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Old 04-15-2007, 08:42 AM   #1
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Question Topamax. cause/bring out liver issues?

My Neuro put me on 25mg of Topamax several months ago, for nerve pain. It actually worked really well for a while, and before Thanksgiving, she decided to bump me up to 50mg. It just so happened 2-3 days after I started the new dosage, I got really sick. My chest hurt really bad, I had a high fever, (103F), a rash. Oh.. and my hands and feet felt like the size of boxing gloves. The rest of my family got the typical flu... I just had other crappy symptoms. So I stopped taking the 50 mg and told the Neuro, who suggested it was all probably flu related, and to start taking it again when my immune system was improved.

Skip to this week. I've been experiencing some stomach pains- ulcer or something, not sure. My regular doctor put me on 30mg of prevacid. Days later, my left elbow/shoulder have been killing me. So I broke down and started my 50mg dosage of the topamax. This was on the 12th. Last night, after I took the topamax, my chest (right side, and towards the back) started hurting. It kept me awake off and on all night. Needless to say, I didn't know if this was a delayed drug interaction, or what. I called my regular dr's office and the dr on-call said it's most likely not the Prevacid. To go back down to the 25mg dose of Topamax- which is the most likely culprit.

Really annoying. First, that it seems obviously my body can't handle 50 mg of Topamax. I wonder if it is causing liver issues (assuming that is what it's doing here?), or if it's aggravating something already going on? I have an appt with my neuro on Wednesday. I'm going to ask the dr to take me off of it. It's barely working for me anymore, and I've already lost the max. amount of weight I felt comfortable losing with it. Not to mention it's not helping my sudden barrage of joint pain.

Is anybody else experiencing this with Topamax? Or *has* experienced this with the drug?

 
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Old 04-18-2007, 12:11 PM   #2
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Re: Topamax. cause/bring out liver issues?

Haven't been on the drug before, but if you are worried about your liver, ask the neuro that for your peice of mind if he would do a liver panel blood test for you.

 
Old 04-19-2007, 07:11 AM   #3
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Re: Topamax. cause/bring out liver issues?

just did a quick read on this and from what i got from it,it states it can increase the risk of formation of kidney stones.just one thought here.it doesn't appear to be extensively metabolized so the liver or even kidney thing would be a problem only if you actually already had an underlying unDxed(believe me,this CAN happen,it happened to me)liver or kidney problem.it wouldn't hurt to just have some simple bloodwork done at your primary doc. obtaining an ul;trasound on your kidneys would possibly show a stone if one was there or even smaller calcifications if they could intermittantly be blocking the ureter in some way,which can cause pain too.just some thoughts.i most definitely would speak with your neuro about trying a different med tho.good luck and please keep us posted.marcia
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 04-25-2007, 10:53 AM   #4
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Re: Topamax. cause/bring out liver issues?

I was worried about kidney stones, most definitely. My step-dad gets these quite frequently, and I hear the pain is unbearable. I went off the Topamax nearly two weeks ago, because it stopped working.. and because of this problem when I bumped up to 50 mg. Now I'm on amytriptalyne (elavil), and hoping it helps me. I haven't noticed any difference in pain so far (been on it for 5 days now. If anything, I've had some kind of episode- my entire left side of my body went numb, and I had some trouble breathing. I ended up in the ER monday night. Neuro thought possible stroke, but as I could start feeling the sensation migrating just a bit to the right side, that ruled that out. Only thing the ER could find (doing minimal testing) was that I'm anemic. LOL The ER doc did think it could be MS, but who knows. An MRI back in late September seemed to rule that out as far as my Neuro goes.

 
Old 04-25-2007, 03:00 PM   #5
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Re: Topamax. cause/bring out liver issues?

I'm not sure about the med issue but I had pancreatitis issues in the past which has to do with the liver and high enzymes which I still have. The symptoms depending of pancreatitis and what I had were flu like symptoms/fever a sharp pain in the ribs and sometimes back. I had joint pain with that too.Another sign is high liver enzymes. I then had a ct scan which can help diagnose and guide treatment if special meds are needed. I could be way off base but just a thought. Have you had a ct scan,full bloodwork? Sorry I'm not much else but I also am suppose to start elavil for my nerve issue so will see.Take care.

 
Old 04-26-2007, 08:59 AM   #6
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Re: Topamax. cause/bring out liver issues?

i really would get that bloodwork done on your kidneys.in light of the anemia,this can be stemming from a possible kidney issue.obtaining simple bloodwork along with ultrasound can show alot more of how the organs are really functioning.you just need to know what it is you are actually dealing with here,thats all.good luck and see your doc soon. hope all is well.please let us know how things are,okay?marcia
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 06-04-2007, 12:04 PM   #7
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Re: Topamax. cause/bring out liver issues?

I have been on Topamax for over 5 years and it gave me 75% of my life back! It does not work for everyone. In fact I have heard it called "Dopamax" because it can make you so sleepy. I had to go off of it because I wanted to have a baby and my condition went down hill. I was a wreck and could not do much of anything. I had a spinal fusion at L4/5 and S-1 in 1996 and have extensive neuropathic pain in my left leg and S/I joint. I have recently started back on Topamax slowly and although it is making me sleep, I know that I will adjust in time and will slowly begin to feel better. I also have had 3 kidney stones during the 5 years that I was on the med. But I refused to go off of it because even though the kidney stones are unbelievably painful - they are temporary - chronic nerve pain is permanent. To put things in perspective: kidney stones are more painful than childbirth. But chronic nerve pain is more painful than kidney stones!!

 
Old 06-09-2007, 06:07 AM   #8
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Re: Topamax. cause/bring out liver issues?

I've had my liver and kidney functions tested, in April.. and my new Lyme dr just had me tested again- and he will every other month, I believe, so long as I'm on abx. I was just diagnosed with Lyme Disease, which he said may not explain all of my health problems, but it probably does explain some of it- neuropathy, arthritis, chest pains, etc.. Since being on a month of antibiotics, at least my heart palpitations have subsided.. (for now, anyway). (I did ditch my neuro, though. She told me I had Polymyalgia Rheumatica. But the Lyme dr said my SED rate was too low, which rules it out. )

 
Old 08-06-2007, 04:48 PM   #9
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Re: Topamax. cause/bring out liver issues?

I am on Topamax for epilepsy. This is the most horrific drug I've ever been on. It is in the same family as Neurontin (which incidentally my mother was on for Neuropathy and had a serious cognitive episode which ended in her hospitalization a few years ago). I have had serious memory problems, depression, eye pain, insomnia, severe headaches. For some people, it's a "dream drug", for me it's absolute hell. The only reason I am on it is because I cannot find a doctor to help me get off it. I do not have health insurance. Ironically, shortly after I went on the topamax and my brain stopped functioning like a normal person (and I started stopping mid-sentence and spacing out), I lost my job of 5 years and my health insurance. I haven't been able to keep a job since. My (former) neurologist in LA is an advocate of Topamax. She would give me samples, has cardboard standups and posters promoting Topamax in her office. She got me in their patient assistent program. When I went to her completely devastated because I was horrified by the mess my life was and told her I wanted OFF the topamax, she insisted that ALL anti-convulsants would cause these problems and refused to help me get on another patient assistance. She did, however, write me a prescription for Exelon which is the drug they give for people with Alzheimer's and dementia. to counter act the side effects (after she profusely denied ever hearing of any adverse cognitive side effects for Topamax). I literally asked her "is this what my life is going to be? Alzheimer's at 39?" I have since learned there are plenty options for me in terms of medication but I'm guessing my neuro in LA isn't personally vested in them.

I am 40 and am now living back in Florida with my mother. I could no longer afford to live in Los Angeles spiraling into a Topamax depression. I decided I would come out and take care of my mom who is sick and find a decent doctor to help me get off this sick drug. However, I can't take care of my mother because my mind continues to deteriorate and I can't find a decent doctor. Neurologists here will only take "cash only" pre-pays for about $250. Considering my mother has Multiple Myeloma, is on social security and not doing so well financially, she doesn't have that sort of cash, nor do I. I am going to the epilepsy foundation in the hopes that they will help me.

My point is this drug is the worse pharmaceutical I have ever experienced in my life. It has made my life hell. And I knew healthcare was a disgusting greedy, profit-hungry, soulless, industry in this country but it was confirmed with this episode.

 
Old 04-10-2008, 04:43 PM   #10
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Re: Topamax. cause/bring out liver issues?

Have taken low dose Topamax for 7 years without incidence, and I have many other medical problems with which to deal. The secret is to increase your dose very, VERY slowly. My doc told me to take it at night, but it only works for me if I take it in the morning. If I take it at night, I have insomnia. I take this med for hereditary familial essential tremor, and it works great.

 
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