You may have heard someone saying “Topamax ruined my life” and you wonder how a drug is able to damage life instead of saving. It is not far neither is it a myth, it is possible for this drug to ruin your life as it has many side effects. Topamax or Topiramate is a drug that works as an anticonvulsants, it works on the brain to prevent seizures. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996 and it was sold as a commercial drug.
Topamax is made in two forms. First is a tablet that is available in 25 milligrams (mg), 50 mg, 100 mg, and 200 mg. Each strength is prescribed depending on the condition for which the drug is used. The other form is a sprinkle capsule that can be swallowed or sprinkled on swallow or spoonful of soft food. The capsule is available in 15 mg and 25 mg.
USES OF TOPAMAX
Topamax is used to treat the following:
- Chronic migraine in adults and children from the age of 13 and above
- Epilepsy in adults and children from 12 and above. It treats partial-onset seizures, tonic-clonic seizures and epilepsy caused by Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
- Nerve damage
- Alcohol addiction
- Uncontrolled impulse
- Bipolar disorder
SIDE EFFECTS OF TOPAMAX
Some side effects have been reported by users of this drug. The effects depends on the condition being treated. The common side effects of using Topamax are:
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of weight
- Changes in taste
- Tingling sensation in the legs and arms
- Trouble with the memory
Mild side effects that can be experienced when using Topamax are:
- Numbness in some parts of the body
- Loss of hair
- Stomach problems
- Severe change in taste
- Severe loss of appetite
- Unexplainable weight loss
- Blurry vision
- Ear pain
- Dry mouth
- Trouble with sleeping
- Unable to say the right words (speech problem)
- Tingling in the arms and legs
- Discomfort in the limbs
- Memory impairment
- Psychomotor impairment which can lead to speaking more slowly than before
- Common cold and other upper respiratory infections
These side effects may be temporary in some people and are easily managed. If you are experiencing these effects or they continue for a long time, you should see your doctor. In fact, it is not advisable to use Topamax without prescription from your doctor or a health provider.
Topamax can cause serious side effects like:
- Eye problems like dry eye, abnormal sensation in eye, photophobia, blepharospasm glaucoma which can lead to blindness if not managed
- Changes in mood like unexplainable anger, aggression
- Kidney stones
- Muscle twitching
- Serious skin condition like rashes
- Severe and negative changes in memory
- Brain swelling which can be caused by high ammonia in the blood
- Less sweating and increase in the body’s temperature
- Allergic reactions like wheezing, swelling of the face and tongue, difficulty in breathing and swallowing
- Abnormal skin odour
- Cognitive disorder
- Decrease in sexual performance and urge
- High level of acid in the blood
- Fast beating of the heart
- Inability to respond to normal conversations (stupor).
TOPAMAX RUINED MY LIFE: 5 REWIEWS FROM USERS
There are experiences from users of this drug on Drugs.com, reading from them will give you an insight of how this drug is able to damage a person’s life.
i. The first report was that the user had seizures and spots began to appear in the eye. From the time she started using the drug till she wrote her experience, the spots are still in her eye. Apart form the frequent seizures and spots, she experienced severe weight loss, hot flashes, itching, and loss of hair. She even had a minor stroke later. Some of these effects are permanent and this user became partially blind.
ii. The second user (Bella) was prescribed Topamax to treat her recurring migraine but according to her, her life became worse. The first effect she experienced was severe loss of appetite which was followed by feeling of nausea. Next was the psychological effects that made her to become paranoid, anxious till she became depressed even while taking the drug. She started to have hallucinations, seeing shadows and shapes moving in front of her and multiple voices in her head. One sad thing is that she is yet to recover from these effects.
iii. An anonymous user dropped his review on the website, he took Topamax to treat migraine as prescribed by his doctor. After few days, he had no migraine or headache but after some time, it became worse than it was before he started taking the medication. He has this feeling of being drugged because he was not able to fully comprehend or have normal conversations with people without slurring.
iv. Next is from a user named Erin Gibson who used Topamax to treat chronic headache. The reaction she got was extreme tingling of her feet and hands while she had images of people’s faces distorted like in a horror movie. Erin experienced these effects for 2 years.
SOME REMARKS ABOUT THE USE OF TOPAMAX
- Peggy used Topamax to treat migraine for just a month, she testifies that the migraines stopped. But she started to have panic attacks, loss of memory, confusion and changes in her brain.
- Ckaz was prescribed Topamax by his doctor to treat his headache. He started having hallucinations that he shot himself on the chin but thankfully he survived. He went into coma and did a research on the drug, he discovered that out of all males that took Topamax, 31 percent committed suicide because of the side effects they experienced.
- Another anonymous user reported using the drug but ended up being dizzy, confused and having mood swings. There was also severe pain behind the eyes that it felt her eyes were going to be plucked out. Her perception became bad that she could not drive, she feel like her car is packed at a place while the road is moving. There were also memory loss and inability to comprehend or make meaningful sentences. Next is pain in her limbs that were so severe she could not wash her hair or climb stairs. She stopped using the drug but is still feeling some of the effects although minimal.
HOW CAN TOPAMAX RUIN YOUR LIFE
Looking at the side effects and experiences of users, we can likely say that the drug is not really safe. There are other users who experience same or even worse effects. The Food and Drug Administration ( FDA) in 2014 included a black box warning of the adverse effects of Topamax which can ruin the lives of users through the following ways:
1. Visual field defect: This is loss of part of the eye’s usual field vision, this can lead to poor eyesight and even blindness if not managed well.
2. Acute myopia and secondary angle closure glaucoma: This is very bad as it can lead to permanent loss of eyesight.
3. Suicidal behavior and thoughts: This can make you lose your job, friends and even land you in psychiatric hospital.
4. Oligohidrosis and hyperthermia: Less sweat and increase in the body’s temperature which can make you look sick and pale always.
5. Metabolic acidosis: It might result to excess acid in the blood, this can lead to toxicity of the body.
6. Cognitive and neuropsychiatric: You will have the thinking faculty of a child and no control over your emotions. You will be unable to engage in simple and meaningful conversations while you will be depressed and moody always.
7. Fetal toxicity: If used by pregnant women, Topamax can cause the unborn child to have deformities.
8. Withdrawal problems: Using Topamax cancause you to withdraw from people while you always want to stay alone. It can be likened to hard drugs and you know how drug addicts act when they are unable to take the substances.
9. Kidney stones: This can occur due to the use of Topamax, this will make the kidney unable to perform very well.
HOW DO YOU USE TOPAMAX TO AVOID RUINING YOUR LIFE
Knowing how to use Topamax will save you from the side effects especially the mild and serious ones.
- Do not take Topamax without the doctor’s prescription
- Always go for tests like bicarbonate blood level and eye test to check for side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you have any health condition. This will be useful to determine if there will be serious side effects.
- Topamax can cause dizziness so you should not drive or use machinery during use
- Never combine alcohol, alcoholic beverages or hard drugs with this drug so as not to worsen effects like dizziness and mental impairment.
- Wear light clothes, drink lots of fluids and stay away from anything that can make you to overheat.
- Consult your doctor before using this drug on a child as they may be overly sensitive to the side effects more than adults.
- See a doctor before using this drug on an older adult, they are also very sensitive to the effects.
- Do not use this drug if pregnant unless prescribed by your doctor.
- To be on the safe side, always consult your doctor before combining Topamax with other drugs.
Topamax is like a necessary trouble, it has good sides but the side effects are more. Many users have reported of how this drug ruined their lives so you may have to follow the instructions and precautions diligently to minimize experiencing most of the effects that can make your life worse than it was before you started usage.