Anyone find Topamax easy to take?

I’ve heard so many horror stories about Topamax that it’s made me really reluctant to try it. Unfortunately having exhausted most other avenues ( propranolol, amitriptyline, nortriptyline, pizotifen, gabapentin) I’m now supposed to be starting it, increasing 25mg weekly. From what I’ve read here, that’s quite quick and I can expect to feel really crappy during that time. I think it’s because I’m off work for a couple of months that Dr S thinks it’s a good time to take a risk, which I understand, but I’m a bit scared. I can take any new symptoms but it’s the idea of more dizziness that I can’t cope with. I know it’s worked out well for a lot of people after a bumpy start but was wondering if anyone didn’t actually find it too bad. I haven’t had any side effects from the other drugs so can I be optimistic on this one or should I just bunker down and prepare for hell?

Hi Nubs,
I was on Topamax for quite a few months and it helped me immensely (had to stop due to pregnancy; going back on it as soon as baby pops out!). I did experience side effects – drowsiness, brain fog, word-finding difficulty – but these subsided after a while. I don’t remember being more dizzy to start with. I may have had more nausea, but that happens to me with most medications unless I take them with food. I increased my dose very slowly. If I remember correctly, I went up 25mg every month or so until I got to 125mg. I did this to give my body time to adjust to each dose and to establish which dose worked best for me. I think if I’d gone up 25mg every week that may have been too much for my system.
I know some have a terrible time on Topamax, but for me it did the trick. It took a few weeks at the high dose to really feel the benefits, but I did feel improvements with each increase. I really miss my Topamax.
Good luck!

I think ‘horror stories’ is over stating it.

I found it pretty rough at the start, particularly going from 50 mg to 75 mg, in fact my first two attempts left me so dopey I didn’t bother persisting (I was doing really well at 50 mg anyway). Then I had a rough patch late last year so had another go at titration and was completely fine going up from 50 - 75 mg.

For me it’s been a fantastic med and well worth the bumps at the beginning. The only lingering side effects are occasional buzzing/tingling in my hands and feet.

I really think we over think the meds issue. Weigh it up - how bad do you feel now? Think of it like starting an exercise program - the muscles may hurt a bit the first few times you do some strange yoga poses but you’ll habituate quickly and feel the benefits very soon.

Give it a go! Nothing to lose and everything to gain :slight_smile:


I agree with Helen and Victoria.

I had similar side effects at the beginning, and still get tingling toes, fingers and mouth on occasions, as long as you take the titration slowly and find the dose that suits you.

Topamax immediately helped with my vertigo.

Unless you try, you’ll never know.

Best wishes

Everyone is so different. Some tolerate it super well. Others, like me, despise the drug. It was horrible for me. I will NEVER try it again. But, that’s me, not you. Like another poster said, you won’t know unless you try it.

I am just starting it now and was also beginning to worry, feeling very tired and heavy in the head. Am glad to read that things get better as doc did not tell me what to expect. I am starting at 25mg and increasing every 2 weeks which is what the experts in one post advises as well, fingers crossed. I feel lucky I have got to this point after only 2 mths (which I thought was a long time) I see some people have taken years to get to this point. I am still finding this all pretty hard to deal with. :?

Thank you everybody. I will just get on with it and hope for the best.

FYI day 4 and feeling quite good :smiley: hope it lasts no dizziness Hooray!

BTW increasing 25mg weekly is not overly aggressive. I found that I could tolerate about a 25mg increase every 7 days just fine. I would just start to feel “ok” by about the 6th day after changing dosages before going up again. It wasn’t fun, but it worked. Other people absolutely cannot do this and need to go slower. But I think 25mg a week is a good place to start unless you find it intolerable.

Yeh, you’re right. I dunno why I was so worried, it’s been fine. I’'ve been on 100mg for just over a week and apart from some weird tastes and tingling it’s been OK. Hasn’t helped the dizziness yet though.