Community Forum

Topamax and Acne

Has anyone experienced severe acne breakouts related to Topamax? Right now I have a huge zit (like 3 or 4 zits in one) on my chin. I was reading up and noticed that a side effect of the medication can be acne like this. What can be done about it?

Also, I haven't had seziures since I was 5. Well, I real seziure well I fell out and immobile for 2 minutes. Reading up on the website I come to realize that I still have small ones were I remain conscious (smells, hearings things, not being able to get words out or remember words, etc). I tried to go off of the mediciation about 2 years ago but when I was tested I had to much brain activity. My nuero stated that I was still in the grand mal stage.

Any suggestions?


I have been so frustrated over the last few years. I had beautiful skin in high school and i feel like it gets worse every day now! i'm 30 and have the more skin problems then ever. so glad to know it ties in with my drugs! thanks for the tips I am going to fine some mint julup and tea tree oils!!!

i am excited to have found this site!  

Yes, Topomax will cause horrible acne. I eventually had to be taken off of Topomax because even with the assistance of a dermatologist, I could not get it under control. I have had problems with acne and seizure medicines before but with Topomax, it made everything else look so innocent. My face was red and I had pimples/zits EVERYWHERE! When I started to break-out on my chest and back, I had had enough. It still took awhile for everything to clear up, but see if there isn't a better medication that your neurologist can put you on. I still have scars from those zits and those aren't going anywhere any time soon! Best of luck to you!

my doctor just added TOPAMAX to my already large drug list, I have never had a problem with acne till the TOPAMAX was added,my goodness I sure hope Proactive will take care of it. even as a teen I never had acne. I am on 2 pills in the AM and 2 in the PM and they are talking about adding more. i hope this does not mean more acne. :(

Acne is mainly caused due to overproduction of sebum in sebaceous glands of the body. Diet containing much oil must be avoided to prevent from acne. Balanced nutritious diet should be taken.

Does anyone know about how long it will take for this terrible acne on my cheeks and jawline to stop? I had to stop taking topamax due to the hair loss and the acne because it has affected my self confidence and I got really depressed over it, hardly ever wanted to leave the house. I am married and I don't feel very desirable anymore, even though my husband has always told me that he loves me, I think that my emotions and the way I look at myself have changed and to be honest, when things like that change, it can change a lot of other things in your life. I have been off the medication for about a week, but I am still breaking out. If this continues, the sides of my face are going to be nothing other than bumps, scars and discolorations. I am able to try to cover it up with make-up so the redness won't show through, but you can still see how uneven my skin is and if I don't put enough make-up or concealer on, in certain light you can see how messed up my skin is. I feel so bad about myself especially when walking around our home without make-up. I cannot even look my husband in the eye sometimes because I am so ashamed and I wonder if he really thinks I look ugly. I had such nice skin before all this happened and have been on a hard journey to finally figure out on my own that it was the topamax causing it and decided to go off it, even though my doctor basically did not agree with me and she was pretty much oblivious to the fact that the medication was causing the hair loss or acne. She has been seeing me for years and I know that she knows I looked bad on the outside and she should have known that something was wrong. Her advice was for me to stay on it, and I did, until the adverse effects got so out of control that I didn't care whether or not she agreed with me because deep down, I knew that this was not normal for me and that the only constant thing I had in my life that could have been causing it was the medicine. To this day, I still don't think she agrees with me, but I don't understand why some doctors do not consider that medication can really mess people up. All pills are not flawless and they do not react the same way with each person. I just want to be able to feel good about my appearance because the way a woman sees herself is so important. I'm not asking to have super model skin, but I just want to be able to look in the mirror without having the lights dimmed in the room because I am so unhappy to be me.

Topamax helped me through the years and had no problem with it. Maybe it's your skin type coz we have different skin types and different skin types show different side effects. I consider Topamax as one of the effective acne remedies I know.

I am glad I am not the only one going through this. I don't like to see others going through it, but I didn't know what was wrong with me.  I knew it wasn't normal.   At first I thought it must be my laundry detergent or my soap. LOL.  I changed BOTH and the acne started clearing up.  I am on Topamax for migraines.  Then my doc increased it to 100 mg 3x per (300mg total) and again my back, chest and face is horrible.  So I looked up Topamax in my nursing drug handbook and it does say acne is a side effect, but not a common one.  Seems pretty common to me.  It is the painful cystic acne that hurts when the shower sprays on it.  I had acne growing up and I took accutane.  Worked wonders.  Rarely had a zit afterwards.  NEVER EVER EVER had it on my back or chest though.  I can't wear a tank top or bathing suit.  It keeps moving down my back.  I have less migraines, but I think I want to go back to treating the actual migraines/vomiting than go through this, I don't know.  The good thing?  I went from 165 lbs to 113 lbs in about 1 yr.  I weighed 100 lbs before I went on amitriptyline and gained weight that I couldn't lose no matter what.  Then got pregnant and so on.  I just hope the weight doesn't come back if go off of the Topamax.  Yikes!



3 months ago i had also acne on my face one on my chin & 2 on my fore head..I must say that they were really very painful. Whenever i use to touch them it use to pain a lot...

squirrel baffle

i was on topamax for about a year and my skin was awful! I had acne on my face, neck, chest.. I may have been the only person in San Diego wearing turtle necks. My doctor didn't believe me that it was the topamax, but now that I'm not taking it- my skin is clear.

Something that helped was tea tree oil. I dont know if anyone else has mentioned this, but it definitely helped. I used to put it on a cotton swab and and put it straight on my skin. 

I recommend it.  You aren't the only one.

I had severe breakouts, too.  I tried minocycline, even prednisone, but I don't want anymore meds.  I tried Pro-activ, but it didn't help.  The best thing that has worked for me:  every night before I go to bed,  I is wash with Neutrogena soap and use Duac cream.  Carefull, the Duac might bleach your pillow cases, but it's a small price to pay!  It's also expensive, so know that Duac is just a combination of 5% Benzoyl Peroxide Gel (over the counter) and 1% Clindamycin Phosphate topical gel (perscription) which you can get for a fraction of the cost.    When I combine these two, the amounts don't have to be exact.  But, doing this has been awesome for my acne.  Good luck! 

I sure am glad to hear that I'm not the only one going through these kinda side effects.  I'm 37 and My face has never been so broke out, my arms, legs, back and chest!  I have to wait until after the holidays to see my Dr. but will try the tea tree oil tomorrow, thanks Michelle K.

Topamax caused me to have a huge acne breakout, even though I had perfect skin all my life prior to that. I have now changed drugs but am left with huge scars all over my face! Not happy!

Did your skin eventually stop breaking out though? At first I only had a bump here and there (cystic kind) on my face while taking topamax, but as time went on it got worse and I had almost sore-like bumps on my forehead that were very swollen and surrounded by a lot of redness. They surrounded a harmless mole that was on the right side of my forehead and that is where they continued to gather. I didn't understand why that particular area that was so bad. It hurt for me to even touch my face or wash it. My skin did not even feel like real skin anymore. It was just so sensitive to the touch because of how infected it was, I guess. When I cut my dose in half, the acne/rash on my forehead got better, but in the past the doctor had misdiagnosed it as being impetigo! I am completely off topamax now, but still breaking out on my cheeks and sides of my face. For some reason, the right side is worse than the left and I have some acne that won't go away underneath my chin, going onto my neck. I still have some discoloration where all the sores were on my forehead, but at least I am not breaking out as bad up there...but now I am just concerned about the rest of my face. I have so many red and dark marks on it and I am worried if the breakouts don't stop, I will be nothing but a bundle of scars. My skin looks hideous with no make-up, and even with make-up it looks I think make-up irritates it, even though it's the exact same kind I have been using for years and had no problem with! The only place I wasn't affected was the skin underneath my eyes and my nose...basically right down the middle of my face I had no acne!!! So those areas look the way my skin is supposed to look, while the rest looks completely messed up! I had really nice skin before the topamax experience. That is how I knew something was wrong. I just hope it will eventually clear up. It took time for it to get bad, so I guess it will take time for it to get better.

I also had an awful experience with Topamax. At first I thought that maybe it was my make-up or skin care, but then I realized that nothing had changed except for my medication. I had been on Topamax for a few months before I noticed any major changed and then all of a sudden I went from having one or two cystic pimples (which I never got before) to having break outs. They were usually on my chin or on my cheek. I have only had these break outs for around three months now but I am stopping Topamax. I take the meds for my migraines and I am on a very low dosage. I know that there are other meds out there that will not cause such damage to my skin. I dont want scars on my skin and at this rate I may have scars if I continue to use Topamax. I tried everything to control the breakouts. If anyone knows any way of clearing up the breakouts quicker then please let me know! I've tried steaming my face, saliycic acid, neutrogena acne wash, etc. Thanks!

I am on topiramate as well as Lamictal.
Before I started on anti-epileptic medication I never had any problems with my skin. Then after about a month of taking the tables my left cheek got a rash on it which then went into spots. My gp said it was acne and prescribed a long term antibiotic. These have got rid of the spots but I still have a bit of a rash.
I did read somwhere there acne can be quite a common side effect to anti-epileptic mediaction. Not to sure how true this is though.
take care

I know that your post was made years ago, but I just wanted to ask you if you ever got the acne sorted out? They tried to give me antibiotics for bacterial infections to clear up my skin while I was on topamax, but nothing ever helped. It just kept breaking out and the doctor didn't understand why there was no improvement. The problem is that I am allergic to a lot of medications and in the end, I am out of options. I was sent to a dermatologist who is basically at a loss because he kept prescribing things for me that I was allergic to. Thank goodness I caught it before I ever put the pills in my mouth, but the downside to that was that I was wasting trips to his office and money on the medication. They were telling me that the only option for me was accutane or that there was nothing else they could do for me. I said NO to the accutane and have not been back ever since. I stopped taking topamax a week ago and have been trying to find other ways to help clear up the acne. I hope that I will not have this forever even after being off the medication!

I feel your pain...I have been on topamax for about 4-5 years I lose track, and I would get horrible cystic acne around my chin and forehead.  I went to the dermo and she prescribed me this foam cream called clarifoam and this other cream called finacea which is basically azelaic acid Gel at a 15% concentration.  This did help but it was very expensive and it didn't really work all that well.  What really helped was just plain old sulfur soap that I used on my face twice a day morning and night, just lather it up and let it sit on your face while brushing your teeth or something and then rinse, keep in mind that you have to be consistent to see results...

 The sulfur soap I use, it has been a lifesaver, is DermaKlear-Akne-Treatment-Soap-with-Sulfur,


What kind of Antibiotic did they prescribe to you? I have had the same problem. My skin was super clear and now it doesn'r look that good. Please help


Dear WildlyBeautiful, I had major acne breakouts on my face from Tegretol XR. Try Pro-Activ it works miracles!!!! I can't use it every day because I have really dry skin, so I use it every other day and it still works!!! I recommend it to everybody!!! AT least on Topomax you are supposed to lose weight. Tegretol makes you gain weight. So here I was, just turned 40, gained 30 lbs. in 3 months and had a facefull of acne. At least the acne is gone!!!

Hi all ,In reg. to the acne issues you are all having . I can suggest that you can try what I have been useing . I am also on Topomax and I also never had acne before even as a teen . I am now 41 and am now fighting this wonderful thing ... What I am doing is using a Mint Julup Mask at night ... You can pick it up at any Beuty Supply store . It is made out of Sea Mudd. So there is no Chemicals involved. It is working very well for me . It doesn't dry out your skin at all and leaves your face feeling awsome when you are done . You wash your face like you always do and then put the mask on after wards and let it dry . When it is all dry then take a warm wet cloth and place it on your face and let the steam moisen the mask ... Then wipe off. I have been doing this for 7 yrs now and have only had to deal with very minor acne ..instead of the magor that I was before hand. All I can do is say try it... It is working for me ...And it has no chemicals ... Hope this helps...

I was on Tegretol and wanted to try Topamax for its known weight loss side effect. I experienced it to some degree, but the other side effects turned me against Topamax: the pins and needles sensation continued long after the weight loss side effect went away and then I started experiencing awful acne all over my back and face! I told my neurologist that it must be the Topamax and he said its efficacy for acne was only about 2%, so it must be something else and that I should go to a dermatologist for it. I'm almost 40 and I have had acne ever since I was a teenager, but it was never as bad as what I experienced when I was on the Topamax. In the past, I had been under a dermatologist's care and used prescription vitamin A and Accutane, but had been using Proactiv for the past few years and it had been doing a great job. This time I did not want to go to yet another doctor. So I stopped taking the Topamax and went back to the Tegretol. The acne cleared up. I wish my neurologist had listened to me - I know my body.

Yes, yes, yes!! (not that I am happy about it, but I'm glad I am not the only one!) I started taking Topomax several months ago. My Dr started me at 25mg/week increasing weekly up to 150mg. I am in my late 20's and I have never had acne like this before in my life! No joke! I think I might have to give that Mint Julip mask a try ; )

It's horrible!!!! I had a bit of a problem before but it seemed only to be seasonable like during the summer. During winter and spring my skin would be perfectly fine. But since starting Topamax my face has been just ridiculous no matter how much benzoyl peroxide 10% I would use. I went to see my GP a couple of weeks ago and she prescribed me a topical antibiotic called Clidamycin T Gel. She said it would take about 6 weeks to work and my face has already started to clear up BIG time! It's amazing!!! The gel is supposed to be less harsh than the lotion and so far it's been great. My skin is pretty sensitive and it hasn't dried out at all from using it.

Every time I change meds I get sever acne break outs. I haven't read much about this problem nor has my neuro said anything about it but it's clear to me that it's when I intorduce a new medication... I know Topamax is fairly new, if you've recently started takeing it maybe the acne will lesson over time.
Good luck, God knows pimples suck!

Every time I change meds I get sever acne break outs. I haven't read much about this problem nor has my neuro said anything about it but it's clear to me that it's when I intorduce a new medication... I know Topamax is fairly new, if you've recently started takeing it maybe the acne will lesson over time.
Good luck, God knows pimples suck!

Every time I change meds I get sever acne break outs. I haven't read much about this problem nor has my neuro said anything about it but it's clear to me that it's when I intorduce a new medication... I know Topamax is fairly new, if you've recently started takeing it maybe the acne will lesson over time.
Good luck, God knows pimples suck!

I had epilepsy since I was 5 as well.  I just got off topamax, but I was on it for years.  I always had acne around my chin area, but i also have polycystic ovaries (hormone problem).  So I have always had acne.  But now that I think about it, my acne was always worse while I was taking topamax, it probably had something to do with it.  I'm completely off medication now and my brain ( topamax can make you feel cloudy) and my acne is a lot better.  I know there are better medications out there than topamax, I would discuss it with your doctor if the acne gets worse.

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