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    Old 09-07-2006, 07:32 AM   #1
    coffeegirl2
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    Topamax

    Does anyone else here take Topamax?

    Reason why I am asking? Recently the dosage I am taking was increased from 400 mg to 500 mg which is considerably high, over the norm. I've been hypomanic lately and borderline manic with depressive episodes in between- cycling like a yo-yo for a month half. Trigger? Not sure. Could be anything. Probably a relative whom I am in a relationship with, and I think I know who it is. Can't do much about this person- can't change them; just myself.

    In regards to the Topamax, if anyone else is taking this medication, what side effects do you have?

    For me-

    a) Sometimes the math skills will disappear out of no where at any given time.
    b) soda tastes horrible
    c) short term memory lapses

    Should there be more? I don't think it is an awful drug. It has really helped me quite a bit. Mostly, it has kept the ED at bay by 85-90%, and that is so much to be greatful for. Plus, the mania has mostly been at bay as well, except for a few swings from time to time.

    And, here I go again.

    Thanks-

    Coffeegirl
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    Old 09-08-2006, 05:47 AM   #2
    Adison
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    Re: Topamax

    Morning!

    I have been taking topamax for several years. I deal w/ "cyclothymia" and "OCPD". I am currently at 200mg. of topamax. You mentioned that you just increased from 400mg. to 500mg. Did you by chance jump from 400mg. directly to 500mg. or did you gradually increase from say 400 to 425 then 450 475, etc? I have found w/ topamax that it's more effective when you work up your dose gradually. For example when you first start at on the med at all that you start out at the lowest dose.....25mg...or even 50mg.....and stay at that dose for a few weeks....month ....then gradually climb up if need be......100mg......again.....increase if need be to 125...150....175....200, etc. as opposed to going....100....200....300...etc. staying at those smaller doses and staying at them for a longer period of time and then moving up gradually seems to have a better effect w/ topamax. However I realize everyone is different and it's always important to WORK WITH YOUR DOCTOR !!!

    But having said as much!.........

    yes when I first started with topamax soda did taste nasty! It seemed like topamax brought out a high sodium taste in things.....that went away after a month or two for me. I also experienced a tingeling sensation in my legs and feet. That too went away after a couple months.....occassionally I will get this back if I increase my dose signicantly though...not as bad as when I first start out though!......you made mention of forgetting things......topamax has a reputation for causing people to become "spacy" or "forgetful". I've not experienced anything like this to a degree where I'd blame topamax.....but some people find it bad enough that they have dubbed topamax "dopamax"!! When I first started taking top****x I was instructed to take my dose in the morning......I could not do this.....it made me SO tired that I felt like a zombie thru out my entire day. I mean I just really could not function. When I complained about this to my doctor, she suggested I try taking my dose about 7pm at night. That was 3 years ago or so now...that worked perfectly for me and I've been taking my dose that way ever since. Works out perfectly for me. She said topamax is meant to be taken in the morning but there are a few, like myself, who can't handle it and that yes, it does make us so severly tired......so we just switch our dose to the early evening and it works out well. If you experience anything like this you might want to talk w/ your doctor. I always caution ANY changes ....small or large...to be discussed w/ your dr.!

    I really like my topamax. I too suffer from an "ed".....I deal w/ bulimia. And much like you mention...it has greatly reduced some of the issues I deal w/. Not 100%. There are still issues I have to work thru on my own and from time to time I fall back into my patterns and have to work thru again.......but for the most part topamax helps w/ certain symptoms and helps keep me grounded. One thing topamax does not help with is my anger/aggitation and rage issues. I understand know med is going to touch that completely and there are things I have to do on my own. I'm working on that. But my dr. and I just spoke about this yesterday. He has now added prozac to my med regime as well as we talked about some other things for me to address. So we'll see how it goes!

    Anyway. My posts get long and rambling so I better stop here! Hope this much helps you anyway!!

    Take Care!

     
    Old 09-08-2006, 07:37 AM   #3
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    Re: Topamax

    Adison~

    Thank you for responding to the post. You have been very helpful. It never has been discussed about taking the Topamax in quarter sections while working on up to the newer dosage. Hmm? That is frustrating. The pdoc just moved me right on up to 500! Go figure! He did that back in 2003 and it made me feel like a complete zombie because the Topamax was doubled then. Talk about a complete knock out underneath the feet. Whew! Life was a mess though. And it did help straighten me out.

    When I first began taking the Topamax, like you, it made me so lethargic and tired, that I was falling asleep during the daytime. The pdoc had me switch to taking it at bedtime. Sometimes I don't always sleep well, so I take Lunesta as an as need basis med.

    Sometimes I still do struggle with the Bulimia as well, but that is due to exterior issues/triggers that will flare up in my life. That is just to be expected with an ED because exterior triggers cannot be avoided.

    That is great your pdoc is putting you on another med to supplement with the Topamax to help with the anger. It will be great to have it all work out for you.

    Other meds I take are Wellbutrin XL and Abilify. Not sure why, but these meds work well for me. Best of luck getting your med cocktail all put together soon.

    Hope to see you around again soon!



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    Old 09-08-2006, 01:48 PM   #4
    Adison
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    Re: Topamax

    Hi Coffeegirl,

    I know how you feel about bulimia. I too fall back into bulimia due to certain triggers. I just recently got myself back under control again after falling once again. It's frustrating. I just do the best I can...when I feel myself loosing control I try to get in for help as quickly as I can. The cycle sucks but it's my life I guess.

    All you can do is talk to your dr. about the reason why he went in 100mg. incriments. Every person is different remember. What is a good choice for one person to go in incriments of 25mg. then 50mg.....75mg., etc. etc. ....a dr. may feel that moving up incrimentally in another way is better for another patient! Maybe he felt in your case based on your history that moving up by 100mg. was better suited for you? All I can tell you is that my dr. explained that moving up slowly and at lower doses was more effective. Now I don't recall if that was in general for all patients or just for me and my situation specifically. That would be a good question to clafify w/ a dr. though!!

    Yes I am eager to see how things go w/ the prozac and topamax combo. something has to help ease things here soon....I'm SO frustrated w/ how I am doing currently...something has to give. I know meds alone is not a cureall or solution...but a help and so I hope it eases things!

    -Adison

     
    Old 09-08-2006, 03:51 PM   #5
    princesspea
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    Re: Topamax

    Hi!
    I have bulimia too and am on topamax for my bp and ed. I haven't been on Top. long but, My doctor too started me out slow and worked me up to 100mg 25mg at a time. She wants me to stay there for a little while before we go further.

    I have the blurred vision side effect. It's not bad. A $5 pair of Walmart reading glasses is all I needed to correct it. I get the numbness and tingling in my fingers for an hour or so in the morning. If I'm not doing anything I notice it otherwise I don't even notice. I just noticed the math problem an hour ago because I was trying to count up to 40 by 2's. I was all confused but, I've felt so good since I've been on it that I don't care. I've been through allot worse side effects for alot less help from the meds.

     
    Old 09-08-2006, 08:04 PM   #6
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    Re: Topamax

    Princesspea

    The Topamax works well with the bulimia. It has really helped me tremendously. I don't want to switch mood stabilizers due to how well it has helped with the ED for my situation. It is nice to know of others who take Topamax for an ED other than just a mood stabilizer, and think it is a positive med. Most people do not have positive things to say about the drug. It has it's downfalls as do some meds however it definitely has it's positives and gains.

    Hope the Topamax helps you feel better soon~

    Coffeegirl
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    Old 09-11-2006, 06:05 AM   #7
    Adison
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    Re: Topamax

    Hi,

    It's nice to talk w/ others who are taking topamax. What time of day do you take your dose? Morning or evening? How do you feel you are doing thus far? Have you been on long enough to start to feel any changes or not quite? I've been taking topamax for several years. I've been on and off topamax several times. Why? Because of my frustrations with the HIGH cost of the med. So when I start to feel like I simply can't justify the price anymore (and yes I DO have insurance!) I will go off the meds. But I find that topamax works so well for me that I can really only go for a few months being off the meds and I ALWAYS (sigh) find myself having to go back on the meds sooner or later. I guess it's great to have a med that helps so well but (sigh!) does it have to come at such a high price?!

     
    Old 09-11-2006, 07:06 AM   #8
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    Re: Topamax

    I take the Topamax in the evening. There was a time when I took the med during the morning but it zonked me out to the point of non-existence so I had to be switched to nighttime. Now I am more functionable.

    Cost. Yes; it is very expensive even with insurance. That is scary with some of these meds. I even take other meds that cost more than Topamax. My horomone supplement costs more. Hopefully I will get it switched this week to another form of supplement so it will bring the cost down. We even go through mail order, via the Internet. That helps lower the cost some by 30-50% with some meds. I am not allowed to say the name of the company due to the boards rules. Just do a search on Google about Medicine + Mail Order. It should bring something up for you.

    The Topamax has really helped a lot with mania and the bulimia. Thankfully it is prescribed for patients of Bipolar and eating disorders, other than just migraine sufferers.

    Hope you are able to take it again sometime soon.

    Take care of yourself.

    Hugs

    Coffeegirl
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    Old 09-12-2006, 05:40 AM   #9
    Adison
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    Re: Topamax

    WOW.....meds that cost more then topamax....my heart goes out to you. My heart also goes out to both of you in your struggles w/ bulimia. Nice to find people that are struggling with many of the same things here though......as well as to talk w/ someone who takes topamax. Frustrating though to be on a board that would restrict you and not allow you to talk about finding a medication somewhere cheaper. So what.....does that mean they are represented by the drug companies then? You know.....don't even get me started.....I went to pay for my meds one day...I wanted to know how much my allergy script was before they ran it through....they could not tell me before hand.....it would vary.....there is a cash price....which is $40 higher then my script price.....they can charge you that much more if you don't have insurance......my allergy med was $80 w/ my insurance...but if I didn't have insurance the cash price on that one was $120.....HOWEVER.....it wasn't just $80 if you had insurance....it depending on what my insurance was.....it could be more....it could be less.....every insurance plan would be different. I just can't get over that. Same medication. But depending on what you have for insurance....or don't have at all....that same medication can be priced through the roof. I swear.....health care is getting to a point where only the rich are going to be able to get sick anymore....well ....we can all get sick....but only the rich are going to be able to get better.

    Don't mind me. I have my mental health meds. My allergy meds. And two daughters w/ allergies and meds. I get to the point where I start to get just a little frustrated w/ the drug companies in this country!!

    At any rate!! ....Take Care and have a great day!

     
    Old 09-12-2006, 11:45 AM   #10
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    Re: Topamax

    In reference to the Topamax increase, I think that it causing me to have an appetite change. My appetite has just taken a nose dive south. Hey, I won't complain at all. I had to force myself to eat lunch- and I mean make myself eat just 6 bites of my meal and I couldn't eat no more because I was full, and didn't want anymore. As for breakfast, if I didn't have to take meds with food, I wouldn't have even eaten anything. What is up with this? Wierd.

    Coffeegirl
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