Generic Name: Topiramate (to-PEER-a-mate)
Used to Treat: epilepsy
Seizure Type: Partial seizures (all types)
Forms of the medicine:
Pill and Sprinkles
25 mg., 50 mg., 100 mg., 200 mg.
What is Topamax?
Topamax (TO-pa-max) is the brand name for the seizure medicine topiramate (to-PEER-a-mate). Topamax is used alone or with other medications to treat certain types of seizures for adults and children (2 to 16 years old). It is used to treat partial seizures with or without secondary generalization, primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures, and seizures associated with the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. It may be also used to treat myoclonic epilepsy and infantile spasms. Topamax is available in tablets and capsules.
How do I take Topamax?
Take this medication exactly as it is prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts or longer than recommended by your doctor. Do not change your dosage without your doctor's advice. Tell your doctor if the medication does not seem to work in treating your condition.
Topamax treatment usually begins with low dose tablet taken two times each day. The doctor may gradually increase the dosage to get better control of your seizures. Try taking the medication in the same manner and at the same time every day. Both forms of Topamax can be taken either with food or without food, but it's best to be consistent from day to day. Swallow each tablet whole. Do not break or bite the tablet or capsule.
Sprinkle capsules are an easy way to give Topamax to children and others who have trouble swallowing pills. The capsules can be swallowed whole, but usually they are opened and the contents are sprinkled onto a teaspoon of soft food such as applesauce, custard, ice cream, oatmeal, pudding, or yogurt.
What if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take an extra dose, unless prescribed by your doctor.
What if I experience side effects?
Various side effects may occur in taking this medicine. Most side effects are not serious and may disappear naturally. Call your doctor if you have any questions concerning your possible side effects. However, do not stop taking your medication without advice from your doctor. They will discuss and recommend possible options. At times it is necessary to continue taking your medication despite these side effects.
There are other side effects that may be serious and indicate that your body is not tolerating the drug properly. Call a doctor right away if these side effects become severe or cause considerable problems in your daily functions. If you experience a change in seizures, severe rash, or allergic reaction contact your doctor immediately as these may indicate potentially life threatening problems.
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any signs of these serious side effects:
Keep this medication in its original container, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store your prescription at room temperature, away from excess heat and moisture (i.e. not the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
Recommendation for women
Topamax has an FDA pregnancy category of “D” meaning that there is a risk to the developing fetus. If you find or suspect that you are pregnant, continue to use this medicine and contact your doctor right away. Talk to your doctor about the potential benefits and risks before making any decisions about the use of this medicine. Seizures can be harmful to the mother and the developing fetus but can be reduced with proper care. Women who are taking this medication and who wish to become pregnant should discuss treatment options with their physicians before the pregnancy begins.
Other helpful information
Before starting any new medication, tell your healthcare professional about all the medicines you are currently taking, including nonprescription products, food supplements, vitamins, and herbal products. If you're taking birth control pills, be sure to tell the healthcare professional who prescribed them that you're taking Topamax. There's a possibility that birth control pills may be made less effective by Topamax. Be sure to report any changes in bleeding patterns to your healthcare professional.
Difficulty thinking or talking, Decreased appetite, Nausea, Tingling sensation of the skin, Clumsiness, Dizziness, Difficulty concentrating, Fatigue, Numbness of extremities