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Topamax (Topiramate) is an anti-seizure medicine that is prescribed to adults and children above the age of two. It is also commonly prescribed to help prevent the onset of migraine headaches. Patients must also understand that Topamax is effective in reducing the frequency of migraines only and does not cause migraines that have already begun to subside.

Like any other medication, Topamax should be taken exactly as prescribed. If you do end up missing a dose then you should take it as soon as you remember but if it has been more than 6 hours then just skip that dose and get back on your regular regimen from the next dose onwards.

This medicine should not be started or stopped without the explicit instructions of your doctor. While there is some evidence that starting this medication during pregnancy can affect the developing fetus, stopping this medication suddenly can actually trigger off seizures that could be more harmful in the short term.

Thus, even pregnant women should not alter this medicine before advice from their physician.

Side Effects Of Topamax

A number of side effects have been associated with the intake of Topamax including but not limited to a feeling of lethargy, tiredness, weight loss, diarrhea, dizziness, bad taste in the mouth, forgetfulness, and confusion.

None of these side effects should be bad enough to greatly affect your everyday functioning otherwise you should contact your doctor immediately.

A slightly more serious side effect of Topamax is the occurrence of kidney stones. This will manifest as a severe pain in the region of the abdomen, blood in the urine, fever, and frequent urination.

In extremely rare occasions, some serious side effects can also occur through the intake of Topamax. These include problems with the vision where the visual acuity may be reduced, blurred vision, or even a complete loss of vision in the most severe cases could occur.

Some people can get a metabolic condition leading to an increased amount of ammonia in the blood while fewer still can suffer from an allergic reaction.

Precautions

Patients must disclose any pre-existing conditions that they may be suffering from before being prescribed Topamax. Those patients who have eye diseases, compromised kidney function, liver disorders, or suffer from metabolic acidosis are not prescribed Topamax for fear of worsening their condition.  

People who are on this medication are also advised to avoid alcohol or other drugs that can impair their judgment and impair their abilities to drive, operate heavy machinery, or anything else that requires a certain degree of alertness.

Topamax also reduces the amount of heat that is lost from the body through sweating and thus increases the chances of suffering a heat stroke.

Interactions

A number of other drugs can interact with Topamax, resulting in a reduced efficacy of either drug. Make sure that you are well aware of these medications to avoid such an occurrence.

Conclusion

Topamax has been found to be an effective drug where the benefits outweigh the possible side effects considerably. However, if you do find yourself struggling with some unintended consequences of taking the medication then get yourself to a doctor and review the medication in detail.

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