Prescribed Topamax today..scared to take it

Hi everyone, I had my neurologist appt. today and with my history headaches he felt it was safe to say my dizziness is being caused by migraines. He prescribed prednisone to stop the dizziness, then Topamax. Didnt seem like he knew too much about migraine associated vertigo. I told him about my vision issues, hard to focus, blurry vision sometimes, he said that’s common with migraine and the Topamax should help. I’m supposed to start on 25mg then increase. However from my research it seems like Topamax has lots of side effects and is generally not the first line of drugs prescribed for this. I asked him about the Celexa I was prescribed for anxiety fro GP and he said those usually don’t help migraines. I’m very hesitant to take it and overall feel a little discouraged after today’s appt.

take the pill and don’t look back!!

welcome to the medicine express…

I hope this does work well for you. Don’t be surprised if you have a rotten couple of days - that’s normal when you start any kind of medication. Good luck!!!

What TheOgdenMan said - take it and run with it! If it’s really really awful (which I very much doubt it will be) you can just stop.


I’d go really slowly if I were you. Cut the pill in half and stay on that dose for a week or 2 before increasing. I know the pills are tiny so buy a pill-cutter from the chemist.

I was on Topamax for about 3 months. At 25mg I stopped having my usual headaches. Didn’t resolve the dizziness though. Then I pushed up to 50 mg and I became very agitated and anxious. I tried to stick it out but couldn’t take it! My family noticed how anxious and antsy I was.

This is not to say you will get those side effects. Give it a shot as it may work for you. Just go super slowly with each dosage increase…All my SE went away after I stopped the Topamax. Good Luck.

Thanks theogdenmancan, Victoria and dizzyloopy. I’m just scared of becoming a “dope” on this stuff, I might start off on the celexa first…I guess I just hear that this is one medicine that has plenty of side effects compared to other ones. I might get the courage to take one tonight before bed though. Thank you for the support, I don’t know what I would do without this place as people in “real life” don’t seem to get it.


I agree. Start low. After a horrible experience with several different meds my neuro finally tried topamax. Started with 25 mg for 2 wks and the headaches and dizziness lessened slightly. Now on 50 mg for the last three days…no difference yet but no serious SE. So I am hoping for even more improvement soon. I also take metoprolol 50 mg am and 50 mg pm and xanax .25 mg when needed for anxiety. Oh yea… don’t forget to drink lots of water! Good Luck!


Hi rebecca,
I’m a 24/7 dizzy type MAVVer, and I won’t lie to you - I have had a reasonably hard time with Topamax. I’ve been on it for around 9 months now, and have taken it so slowly that I’m still only at 60mg! However, there are now signs that (after being dizzy 24/7 for almost 3 years now) the Topamax is working for me - the severity of the dizziness is definitely receeding, along with a host of other symptoms, and there are dyas when I feel almost completely normal now.
Don’t be afraid to try it, and then go back down in terms of dosage, if you need longer to acclimatise, etc.
My tritration schedule has gone: 25 >> 50 >> 25 (couldn’t handle jump from 25 to 50) >> 30 >> 40 >> 50 >> 60
So, don’t be afraid to go ‘low and slow’ as they say! Take plenty of water, and reduce alcohol and eliminate caffeine, etc.
Good luck,

Thanks everyone for the advice. I cut the 25mg pill in half last night and took that. Even with that tiny dose an hour or two later I felt a little nauseous and my mouth and tongue felt tingly. I’m scared to even take 25mg but I think I may tonight. I’m pretty much a 24/7 mav’er also. My biggest symptom however is feeling like Im in a cloud, like everything is surreal, especially in public places around a lot of people, I get very lightheaded and feel like I could faint. I also have the rocking and tilting when still but that isn’t all the time. I just really hope this can clear up my vision issues. I had a dentist appt yesterday after putting it off for over a month, my eyes could hardly focus with all the bright lights in there, I had to pop a Ativan in the waiting area!
How long should I stay at 25mg? He wants me to do that for a week then jump to 50mg but I think I’m gonna go much slower. I heard that drinking more water is crucial as it decreases sweating. For those who take it, what has been the most bothersome side effect and how long till it went away? How long do you think it should be until I notice something… Any change at all? The tingling in my mouth was a little strange, I felt like I was slurring my words a little.

Hi Rebecca,
every time I up the dosage I usually get some combination of nausea, mild headaches, possible increased dizziness, some tingling in feet. These tend to subside after a couple of weeks at that dosage. The only time I experienced a real kick-up in anxiety was when I tried to jump from 25 >> 50mg, and had to retreat back to 25 again. But when I reached 50mg via 25 >> 30 >> 40 >> 50 all was fine, proving that (for me at least) increasing slowly is the thing to do!

A ‘diary’ of my experience can be found here (wasn’t meant to be that, but has evolved in that way): … ith-this….

Please don’t be put off by anything you read at the beginning, because as you’ll see, things are now falling into place for me (although I need to update it with my recent good news) :slight_smile:

If was the success of a user on this site (Rich2008) that inspired me to stay with the Topamax - he suffered/battled through and found relief at 50mg, and he said to give the drug a fair chance you need at least 4 months, if possible.

I wish you all the best - hang in there!

Well, I took it for a few days and my eyes started to feel pressurized. As luck would have it, about a week earlier I had bought glasses at Lens Crafters at the shopping mall, and they had measured the pressure in my eyes. I went back after being on the Topamax for a few days and told them, “Put me on that machine again and pull my file from last week.” They said fine because I buy a lot of glasses there since I am constantly fussing with how I look. Anyway, the machine said that the pressure was up 40% from the last measurement. The eye doctor took a look and said I was still in the normal range but something was definitely up.

Then a few days later I was driving home and started to think, “What if someone is trying to rob my home when I get there?” Well, I thought, I don’t have a gun but I have big set of knives that I could use to attack the intruder. I started thinking about this. And I NEVER get thoughts like that; usually I think about my family, or politics, or literature, or music, etc.

So I put those two events together and was off the Topamax pretty quickly.

Having said that, it only means that it was not my med. It could be your med – it could work for you and not for me.


What a great story! Well, not the experience but the telling of it. I have never heard of eye pressure measurement. Fascinating. Am going to ask my optometrist about it next time I’m in.

As for your aggression issues on Topamax (v funny story :lol:


hi i’ve been on topamax for about a month or so started on 25mg for a week then moved up to 50mg then stayed on that for quite a while just moved up to 75mg i dont read the side affects i figure i’ll soon know the only thing i’ve found is i tend to get hot sometimes not made a massive difference yet but i’m hoping give it a go you can always stop they even give it to children my friends daughter is 12 shes on 50mg a day.

Longshort, the eye pressure story is interesting because I went through a short spell on the Topamax where I felt an increased pressure in one eye - presisted for more than a few days and because increased eye pressure is listed as a potential side-effect, I did the same thing as you and got my eye pressure measured at my opticians. The reading was normal, so I presisted with the Topamax, and soon after it all settled down.

— Begin quote from “TeeCee”

Longshort, the eye pressure story is interesting because I went through a short spell on the Topamax where I felt an increased pressure in one eye - presisted for more than a few days and because increased eye pressure is listed as a potential side-effect, I did the same thing as you and got my eye pressure measured at my opticians. The reading was normal, so I presisted with the Topamax, and soon after it all settled down.

— End quote

My Dad is a doctor and he told me never to read the inserts because – unless there is a black box warning – it creates hyperawareness and over-vigilance for side effects, and that leads you to quit the drug before the effectiveness kicks in.

Yet the other day my Dad was given some medicine, I forget for what (suspected Lyme Disease I believe) and he went against his own advice and read the insert. One of the side effects listed was “death.” He called to tell me about it and I said, “That’s a small price to pay if you can get rid of the symptoms.” Gallows humor.

Well, there are several medicines that I take daily without any side effects that other people have complained about in terms of side effects. So I think it really varies person to person.

Hi Longshort - I totally agree. Considering we’re all made of the same ‘matter’ it’s incredible how differently two people can react to the same drug!

The important point that I’ve realised (for me personally, at any rate), is not to give up too soon (something I got initially from reading about Rich2008’s experiences with Topamax before he eventually had success). There are many occasions when I really thought I’d have to quit the Topamax, and Rich2008’s story has kept me going - quite literally, I would have given up without reading about his trial, struggle, and eventual success. I almost completely emotionally collapsed when I jumped from 25 > 50mg, with anxiety and ‘can’t cope’ feelings, and at other times the nausea, increased dizziness, and other symptoms have had me wondering what the hell I’m doing. Even now, I may not make it to final success (I’ve had the occassional cognitive episode which I need to keep careful eye on!), but generally, given time, the body seems to adapt to the side effects…fingers crossed!

P.S. A dark side of me loves the gallows humour! :wink: