Topamax withdrawal symptoms can present difficult and complex problems, such as a combining of resurfacing original unwanted conditions i.e. rebound migraines or seizures, along with precipitating a new set of discontinuation reactions.
Of concern, a person taking Topamax may eventually suffer liver damage which makes coming off the drug imperative for overall health despite the discomforts that can accompany medication withdrawal. Because of the serious nature of underlying conditions the drug suppressed, the side effects the drug causes to emerge, and the severe changes brought on by cessation, our general recommendations would minimally be two-fold:
- Never abruptly discontinue anti-seizure medication (cold turkey).
- Seek trained medical and clinical oversight during gradual tapering.
Topamax for Seizure Prevention
Topamax is a drug commonly used in the prevention of seizures. Seizures can be brought on because of various causes:
- brain/head trauma
- heavy alcohol use, heavy amphetamine use
- withdrawal from alcohol and certain other drugs
- sleep deprivation
- brain tumor
- genetic factors
- venom (i.e., from insect bites)
Topamax is one of several anti-convulsants that can successfully prevent or reduce the occurrence of seizures. However, the side effects can make the drug unsuitable for some. Withdrawal symptoms can include the return of seizures, and medical caregivers should carefully monitor anyone for this common discontinuation symptom.
Topamax for Weight Loss
Several other uses for Topamax have emerged over the last decade, including prescribing it as a weight-loss medication. Topamax is an appetite suppressant and typically does cause significant weight loss. The drug makes food taste strange or even bad, and reduces food cravings. The drug manufacturers self-sponsored their clinical trials for weight loss use, which has raised conflict of interest concerns. Most of the participants did lose weight while on the drug, significantly more than the placebo group, however, the side effects discouraged many from continuing the trial.
Topamax for Migraine Headaches
Migraine sufferers have reported success by reducing the frequency and severity of chronic migraine headaches while taking Topamax. Unfortunately, the side effects that accompany the drug have caused some to decide to discontinue the medication. Always seek medical oversight and attempt to reduce the dosage of anti-seizure or anticonvulsant medications gradually.
Topamax for BiPolar or PTSD Not Successful
Doctors have experimented with prescribing the drug for BiPolar disorder. However, Topamax has documented no success in treating BP disorder and is not supported by the medical community. A similar lack of documented success exists for the treating of PTSD and borderline personality disorder, for example. For these reasons, a person may decide to discontinue treatment with Topamax where it was ineffective to treat these or similar conditions.
Topamax Withdrawal Symptoms Summary:
- rebound migraines and migraines (migraines can emerge even if never experienced before taking Topamax)
- weight gain, increase in appetite
- shaking, tremors
- dizziness, vertigo feeling
- mood swings, i.e., irritability, crying spells, anger or deep depression
- profuse sweating
- confusion, cognitive impairment
- panic attacks
- muscle pain
- flu-like symptoms
Alternative to Meds Center Can Help
The protocols we use at Alternative to Meds Center aim toward several significant outcomes, aside from safe tapering from prescription drugs. One of the prime areas we investigate is finding root causes for the conditions that preceded the medication. If migraines linked to specific toxic accumulations, as an example, we can expect to see improvements after removing the toxicity. It is not always possible to reduce medications to zero. However many improvements become possible after changing diet, arming oneself with de-stressing therapies including counseling, and lifestyle changes.
These and other techniques can help a person to make the necessary changes to conquer their health challenges, and many times without the undesirable consequences of over-medication. We invite you to call the number on this page for more information about the possible benefits we can provide you or a loved one who is suffering from Topamax withdrawal symptoms.
Dr. Samuel Lee
Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente. He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.
Diane is an avid supporter and researcher of natural mental health strategies. Diane received her medical writing and science communication certification through Stanford University and has published over 3 million words (the equivalent of about 60 Agatha Christie novels!) on the topics of holistic health, addiction, recovery, and alternative medicine. She has proudly worked with the Alternative to Meds Center since its inception and is grateful for the opportunity to help the founding members develop this world-class center that has helped so many thousands regain natural mental health.