Topamax side effects or other migraine symptoms?

Hi all

I’m in week 2 of trying Topamax currently taking 25mg in morning and 25mg at night. Already I can see an improvement in the dizziness. Situations that would normally set my head spinning badly are hardly affecting me and on a few occasions I’ve felt dizzy free, something I haven’t felt in 1.5 yrs :smiley:

With MAV, i occasionally get numbness in my face and left arm and pins and needles in my head occuring every few days. However I’ve noticed that since starting the Topamax and finding an improvement in the level of dizziness, these other symptoms are much worse. I’m suffering with numbness in my face and pins and needles in my head all the time now. It feels like ants are constantly crawling all over my head. Earlier my hands were going numb when normally it’s only part of my arm affected! So my question for those who’ve been on topamax or are using topamax now is this - are these actually side effects and will they settle down? Or are these still my other migraine symptoms that are now just more noticeable since the dizziness has improved?

Thanks in advance for any help


Hi Jeni
Topamax is known for it’s “pins and needles” side effects and even some numbness… everyone experiences this med a bit differently though. I got some of that in the beginning and still do from time to time, but I mostly just get cold hands and toes (rather uncomfortable in the winter). Side effects can vary also depending on whether or not you are taking any other medications along with the topamax. Example: any meds that act as vaso-constrictors (sudafed, etc.) may intensify the side effects of the topamax. That’s great that you are seeing improvement so soon - that was my experience with topamax as well. It’s such a welcome change from 24/7 dizziness.

Thanks Gail - I really appreciate the answers you’ve been giving me about Topamax. The sudden increase in pins and needles was making me nervous so it’s helped reassured me.

I’ve got another 2 weeks at 50mg so I’m going to keep going and hope the pins and needles settle down as I get used to the medication. After 2 weeks I’m meant to go up to 100mg so if the side effects haven’t settled down, I think I’ll go back to my doctors and see what they recommend I do - perhaps they’ll recommend going up to 75mg next

The improvement in the vertigo has been fantastic, it’s the first medication I’ve tried that’s made any difference so I’m reluctant to give up on the topamax. For once I have some hope that the vertigo may disappear :smiley:

Hope all the UK MAVers are enjoying the sunshine


Hi Jeni
I got a tip from someone that taking 1,000 mg. Vitamin C along with topamax could cut down on some side effects… I keep forgetting to take it at the same time though I have in the past. Also, increasing your dose extremely slowly can help your body adjust to the meds and maybe slow down some of the side effects as well. I stayed at the same doses for 3 weeks because I was afraid to throw myself into more weirdness while trying to work and carry on what life I still had with MAV. For some people, topamax is a life saver, for some it’s not. Let us know how it’s going.


It’s funny you should mention that vitamin c should help the side effects. I’ve been having problems with loss of appetite and I was very concerned with how little I’d eaten today so I ran into a shop this afternoon to grab some snacks and bought one of these water drinks with added vitamin c just to boost my vitamin levels. All afternoon and evening I noticed that the pins and needles were much less noticeable and I could not work out why! I’ve never really trusted these drinks with added vitamins before but if vitamin c helps topamax side effects then maybe it actually did help. Looks like I’ll be making a trip to Hollands and barretts tomorrow to stock up on vitamin c tablets!

Thanks again