Topamax users - are you losing any hair?

Those of you who are (or have used) Topamax or the generic, are you experiencing hair loss in any form? I know a person here recently wrote that she had to stop Topamax shortly after starting it because her hair was “falling out in clumps.” I need to know if anyone else is having problems, specifically if their hair has become brittle and started breaking or if their stylist has told them that they have areas of “dead” hair.

I searched GOOGLE and I see that people have reported hair loss, some minor, some in larger amounts that they describe as coming out when they brush or wash their hair or even in their hands. I haven’t read anything about breaking hair (as in, you can see pieces of your hair that are shorter because they have broken off.)

I ask because I am experiencing lots of breakage and dead hair and am trying to figure out why. I recently got a perm (4 months ago) and don’t know if its because it went bad or if Topamax has finally caught up with me (apparently according to some the hair issues can start later). I have been on Topamax for approximately 2.2 years now, same dosage. I’ve gotten perms prior with no issues but went to a different salon, so by default one would think I just got a bad perm. However, they looked at my hair and said the hair is still breaking and dead in places which should not be happening and makes me concerned (even if they did mess it up initially.) Thinking back, my hair may have become more dry/brittle after starting Topamax, but I know it was no where near this bad. Needless to say, I am a bit freaked, as Topamax despite all its other side effects, has been a great help to me.

Any shared info would be appreciated! Please tell me how LONG you have been on Topamax before you started having hair problems and what KIND of hair problems you have.

Best, Bonnie

PS. Hair loss is now listed as a possible side effect by the makers of Topamax but only in a very vague way with no stats or info.

Hi, I have just stopped taking topamax last week because my hair has started to come out, I have noticed that when I wash it alot more than usual is coming out but I’m hoping this will start to get better now that I am not taking it anymore. Other than the hair loss I had no other side effects.

Hi Bonnie: that was me who had the hair loss in “clumps”. I probably should have said handfuls but it was still a lot of hair to lose all at one time and extremely freaked me out. I had started topa at 25 mg but due to anger and confusion issues after a few weeks and at the advise of some board members I dropped the dose to 12.5 nightly. I don’t remember how long I was on the 12.5 but it was not longer than a week or two. My neuro and my dermatologist could not tell me if the hair loss would stop eventually or what I had lost would come back so I stopped. I refuse to be dizzy, lightheaded, off balance, achey, light sensitive, sound sensitive and BALD!!.

I am using a biotin supplement and alternating shampooing with Biotin and Nioxin shampoos. And only shampoo every third day. The hair loss has gone back to normal everyday hair loss and my hairdresser says there is some new growth. Happy days!

I had such high hopes for the topa. Currently taking metoprol 50 am 50 pm, B6 and B2 supplements,
magnesium, COQ 10, xanax .25 (when the dizziness is really bad), following the migraine diet and lifestyle. And I am functioning at about 65-70%. This is much better than 8 months ago when I couldn’t even get out of bed.

I am sorry this happened to you especially after being on the topa for so long. Hopefully the hair loss will lessen and there are some really good natural products to try that may help with the brittle hair. My hairdresser recommends the Aquage line. I use the conditioner but sparingly because it’s expensive but it does soften the hair.

And your are right hair loss has only been listed recently as a side effect and at the bottom of the list, not sure why there are no stats since when I Googled this I also came across many many reports of hair loss.

Sending good thoughs your way and good luck with with whatever you decide to do! Take care,


don’t quote me but i believe i have been taking topamax 100mg (worked up to it) since april 11? but i just noticed at my last hair appt in dec that i had a ton of dead hair after we dyed, washed my hair and she brushed it out- it was awful! we both looked at each other because my hair has never done that before until know.

i lose a lot of strands daily but i believe that’s normal. it shocked me though at my last appointment! i don’t think the bleach helps nor the perming solution either…

Yikes, so sorry you’re having issues with this! I’ve only been on it since June at 100 mg and haven’t had any issues. I’ve got very thick curly hair and did let my hair colorist know about this potential side effect after I started Topamax after reading here about this happening. So far I’ve not had any issues.

I’m sorry to hear this may be causing you problems now!

Thanks for the feedback/support! It’s hard to say what is going on - possibly the med, possibly a bad reaction to the perm. I think it was the perfect storm if you will - already succeptable/damaged hair and then a new chemical added to it equalled a big problem. All I can do now is give it time to see how the hair heals/grows back. I probably will start taking Biotin as it supposedly helps hair that is damaged. Then after some time, figure out the next step??

Best, Bonnie