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Old 07-26-2003, 11:05 AM   #1
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Question Topamax & Alcohol: Anyone Tried It?

I've been taking Topamax for 2 1/2 months to control migraines and rebound headaches. I started out on 50 mg and 10 days ago my neurologist increased my dosage to 75 mg. I was initially told that I could/would only be on this medication for 3 - 6 months. At my last appt when my dosage was increased my neurologist also told me that I would be on Topamax for 12 months.

He has told me that drinking is a big no-no with Topamax because it will increase the effects of the alcohol (isn't this the case with most medications) and that hangovers will be worse the next day.

I don't want to make myself sound like a drunk, but I do enjoy going out to bars with friends to listen to bands and I like to have a few drinks. I haven't had any alcohol since I started the medication, but I wasn't planning on 12 months of this, and now things have changed.

Has anyone tried drinking with Topomax? If so, what dosage are you on?

On a side note, I found an article about Topomax being using to treat alcoholism. The study is currently going through clinical trials at the University of Texas Health Science Center.

 
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Old 07-26-2003, 11:57 AM   #2
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Alcohol is not something to mix with these types of medications. You can still go out but have something like a virgin mary or drink soda or orange juice and have good time. If you can't stay away from alcohol and have a good time without it while you are on the medications then it leads to me to think you weren't serious about getting help for your headaches anyway. You need to choose which is more important to you, getting help for your headaches or drinking alcohol with your friends.

 
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Old 07-26-2003, 12:10 PM   #3
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topamax is also a anticonvulsant med and will add to the effects off alcohol.i got that off the paper i get with my med. i dont know if that does you any good i was just trying to answer ur question. hope it helps

 
Old 07-26-2003, 12:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by mlgable:
Alcohol is not something to mix with these types of medications. You can still go out but have something like a virgin mary or drink soda or orange juice and have good time. If you can't stay away from alcohol and have a good time without it while you are on the medications then it leads to me to think you weren't serious about getting help for your headaches anyway. You need to choose which is more important to you, getting help for your headaches or drinking alcohol with your friends.
I am serious about getting help.

The reason I asked is actually because my neurologist's assistant told me that her husband has been on Topomax for an extended period of time and he will have a couple of drinks when they go out and he has not any side effects from having 1 or 2 drinks occasionally.

I'm not asking if it's OK if I binge drink when I go out. I was looking to see if anyone else has 1 or 2 drinks occasionally without a problem.

 
Old 07-26-2003, 01:26 PM   #5
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Personally, I definately would not do it. I've heard and read too many horror stories of blood pressure going too low, heart rate too low, etc. Depends on how sensitive you are, but there is too much risk, in my opinion. Why risk a coma, or worse? Also, migraine headaches and alcohol do not go together. Alcohol is a known trigger in some people. I stopped drinking (even one or two) years ago because I noticied my migraines were getting more frequent. Just wasn't worth it for me!

Randi

 
Old 07-29-2003, 06:27 PM   #6
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I was on topamax once and it is prettty potent. I would not recomend it. I could not even function on the topamax I couln't even imagine adding alcohol to it.

Best of luck on whatever your decision is.

 
Old 08-02-2003, 09:03 PM   #7
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Hi Nickels,

I've been on Topamax for a month and I've had one drink on two different occasions and both times I felt the effects of the alcohol extremely intensely (as if the one drink were 3, maybe). Alcohol isn't a migraine trigger in my situation, but I don't plan to have more than a very, very weak drink very occasionally while I'm on the Topa. I am planning to ask my neuro for his opinion and will try to report back. Hope that helps.

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Old 08-07-2003, 09:40 PM   #8
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hello i was on topamax for epilepsy and i still drank with taking the meds not very often and not very much im not a big drinker but every once in a while i would have a wine cooler or 2 . in my personal opinion i think topamax is a ver bad and evil drug it can (in some people) make you do things that you wouldnt normally do it affects your moods your think messes with short term memory and i can go on and on if you would like to find out more experenses(sp)from people who have been on this drug pop over to the epilepsy board as far as treating headaches i too suffer from migraines and topamax didnt do anything to help them i actually think it made them happen more often

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Old 08-19-2003, 02:33 AM   #9
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i was on topamax for several months for migraine prevention. it didn't work. ended up making me sicker and i gained weight on it. normally people lose weight on it, but i lost the weight as soon as i stopped taking it... i rarely drink, but have drank while taking anti-convulsants, such as topamax. i'd just say if you're going to have a few drinks, don't overdo it and skip the medication that night.

 
Old 10-01-2003, 06:23 PM   #10
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May 15, 2003 -- A drug used to combat epileptic seizures may also help alcoholics curb their cravings for alcohol. New research shows the epilepsy drug Topamax helped alcoholics reduce their daily alcohol intake and increase the number of drink-free days while enrolled in an alcoholism treatment program.


Although anti-epileptic drugs have been used in a few small studies on alcohol dependency, researchers say it's the first study to look at the effects of Topamax in altering drinking behavior.


Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio randomly assigned 150 alcoholics enrolled in an alcoholism treatment program to receive either Topamax or placebo in addition to standard behavioral therapy.


After three months, people who received the drug reported drinking about three fewer drinks per day than the placebo group. Those treated with Topamax also had about 25% fewer heavy drinking days and 25% more drink-free days than the others. Blood tests also showed lower concentrations of alcohol in the Topamax group.


No serious side effects of Topamax treatment were found, and researchers increased the daily dose to up to 300 mg to achieve the best results.


Researchers say the study confirms what many experts had suspected about using anti-epileptic drugs in alcoholism treatment and should stimulate more researchbecause few effective medications are available for this use. They say Topomax most likely works to curb cravings by inhibiting the alcohol-related release of dopamine in the reward center of the brain.


In an editorial that accompanies the study in the May 17 issue of The Lancet, Robert M. Swift of Providence VA Medical Center in Rhode Island says this study was different from most studies on alcoholism treatment because it didn't require the participants to give up drinking before starting the trial. Therefore, the study measured abstinence initiation rather than persistence.


Swift says there are still many unanswered questions about the use of prescription drugs to treat alcoholics. But the results are important because they suggest that different medications, such as anti-epileptic drugs, might be used at different stages of alcoholism treatment.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SOURCE: The Lancet, May 17, 2003.


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