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  • Topamax and Pregnancy

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    Old 08-17-2005, 10:24 AM   #1
    melmo524
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    Topamax and Pregnancy

    Hello! I'm new to this message board thing so bear with me. Ok, to make a long story short, I was diagnosed with Juvenile Myeoclonic Epilepsy (petit mal seizures) about 8 years ago. I had some symptoms about 2-3 years prior to that. I've been on Depakote ever since I was diagnosed and have been well maintained on one drug. I'm 26 and have been married for 2 years and my husband and I are hoping to start a family in the next year. Due to this, my neurologist started me on Lamictal last year because it is supposed to be safer during pregnancy. Unfortunately, the drug didn't work for me. My body didn't respond to it well and I ended up having 2 sets of grand mal seizures. So, my neuro put me back on my Depakote. Now, nine months later, my neuro wants me to try Topamax. I'm a little nervous, but I'm willing to hear what he has to say regarding this med. Can anyone tell me if they have or have not had luck with this drug? Also, I really want to know if anyone has or hasn't had a successful pregnancy while taking Topamax? I'm not pregnant yet but I am trying to take every possible avenue to ensure that I have a better chance at having a safe pregnancy. Thank you. I look forward to hearing from any and everyone.

    Last edited by melmo524; 08-17-2005 at 10:25 AM.

     
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    Old 08-17-2005, 04:22 PM   #2
    ibeeshell
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    Re: Topamax and Pregnancy

    I take Topomax and really like it. It does control my seizures. But it has cut my appetite off so drastically I have dropped weight. A plus for me, but I wouldn't think it would be for a pregnant woman. I also go thru bouts of nauseusness. Lots of food taste really nasty now, so I have had to change the way I eat.

    My Neuro had me research it on the internent before he switched me and I would urge you to do the same thing. I simply typed it into my search engine and went from there. I found message boards and all sorts of things to read.

    Good luck and I hope you find out all the info you need!

    Shelly

     
    Old 08-17-2005, 06:30 PM   #3
    ShariLynn
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    Re: Topamax and Pregnancy

    hi.. I just landed here and saw your post, so my first post is a reply to you.

    I have been on topamax for over a year for bi-polar - I am also epileptic, I have both grand mal and petite mal seizures. I have been on Tegretol, Dilantin, Depakote, and Phenobarb for the seizures, and was allergic to the Dilantin and had massive weight gain from the Depakote, while the Tegretol was ruining my liver. Once I started taking the phenobarb, things seemed to be alright, but I still had seizures, as I did with all of the others, just not as often as without meds.

    As you may already know, the major concern when taking anti-convulsants while pregnant is the chance (like 3 out 100 last I heard) of the baby having spinal or nueral tube birth defects like spina-bifida. I have always been told to take folic acid every day to reduce the risk, but I also just quit taking the meds when I found out I was pregnant, but that has always been late third otrimester or early second. Luckily, things have been just fine. This has been 4 pregnancies.

    In the last 3 weeks, I found out I am pregnant for the 5th time. turns out the topamax messes with birth control, so here we are once again. I am currently just under 14 weeks, and have yet to find out about any defects. I took my topamax (which I LOVED and miss) until I found out I was pregnant, at just about 11 weeks.

    I did a lot of research and found that really the only testing on pregnancy with topamax has been with rabbits, rats and mice. In all of these studies, they found that the dosage of topamax had to be increased anywhere from 6 to 10 times the recommended highest dosage for the neural tube defects to take place.

    I have only been taking 100mg once a day, about 1/2 that highest dose reccomendation, so I hope things will be fine. But at the same time I have been on my antidepressant, and my sleep med, also up until the same time I stopped taking the topamax.

    I discussed with my OB that I had found out that topamax was a class C med, meaning that there havent been sufficiant tests done on people during pregnancy to say one way or the other. His reply was that even though it hasnt shown to be good, class C also means that it hasn't been found to be BAD... and to continue both the Topamax and the anti-depressant until told otherwise by my shrink..

    I called for an appointment with my shrink, who called back and told me to stop the topamax immediately, but to stay on the antidepressant...

    so until my next appointment, I really don't know.. but with the research I have done, I feel fairly confident that things will be fine.

    For you, who are thinking about starting a family, I say.. MAKE SURE you're taking FOLIC ACID EVERY DAY. My nuerologist even stressed this when I told him I was pregnant 10 years ago, while I was on the phenobarb.

    From everything I have read, the topamax isn't as bad as a lot of the other anti-convulsants out there during pregnancy... like everything else I have been on.. but I can't say for sure, since my shrink still took me off from it so abruptly.

    Hopefully there has been some info for you in all of this, I am just trying to give you something to relate to.

     
    Old 08-17-2005, 08:06 PM   #4
    melmo524
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    Re: Topamax and Pregnancy

    Thank you Shelly for your info. It really helps me out. I too have done research on the drug. I haven't done too much since my doctor just brought it up last week to start trying Topamax, but I have done some research before I go in for my appt. tomorrow. Thanks for your help!

    Mel

     
    Old 08-17-2005, 08:15 PM   #5
    melmo524
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    Re: Topamax and Pregnancy

    Thank you ShariLynn for your insights. I'm so glad that I've had responses already. I was hoping that i would. So, you've been on all those medicines at the same time and had 4, and pretty soon 5 healthy children? That's really great! One good thing is that I do take Folic Acid every day. I've been taking 4 mg for several months now instead of the recommended daily intake of 400 mcg. So, I'm hoping that will give me extra protection when I do decide to get pregnant. That's interesting about the testing and how they had to increase the recommended dose by 6-10 times for it to have a negative effect. That makes me feel a little more confident about taking Topamax. Thanks again for your help.

    Mel

     
    Old 08-20-2005, 07:00 PM   #6
    ellerbusch
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    Re: Topamax and Pregnancy

    Hello to everyone!

    I've been taking Tegratol for yeeaaaarrrsss...I have done no research, fearing the truth. Is my liver going to fall out? Does it work with pregnancy? I have read so much on seizures today (more than what doctors have ever told me due to them being short on time).

    Note: I had petit mals, grand mal, and brain surgery - was cleared of drugs, had a grand mal again, now back on drugs, have tons of seizure auras, have slow motion visions, and now I want children. I don't want to up the Tegratol. Any thoughts on this?

    I look forward to your comments...Nicole.

    P.S. I'm glad I found this site. There seems to be a ton of wonderful people who understand.

     
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