topamax...
At first topamax was tiring... my mind was foggy, I had word search problems, I suffered from nausea after I got up to about 125 mg (and I am now on 200mg/day)no matter what I ate...
BUT... when I reached my final dose and switched from taking 8 - 25mg pills total (to make a total of 200mg) per day to instead taking 2 - 100mg per day it all changed, honestly I think the pills were geting into my system too fast... I feel much more leveled out now.
I have lost 35lbs and have anoth 25 or 30 I'd love to lose but I'd say if your doctor feels it would work for you try it... but like everyone else has said "results may vary" so everyones experience is different... I hated it... now I am ok with it... it controls my seizures and that is most important. (btw my seizure types are:nocturnal grand mals and simple partial seizures in my left hand and arm)
Sorry for the long reply.
good luck, let us know how it goes!

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