Topomax for females

I was wondering why a quick look at the homepage and the pateint experiences section this drug seems to be targeted for women. Can this be used effectively on males ? Any men here taking it ?


I believe the topamax success stories on this board, are both males. :slight_smile:


I am a female who took Topomax starting a few years back when I was just turning 40 and diagnosed with Jackson(ian) March Epilepsy. I had experienced out of the blue a few ‘odd’ seizures that were centralized in my left hand, then hand/arm and shoulder (rotating motion). Initially, I had two or three terrible months of side effects from the Topomax ranging from bad anxiety to embarassing word confusion and general fatigue (oh, and weight loss, too). It was so bad at first that I had to take time off from work and even went on Celexa to help with the ongoing anxiety. My neurologist who presribed both meds was aware that I had a six year history of MAV- (episodic) and said that Topomax would help with the vertigo, too. BTW: MAV was finally diagnosed by the notable Dr. Baloh -(referred by the other great doctor (ENT) Dr. Jack Shohet) after I saw many different doctors and had countless tests, as many other ‘MAVers’ (new word since I saw Dr. Baloh) have had to go through in order to determine that they are not crazy, have a brain tumor, Meniere’s, etc. The Topomax helped immediately to stop any further seizures (I had an approx. total of 3-5 in the same location in left hand/arm area) and it definitely helped to stop the vertigo (w/double-vision, ‘heavy/numbness’ in my extremities and extreme nausea and exhaustion the days after an attack).

On a side note- about a year ago, I went off both meds as I developed a serious itching condition (under my skin-all over and fast moving with no visual symptoms) and thought it was a reaction from the medications (doctor supported this theory, but it ended up likely being a reaction to black mold that was found and since removed from the house). Anyway, after being off all drugs for some time to determine if they were causing the itching, I was still itching terribly every day-night. Next, I went to an allergist to do a series of tests and found that I was not allergic to much, but that I did have very high levels of hystamine in my blood which would cause this type of itching. Only after taking a steroid did it take the levels back to normal and the itching went away finally! I have been so relieved since I was taking Benadryl for over 9 months every day and night and was very sleepy and frustrated when it wore off and the itching returned.

Since then, I decided to stay off of all drugs (yes, even for the epilepsy since I don’t feel a danger to myself and/or anyone) and have focused on sleeping and eating better than ever. I haven’t had any issues at all until about two months ago when the MAV returned here and there. I was a bit alarmed at first since I drive far to work. In the last two days, I have had bad vertigo episodes that last approximately ten minutes (with the worst nausea and exhaustion) and I am concerned that I am now on my fourth day of this ‘episode’. (Does anyone know much about the duration of episodes, generally?)

So here I am, working from home and searching online for updates on the MAV disease when I happily stubbled on this site with up to date info! I decided after reading much re: Dr. Baloh and his more recent ‘fondness’ of Celexa for MAV(not Acetazolmide-which I used to take with some relief) to begin today with 5mg. I hope that I can knock out the symptoms again quickly (without the Topomax!) and continue to work and live a ‘normal’ life. Fingers crossed!

Lastly, I just want to say that for me Topomax did have a harsh start and not such a harsh end (I gained back approximately 20 lbs after going off, but…), I would still try others since reading and hearing the extreme cases by what others experienced (and also based on the commercials on tv re: the class-action lawsuits for the side effects, both short and long-term.)

Well, thanks everyone for sharing your experiences and on affirming the importance of good diet, exercise and meditation. It is good to have a forum to address lingering questions.

All the best!