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Old 08-20-2007, 09:50 AM   #1
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ced771 HB User
topamax for alcohol addiction

Has anyone tried topamax to stop alcohol cravings? I've been reading up and plan to ask my Dr about this. Both my husband and I are functional alcoholics. We have been for about the past three years. I have a lot of alcoholism in my family. I just can't seem to stop. I've made a fool of myself on more then one occasion now and know it is time to get control of this. I'm hoping topamax will help.

 
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Old 08-20-2007, 01:46 PM   #2
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Re: topamax for alcohol addiction

I went on Topamax for epilepsy. I will admit that I did have the tendency to throw back one too many margaritas on occasion and the Topamax did tend to curb this desire but please understand the time I was on topamax was the absolute worst two years of my life. I had blindness,double vision, terrible cognitive dysfunction and memory to the point that I lost my job of five years and I couldn't find another one on the same management level. I would literally sit in job interviews unable to respond "ummm, uh". I couldn't remember what I was asked! They thought I was on crack. At least when I was drinking, i had a brain and I was relatively intelligent. This drug rendered me dumber than a box of sand. I had terrible insomnia, chronic headaches, leg cramps and shortly after going on the topamax there was this awful skin discoloration patch that appeared just below my breasts. I got really depressed and isolated myself. My friends new something was wrong. I, of course, didn't make any connection. I thought it was all me. I ended up moving to Florida to live w/ my mom because I could not longer function independently, had no insurance, needed an antiepileptic drug and this was the only one my neurologist would help me get (that is another looong story). I was even on exelon which is what they give to people with alzheimer's. I'm now weanign off the topamax, have joint pain, ringing in my ears. eyes are not the same, haven't worn contacts in long, long time.

Now topamax works for some people but understand this is a serious drug and it very widely prescribed and given the plethora of side effects, you are at a high risk. If you choose to go this route, be confident that you are with a doctor that KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING. Mine didn't and she didn't care when i went to her begging to come off it.

I was at my soberest and most centered when I did yoga all the time...that was the best I ever felt (incidentally the topamax did this thing where i couldnt' sweat and I stopped hiking, doing yoga and working out).

I hoep I didn't scare you too much but nobody gave me a heads up. This does work for some people but just be cautious and if you feel that it isn't going right make sure you get a doctor who is there to HELP you. Remember that's why YOU PAY HIM!

Good luck!

 
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Old 08-20-2007, 03:43 PM   #3
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Re: topamax for alcohol addiction

Hi my son is on topamax for 6 mths and is doing well on it..all medications have side effects. everybody re-acts differently. he sees an addiction pdoc and addiction therapist he was told by both of them that they are finding out that topamax helps to stop cravings. being an alcoholic will eventually kill you, im sure i dont need to tell you what alcohol will do to your organs. so, if there is a medication out there that can help you, than go for it...Good luck

 
Old 08-20-2007, 03:57 PM   #4
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Re: topamax for alcohol addiction

True, kidney stones might getcha first, though (topamax side effect).

there are a couple of sites that give you personal testimonials of people who have been on it. if you search topamax side effects you will find links to them.

You really need to ask yourself if getting off the booze is worth going blind or getting a kidney stone or rendering you so dumb or w/out a short term memory that you'll lose your job. Jules clearly loves her son and is happy that he is no longer abusing drugs but I have met other people who have had their lives completely devastated by going on this drug. (people who had to drop out of school, work because they couldn't THINK).

I guess it really depends on what kind of life you have. If dumbing down a few notches on the IQ scale is acceptable (1 in 5 suffer memory loss and congnitive dysfunction) then by all means, go for the topamax.

I konw all about addiction. My dad was an alcoholic and as I said I had my days of partying (used to do coke in colllege and drink more than I needed to but I still wouldn't do the topamax because it really deteriorated my mind to the point where i was unable to function at my job).

Ask your pharmacist for documentation on it if you're seriously considering options. If you have your mind made up, then good luck to you and if you start feeling weird, then call your doctor. I'm telling you this because I'm honestly concerned. I don't wish my experience on my worst enemy.

 
Old 08-20-2007, 10:13 PM   #5
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Re: topamax for alcohol addiction

topamax, can i please make a suggestion for your own good? if you have a pending lawsuit against the makers of topamax, it does not look very good for you to be on here knocking it every chance you get..that might work against your case and not for it...IMO.

 
Old 08-21-2007, 04:01 AM   #6
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Re: topamax for alcohol addiction

He asked. I told him. Sorry that it goes against the grain of your experience. Who said anything about a lawsuit me vs. topamax? Although there is a class action suit against them. Know what that means? That means topamax has ****** off a LOT of people (people who like the use of their eyes and were disappointed when they suddenly just stopped working).

 
Old 08-21-2007, 09:01 AM   #7
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Re: topamax for alcohol addiction

Topamax: I have done a lot of research on the side effects and will discuss with my Dr before starting. Also my husband is aware and will keep an eye on me. If I do get bad side effects I will wean off of it. However alcoholism has already nearly cost me my marriage, friends and my job so for me the benefits could outweigh the risks. Also people with a family history of alcoholism appear to do well on a lower dosage so I am hoping I can get the benefits while keeping the side effects at a minimum. I have talked to others whose lives have been saved by this so I am willing to take the risk. Thank you for the heads up.

Jules: Thank you for sharing. I'm happy to hear it has helped your son. What dosage is he on? I also will be in counseling while on topamax so hope the combo of both will be the answer for me.

 
Old 08-21-2007, 11:12 AM   #8
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Re: topamax for alcohol addiction

ced, you sound like you are very geniune and i give you alot of credit..he is on 200mgs a day..1 in the a.m and 1 in the p.m...hope this helps.

 
Old 08-21-2007, 11:21 AM   #9
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Re: topamax for alcohol addiction

Ced, I am sorry to hear about all the problems you are having and I commend you on recognizing the problem and taking steps to make your life better. Also, researching the drug before going on it is very smart (a lot smarter than i was). It has worked for some people and awareness is the key whenever trying something new. I wish you all the best. make sure you drink LOTS of water on this medicine, it does help with many of the side effects (like the kidney stones, pins and needles sensation) and will help your body adjust. Take care.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ced771 View Post
Topamax: I have done a lot of research on the side effects and will discuss with my Dr before starting. Also my husband is aware and will keep an eye on me. If I do get bad side effects I will wean off of it. However alcoholism has already nearly cost me my marriage, friends and my job so for me the benefits could outweigh the risks. Also people with a family history of alcoholism appear to do well on a lower dosage so I am hoping I can get the benefits while keeping the side effects at a minimum. I have talked to others whose lives have been saved by this so I am willing to take the risk. Thank you for the heads up.

Jules: Thank you for sharing. I'm happy to hear it has helped your son. What dosage is he on? I also will be in counseling while on topamax so hope the combo of both will be the answer for me.

 
Old 08-23-2007, 11:30 AM   #10
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Re: topamax for alcohol addiction

You might want to consider Naltrexone as an alternative. Except for the fact that it is an opiate receptor antagonist (meaning taking opiates will not do you much good - important to know if you are injured) there are few side effects. Some folks have found naltrexone very helpful and any M.D. can prescribe it.

 
Old 08-23-2007, 03:08 PM   #11
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Re: topamax for alcohol addiction

i was going to suggest that drug too..i heard good things about it.

 
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