Topamax
DESCRIPTION

Topamax is an anticonvulsant medication. It is a trade name of a generic drug called Topiramate.

How It Works

Medical studies have revealed that numerous cellular channels in the body are responsible for the function of Topamax. Some of them are voltage-gated sodium channels and calcium channels, GABA receptors and AMPA/kainite receptors. Topamax inhibits the activity of sodium channels dependent on voltage, increases the efficiency of a neurotransmitter called gamma-amino butyrate and effect GABA receptors to provide protection against seizures.

Uses

Topamax is primarily known to treat seizures. It is also prescribed to cure bi polar disorder as well as migraine headaches as it has an effect on blood vessels located in the brain.

Dosage

The recommended dose for adults and children over 10 years of age suffering from seizures is 400 mg per day. It must be taken in two divided doses.

The dosing of children between ages of 2 and 10 is based on body weight. Usually the starting dose would be 25 mg per day. Based on the child’s tolerance capacity, the dose may be increased up 50 mg per day. The dose can be gradually increased further within 5-7 weeks if required and prescribed by a doctor. The maximum quantity that can be increased weekly is 20 to 50 mg.

To treat migraine headaches, the usual dose prescribed to adults and adolescents is 100 mg per day. It has to be taken in two divided doses.

Do not chew or crush Topamax tablets. Swallow the tablet as it is with a full glass of water.

If you miss a dosage, wait until your next dose. Do not take two pills at once to make up for the dose you missed.

Side Effects

The common side effects that can occur with the use of Topamax are:

Headache
Drowsiness
Redness of skin
Sudden mood changes
Inability to think clearly
Changes in taste buds
Nausea
Diarrhea
Indigestion
Weight loss
Involuntary back and forth rolling of eyes

Patients who are given Topamax as a cure for bi polar disorder may develop suicidal tendencies as a side effect of its intake.

Some of the more serious side effects of Topamax are:

Dehydration
Irregular heart beats
Loss of appetite
Vision problems
Memory loss
Fainting
Unusual bleeding

A person allergic to Topamax may experience symptoms such as swelling of face, tongue, lips or throat, skin rashes, severe dizziness and breathing difficulties.

Precautions

Prior to using this medication, let your doctor know if you have experienced any of the following conditions.

A condition in the eyes called narrow angle glaucoma
Liver disease
Kidney problems such as stones in the kidney
Prolonged diarrhea
Osteoporosis
Diabetes
Breathing problems such as Asthma
A history of depression or suicidal thoughts
Growth disorder

While taking Topamax is it necessary to check your blood regularly. This medication is known to increase acid levels in the blood which can in turn be injurious to your bones.

Self-Care

Topamax can weaken the effects of birth control pills. It is recommended to use a barrier contraceptive such as a condom to prevent unwanted pregnancies while using Topamax.

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