Topamax is effective for treating and preventing seizures. The drug is also used for the treatment of migraine headaches.

How taken

Topamax can be taken in empty stomach or with food. The Topamax tablet should be taken with a full glass of water. The drug should be swallowed whole and it gives a bitter taste when chewed or crushed. If there is any difficulty in swallowing the drug, the granules can be mixed with an applesauce and taken. However, take care that the mixture is drunk right away and do not keep it for later use. While taking Topamax, drink more fluids.

Once you are prescribed Topamax, always follow the prescription. Do not take larger amounts of the drug or take it for long periods as it can only bring in many complications.

Missed dose/overdose

Always maintain the right dosage. In case you forget to have a dose of Topamax, take it as soon as you remember it. But never take the missed dose if it is time for your regular dose. Never take an additional dose for the missed one.

If you think of having taking an overdose of Topamax, seek immediate help. Drowsiness, agitation, depression, dizziness, blurred vision, speech or balance problems, stomach or chest pain, fast heartbeats and fainting are some of the overdose symptoms.

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You should have to consult the doctor about all your allergies and also about your overall health condition before he prescribes Topamax. Your doctor should have to know if you have liver or kidney diseases, asthma, glaucoma, emphysema, bronchitis or if you had undergone a surgery recently.

Topamax is rated FDA pregnancy category C. This means that the drug is harmful to the foetus and also the new born. If pregnant or hoping to conceive soon, do not take Topamax. Breast-feeding mothers should only feed their babes after consulting the doctor.

Warnings/ precautions

While taking Topamax, you may have thoughts of suicide. If you feel depressed or come across any mood change, immediately contact the doctor.

While you are on Topamax medication, you should not miss any lab tests or doctor's appointments. Your doctor needs to evaluate your blood condition, kidney and liver functions regularly.

In case you need any surgery, inform the surgeon that you are on Topamax medication as he may sometimes stop the drug for a few days.

Side effects

Some of the allergic reactions that a person can experience with Topamax include difficulty breathing, swelling (face, tongue, lips, throat, mouth) and hives. If you feel any of these allergic reactions, better contact the doctor without further delay.

You should have to stop the drug and call your doctor immediately if you come across any serious side effects that include mood changes, anxiety, depression, agitated, hyperactive, thoughts about suicide, sudden vision loss, pain around/ behind eyes, increased thirst, dry mouth, decreased sweating, increased temperature, nausea, increased urination, vomiting, muscle pain fast heart rate and light-headedness.

Some of the lesser-known side effects of Topamax are memory problems, speech/balance problems, trouble concentrating, tingling, insomnia, tired feeling, dizziness, headache, appetite loss and weight loss.

About Topamax

Migraines - Meaning, Causes and Treatments

Migraines are severe headaches that are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and light sensitivity. The exact cause of migraines is still unclear but it’s a disorder among many people. Nearly 28 million people at least in the US have migraines, although women have been recorded to have lesser migraines than men. Migraines are a long lasting headache, lasting from a couple of hours to even days.

Here we list down some important facts about migraines, possible causes as well as some of its treatments and diagnoses.

What is a Migraine?

A migraine is a severe headache that is long lasting. It can last upto several hours and even days and is accompanied by vomits, weakness, dizziness, nausea and a characteristic sensitivity of light.

Till now, the biology of migraines was unclear. Most believed that these occurred due to frequent contraction and expansion of the blood vessels thus causing pain, while others believed that the pain was caused due to abnormalities in some brain areas.

Recent research has however been fruitful since it has been found out why migraines occur. Certain hypersensitive never cells send impulses that result in some blood vessels to ‘clamp’ and dilate, thus disturbing blood flow as well as release hormones like prostaglandins that inflame the blood vessels that causing pain.

Causes of Migraines

Migraines are mostly caused by the following factors:

  • Stress and depression, considered the most common cause.
  • Release of ‘fight or flight’ chemicals that dilate the bran’s blood vessels.
  • Certain allergies or sensitivities to some food materials like alcohol food additives like nitrates.
  • Excessive fatigue.
  • Disturbance in sleep patterns.
  • Excessive caffeine consumption.

What are it's Symptoms?

Migraine can sue a range of symptoms, mostly related to severe headaches. However, since migraines differ from normal headaches, some of its symptoms can be highlighted as below:

  • Abnormal pain patterns that can last from 30 minutes to several days.
  • Varying intensity throughout the pain period.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Headache upon waking up.
  • Fatigue.
  • Irritability.
  • Difficulty focussing.
  • Weakness and muscle aches.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Pain around cheekbones, nose bridge or forehead.

If any of the base symptoms is felt, especially when it comes to lasting, recurring headaches, then its best to contact a doctor.

Treating Migraines

Migraines are effectively created hough drugs and home treatments. Since most of the migraine headaches are caused due to blood vessels undergoing intense dilation, causing pain, most drugs target blood flow. In migraine treatments, there are primarily two kinds of drugs:

  • Abortive.
  • Preventive.

Abortive medications ‘abort’ the migraine as it occurs. These medications, like the triptans, are consumed immediately and target serotonin. However, abortive medications should not be used for those with medical conditions like arthritis or back problems. These medicines include drugs like Ergotamine, Acetaminophen, etc.

Preventive medications prevent migraines from happening frequently. With time, recurring migraines can even be wiped out. Such medications include drugs like propranolol, antidepressants, amitriptyline, Botox, Topamax and Valproic acid.

Anticonvulsants + Calcium channel blockers