Topiramate helping- with consequences

I have been on a pretty low dose of topamax (50 mg) for 3 months and have seen a dramatic improvement in my MAV. I have only had 3 “dizzy” episodes this entire month and lhe last one was almost 2 weeks ago and entirely my fault as I ate something I shouldn’t have. I have had 1 distinct migraine preceded by my typical aura (sparklies in both eyes) in the last month as well but it was so mild I barely felt it. I am so happy to be having success at such a low dose, and this is my first med trial! After dealing with this for over 3 years I honestly didn’t expect it to happen so fast.

There seems to be a downside…I am definitely noticing cognitive issues- trouble finding words, major problems losing focus, slow thinking. I also had a severe stutter briefly at work the other day that was frightening for me and by the look on my employees’ faces, for them too. I have never stuttered in my life.

I have lost 35 pounds since starting this drug in October. Not a bad thing, I needed to lose weight. But I have lost interest in food, which is something in my life that used to give me a lot of joy. Not to mention the fact that I am a pastry chef, so losing interest in food is like losing interest in my work and that won’t fly for much longer.

I seem to be somewhat depressed too, and I am having a hard time figuring out if it’s legitimate in relation to my situation or of it’s from the drug. I am having problems at work, and incredibly stressed about home as well. Money is very tight, my husband doesn’t have a job right now, we have had problems with our car and our furnace both in the last week…I just can’t seem to manage the stress at all. I have been having crying fits occasionally when I think about these things that are freaking me out right now, and I just can’t control them. I don’t feel depressed constantly, it kind of hits me out of the blue, usually when my mind wanders or when something else stressful happens. Then I feel so sad- like I haven’t feld so sad since my mom died. I don’t feel suicidal at all, just lost and hopeless.

I am hoping someone can provide insight. Is it possible to remain on the topamax and come out on the other side of this? I definitely do not want to increase my dose, nor do i think I need to. But I am not at all anxious to switch to another med either. Has anyone else had these experiences while on topamax? I see my Dr next week and will discuss all this with her, but she’s not a MAV or migraine specialist so…

Thanks in advance for your help!

Hi there,

That is wonderful about your success with topamax, but I am sorry to hear about these awful side effects. Did you have any trouble with your balance and walking, and if so, did topamax help this at all?

I’m not sure about the cognitive side effect- I imagine it could go away in time but don’t know how long it could take- did you ask your dr. about this? I think the depression could be a side effect too- I wonder if you could add an antidepressant on? It might also help bring your appetite back as most can cause weight gain.

i wish i could give you first hand advice about topamax but I havent given it a fair trial (but may come back to it in the future). good luck and I hope that these side effects either go away in time or you can add a med to help them!