Alcohol and prescription drugs

So, after a year of being on gabapentin I weened off them and started topirimate a month ago. After a week I could tell topirimate is the right drug for me, after increasing them and waiting another week for the side effects to sub side I felt pretty fantastic. After almost 2 weeks of clarity(1month of being on topa), I went to the pub with family and had a few drinks. Which lead to a few more drinks. I have been feeling crap (migraine) ever since. About 4-5days ago now. I drink once every 4-6 months, if that.

Clearly, I am not invincible and shouldn’t have drank. I knew that before I did it, during and after - but took the risk regardless. I kept telling myself it may be nice to feel normal for a few hours but you are going to regret this, you aren’t like everyone else! The question here is, will having had this drinking session so early on in the new drug trial make its effects useless now? Have I just wasted possibly the one drug that was working for me? Or… Will I feel good again in a few more days and just have to ride it out and never drink ever again on topirimate? :slight_smile:

I feel pretty stupid, but human.
Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and Happy New Year!

hi waspcharmer,

sorry to hear this happened that is a total bummer. have things improved since u posted? i dont see how alcohol could make a drug ineffective but who knows? That is amazing that you noticed a difference in 1 week, what symptoms did it improve?

Hi sarahd,

My symptoms increased dizzinesswize for the first 6days on the topirimate and I thought, typical, didn’t expect it to get much better any time soon - but on the 7th day when I woke up everything was clear and I was no longer foggy headed or dizzy. I could think clearly and coherently and things around me felt in their correct spatial awareness. Walking felt completely even. my eyes felt unstrained, Everything just felt crisp and clear. I don’t know, I haven’t had days that clear ever. nothing was an effort. I’ve had good days before, but nothing so perfect. I felt like me, I had energy, I had my old brain back, my old personality and lust for life! I was fast cognitively rather than slow, lights and sounds didnt affect me in the slightest. I thought perhaps it was a blip, so didn’t get excited and increased the med the very next day, was ‘out of it’ for another week on the increase but then again like clockwork on the 7th day woke up with energy feeling like the old me. It was fantastic. Everyone of my family and friends commented on the difference. it was astounding… This lasted until the day I went out drinking (about 12days) I really regret it now. Haven’t been the same since, 9 days ago now :(. Back to old baseline dizz. I will never mix topirimate with alcohol again! But am really worried that I’ve messed up this drug doing its thing too early on. I’m hoping it starts working again, as I know we have to almost fool the brain into accepting the medication and perhaps by doing this stint I’ve wrecked my chances, can you tell I’m panicking!? I’m going to give it another week and hope things improve and not beat myself up too much, I rarely drink anymore and it was a one off, it was just stupid timing. I’ve gone back to being the old brain dead slow-mo dizzy I was before all for the sake of one night which I knew I kept telling myself wasn’t worth it whilst I was doing it!

I’m wondering whether it is worth coming off the drug and trying going on it again? I will talk to Dr.S about it when I next see him, but I hope by then things will have improved as it’s still early days.

Any advise would be appreciated, even if it is “you stupid girl” :confused:

you’re not stupid you didn’t do anything “wrong”- I wonder if maybe dr. s will increase it? what dose r u on now?

25mg twice a day, felt good on only 25mg once a day! It was brilliant, I’m holding my horses and going to wait it out til I see him in 2 weeks time, but will be honest with him (as I always am) and see what he suggests - trying not to be emotional about it :s

— Begin quote from “sarahd”

you’re not stupid you didn’t do anything “wrong”- I wonder if maybe dr. s will increase it? what dose r u on now?

— End quote

and thank you btw ((hugs))

Hey Wasp

As someone who mixes Topirimate with alcohol and has done for 2 years, I thought I’d drop you a line.

In answer to your question, I really don’t think the mechanism of the drug works in that way, so no, Topirimate is not now rendered useless because you got drunk this time early on. It just doesn’t work like that.

My guess is that you’re starting to experience the usual worsening of symptoms that most people do, and most doctors warn of, when starting this drug. I have heard this warning last anywher3 up to 3 months. For me, I felt worse for about a month. My other guess is that those few clear days you had are a really good indicator that this drug is gonna work for you. So stick with it.

Lastly, I reckon you would have felt this shit even if you hadn’t started the drug. The alcohol binge alone could have caused this little relapse.

Other general stuff about mixing the 2:

The reason they advise against it is because topirimate increased the effects of alcohol. I also believe that alcohol is a depressant. Mood, cardiac and nervous system can all be depressed i.e slowed down.

You will know when you mix the 2 because the hangovers are IMMENSE. 2/3 days of feeling like utter death.

Having said all this, I have been safe up til recently when I’ve suffered some major palpitations and weak pulse. Having said that, I don’t know if it’s the combination of drugs I’m on and/or any other reason. I’ve got a cardiac appt soon to follow up.

Try to relax about this. You didn’t do anything wrong. Stick with it. But maybe lay off the booze a little until the Top is more in your system and is working for you?


Thank you missmoss, I really hope that this relapse passes and that I return to the base goodness that topiramate brought me! I think you’re right, that I would’ve had this set back regardless due to the binge and taking topiramate wouldn’t have stopped it, especially this early on. I hope that drinking hasn’t affected the drugs effectiveness and that you’re right, it doesn’t work that way, but does interact with alcohol as both are CNS depressants. So expect bad hangovers on a few drinks, but I pushed it past that point into migraine territory, which is why I am dealing with the set back. I tend to have a drink once or twice a year, so won’t be doing it again until well into knowing topirimate works for me. And honestly even then, I don’t think it’s worth it to have a possible 1-2 weeks recovery process… Maybe I’ll be able to get away with one or two but I can test that theory when I’m really stable on the recovery road! It usually takes me 1-2 weeks to recover from drinking anyway, so this isn’t an unusual time period, i am just really worried that I’ve pushed the brain chemistry too much in the wrong direction with drinking and now it’s fighting to get back to level then will have to restart the work topirimate was doing! But if you say you don’t think it works like that, then I’m glad I kept taking it, it’s still in my system. I’ll see what the next few weeks bring.

Thank you for your words of advice and comfort, they were much needed :slight_smile: and I hope your cardiac appointment goes well