Topiramate, sold under the brand name Topamax among others, is a medication used to treat epilepsy and prevent migraines. It has also been used in alcohol dependence. For epilepsy this includes treatment for generalized or focal seizures.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. For children, the dosage is also based on weight. Your doctor will gradually increase your dose to reduce your risk of side effects. For some conditions, you may start treatment with topiramate once daily at bedtime and slowly increase your dose to twice a day. It may take several weeks or months to reach the best dose for you and to get the full benefit from this medication.
Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or if it worsens.
How Long Does It Take For Topamax To Work?
It is very important to tell your doctor how you feel things are going during the first few weeks after you start taking topiramate. It will probably take several weeks to see big enough changes in your symptoms to decide if topiramate is the right medication for you.
Mood stabilizer treatment is generally needed lifelong for persons with bipolar disorder. Your doctor can best discuss the duration of treatment you need based on your symptoms and course of illness.
What Are the Long Term Side Effects Of Topamax?
According to available studies, there are no known problems associated with long term use of Topamax ( topiramate) when used as directed. The possible side effects of Topamax are listed below;
Common side effects
- Thinking problems; slow thoughts, trouble finding the right word, confusion, trouble concentrating
- Feel clumsy, unsteady, dizzy, tired, weak, or nervous
- Loss of appetite, change in the way food tastes, weight loss, stomach pain
- Numbness or tingling sensation in limbs and extremities
- Rare/serious side effects
- Mood or behavior changes, such as aggression, agitation, apathy, irritability, and depression
- Hearing problems (ringing, buzzing, and decreased hearing)
- Fever, sore throat, upper respiratory infection
- Itching, nosebleeds, pale skin, blisters, allergy (skin rash, swelling, troubled breathing), yellow eyes or skin, easy bruising and bleeding
Topamax may cause eye problems. Serious eye problems include a sudden decrease in vision with or without pain/redness and increased pressure in the eye. These eye problems can lead to permanent vision loss if not treated.
Topamax may cause decreased sweating and increased body temperature. People, especially children, should be watched for signs of this — especially in hot climates. Some people may need to be hospitalized for this condition.
Topamax can increase the level of acid in your blood (metabolic acidosis). If left untreated, metabolic acidosis can cause brittle or soft bones, kidney stones, can slow the rate of growth in children, and may possibly harm your baby if you are pregnant. Metabolic acidosis can happen with or without symptoms. Sometimes people with metabolic acidosis will feel tired, not feel hungry, feel changes in heartbeat, or have trouble thinking clearly.
Studies have found that individuals who take antiepileptic medications, including topiramate, have suicidal thoughts or behaviors up to twice as often as individuals who take placebo (inactive medication). These thoughts or behaviors occurred in approximately 1 in 500 patients taking the antiepileptic class of medications.
How To Flush Topamax Out of Your System
The pharmacokinetics of topiramate are linear with dose proportional increases in plasma concentration over the dose range studied (200 to 800 mg/day). The mean plasma elimination half-life is 21 hours after single or multiple doses. Steady state is thus reached in about 4 days in patients with normal renal function.
Medication toxicity can pose significant health risks and often goes unnoticed by both patients and healthcare practitioners. Symptoms of medication toxicity could include
- blurred vision,
- memory loss,
- fainting, and,
- having an increased number of falls.
While toxicity can result from drug interactions between topamax and other drugs or high doses, it can also occur simply because our bodies change the way we metabolize drugs over time. As we get older, especially starting in the fourth decade of our lives, we start accumulating fat and losing muscle mass while our kidneys and livers get worse at processing and clearing medications from our body. While older people are at a high risk for medication toxicity, younger people can still see those same symptoms.
Consider the following steps when trying to flush Topamax from your body
Discuss with your doctor about stopping the drug
You cannot simply stop taking Topamax, some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased. The beginning of detox is to stop Topamax. This will allow your body to begin shedding the toxins it has long accumulated.
Re-Hydrate Your Body
When trying to remove Topamax from your body, it is critical for us to keep our bodies in a healthy state by consuming at least 6-8 glasses of water daily. By drinking lots of water, you can eliminate these symptoms. Water also has the added benefit of being a natural detox. It flushes out your system, bringing chemicals, toxins, fats, and other unwanted items with it as it leaves your body. The more water you drink, the more you end up flushing out. Those looking to detox should consume between 80 oz and 100 oz of water each day.
Put Good Nutrients In
Good nutrition can help you flush Topamax from your body. The first step is cutting down on sugars and bad fats, which are just one more obstacle for your body to deal with on its journey towards healing. Also, avoid processed and refined foods, as they have little nutrient value and are hard for your body to digest. This means limiting food that comes in boxes, cans, jars, etc. The best way to get your body jump-started is by juicing. Drinking all-natural juiced fruits and vegetables is basically a shortcut to getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
You can drink about five times the vegetables and fruits than you can eat because your body is only filling up on the juice (where the vitamins are) instead of also consuming the meat of the plant. This is beneficial because you get large amounts of vitamins and can consume more in a day, which is key to proper nutrition.
If you don’t own a juicer or can’t afford one, make sure you eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables and accompany it with a multivitamin to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need.
When eating lots of produce, one important thing to think about is organically produced food. Foods that are not grown organically are treated with chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which are harmful to your body and can prevent the absorption of nutrients.
Here’s a list of foods that are excellent for detoxification:
Chia seeds, cilantro, parsley, and lemon leech on to impurities in your intestines and help dispose of them.
Green leafy veggies: kale, romaine, wheatgrass, seaweed, and others are a great source of fiber to flush out your body and antioxidants to boost your immune system.
Berries: strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are another source of antioxidants, which help fight disease.
Yogurt contains probiotics, which keep your digestive tracts happy and healthy. probiotics can be helpful in regulating the bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract which is important given toxins can be released from invading microbes. These can be found in both supplements and food sources (examples include yogurt, kefir, miso, and kombucha).
Wild-caught fish, avocados, and almonds are high in Omega 3 fats, which can keep your cravings down and help with depression.
Incorporate Additional Habits
Lessen your stress: In the hectic world we live in, it can be hard to avoid stress. Make sure to unwind and treat yourself well each day. Stress hormones, such as cortisol, are detrimental to your health and path towards detoxification and healing.
Stay away from coffee and cigarettes: Not only are they harmful toxins themselves, but they can also reinforce unhealthy habits that trigger addiction.
Get a massage: This is another great stress-reducer and can aid in the release of toxins from your body.
Get more sleep: Most of us are sleep-deprived. Ideally, you should get eight to nine hours of sleep a night to reduce stress and keep your body in peak health.
Get your family and friends involved: Anyone can take these detox steps to build a healthier life. By participating in this together, you can offer support and help one another to keep everyone on track.
Are There Any Risks For Taking Topamax For A Long Periods Of Time?
To date, there are no known problems associated with long term use of topiramate. It is a safe and effective medication when used as directed.
What Other Medications May Interact With Topamax?
Topiramate may decrease the levels and effects of oral contraceptives (birth control pills). The following medications may decrease levels and effects of topiramate: carbamazepine (Tegretol®), phenytoin (Dilantin®), valproate (Depakote®) and phenobarbital
Combining valproate (Depakote®) with topiramate may increase ammonia levels in your blood. If this happens, you may get confused, disoriented, or have difficulty thinking.
Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, including acetazolamide, dichlorphenamide, methazolamide, and dorzolamide, increase the risk of kidney stones when taken with topiramate.